The Women of the Year Lunch brings together more than 400 women from all walks of life, each handpicked for their achievements and contribution to society. Each guest is regarded as a ‘Woman of the Year’ and represents not only themselves but also the millions of extraordinary women who make a difference every day. In a world which often celebrates ‘celebrity’, Women of the Year sets itself apart by honouring real achievement and diversity.
Each year a nominating council elects just 450 women to attend the annual Women of the Year Lunch handpicked for their achievements and contribution to society. Each guest is regarded as a ‘Woman of the Year’, representing herself, her work and the millions of extraordinary women who make a difference every day. In a world which often celebrates ‘celebrity’, Women of the Year sets itself apart by honouring real achievement and diversity.
Women of the Year has recognised, celebrated and inspired women of all backgrounds since 1955, when it was founded by the late Lady Tony (Antonella) Lothian OBE with Lady Georgina Coleridge and Odette Hallowes.
Recognising women’s achievements in 1955 was almost unheard of, and Lady Lothian’s aim was to put the record straight and bring together a wide cross-section of working women who had distinguished themselves in their careers or their communities. At a time when the concept of career networking for women was unknown, the initial concept is as important today as it was sixty years ago. Women of the Year was, and remains, a gathering for inspirational women and an opportunity to hear the views of world-famous women on important issues.
At the Lunch, a bishop sits with a farmer, a financier with a community worker and a famous actor with a health care worker. There are no divisions. Awards are presented to exceptional women who have each proved an inspiration to others through their courage, selflessness and dedication both in the UK and globally. Recent winners include Fahma Mohamed, Christina Noble, Beatrice Mtetwa, Waris Dirie, Andrea Coleman, The Dagenham Women Machinists, The 2012 Team GB Olympic & Paralympic, P.D. James, Doreen Lawrence, Zainab Salbi, Katie Piper and Dr Nawal El Saadawi. Other winners include, Lulu, Annie Lennox, Susie Hart, Tina Turner, Dame Kelly Holmes, Claire Hicks and Jasvinder Sanghera.
The legacy of each lunch is outstanding. New friendships are formed, support networks founded and better understanding engendered.
The Frink Bronze Eagle
The Frink Bronze Eagle was sculpted and donated by Dame Elisabeth Frink RA (1933 – 1993), one of Britain’s leading and foremost celebrated artists. She specialised in sculpting animals and the human form, which set her apart from her contemporaries. Whilst still a student, one of her sculptures was bought by the Beaux Arts Gallery of London’s West End. Today her work can be seen across England, the United States and China. She was awarded a CBE in 1962 and in 1982 she was made Dame of the British Empire.