Observer launches Women of the Year awards

The Observer is delighted to announce the launch of our brand new awards honouring women.

The Women of the Year Awards will be a celebration of women in association with JP Events & Sponsorship, part of Johnston Press, and the Mumpreneurs Networking Club.

The awards will honour those women who add that little something extra to the community, and praise those who go above and beyond in their field of work.

We are equally proud to reveal the headline sponsors of the glittering event later this year will be ethical beauty firm The Body Shop.

Charlotte Plummer, from The Body Shop, said: “At The Body Shop, we believe that true beauty comes from the heart. For us, beauty is much more than a pretty face. It’s about looking good, feeling good and doing good.

“We make our products with love and care and we source some of the finest ingredients from the four corners of the globe, and we trade fairly so communities benefit.”

Founded by Dame Anita Roddick, successful business woman and entrepreneur, The Body Shop has always had a special relationship with women. As well as supporting women in business, The Body Shop also runs campaigns on women’s issues and rights, including its Activate Self Esteem programme and Stop Violence in the Home campaign which raised over £4 million for partners who work to offer prevention, support and protection of women.

The Body Shop also works with a number of women-only co-operatives, through its Community Fair Trade programme, sourcing ingredients and accessories from marginalised communities across the globe. This provides predictable and regular income, and the security and confidence for some women to develop their own businesses.

The trade transforms their lives, their self-esteem and their voice in the community.

The Tungteiya Women’s Shea Butter Association in Ghana have been working in partnership with The Body Shop since 1994. The association is made up of 476 women from 11 villages and since trading with The Body Shop, the women have been able to dramatically improve their lives.

The black tie award ceremony will be held at the Avisford Park Hilton Hotel, near Arundel, with awards including: Woman in Community, Charity or Voluntary Sector; Success Story, Online Business, Hair and Beauty, Woman of Courage, Woman in Fashion, Mum of the Year, Woman in Arts, Woman in Healthcare, Woman in Education, Most Inspirational Woman, Business Woman, Sportswoman, Woman to watch, Woman in Local Government, Councillor or Politics, The Young Woman Award and Overall Woman of the Year.

For information on sponsorship, contact Shirley Coller on 01243 539389 or Jeanette Hockley on 01243 534140. Details on how to enter will be revealed later this month.