The 2021 Women of the Year Lunch and Awards
Women of the Year hosted their 67th annual event to recognise and celebrate 400 women from across the UK who have achieved remarkable things this year. The event champions women from all walks of life and each guest is nominated by a member of the Women of the Year Council in recognition of her personal achievement or inspiration and attends the gathering as a ‘Woman of the Year’.
Four of these outstanding women were honoured with Women of the Year Awards for their selfless dedication to their fields of work. Special honours went to Heba Bevan OBE, founder of revolutionary smartsensor technology company; Mursal Hedayat MBE, refugee founder of online language school; and Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, long-time activist and founder of Childline and The Silver Line.
The event was hosted by celebrated actor, comedian and TV presenter Sue Perkins, and awards were presented by Lorraine Kelly CBE, Suranne Jones, and Cat Deeley, in an event in central London today.
400 women attended the celebration this afternoon, joining together for a luncheon and awards ceremony to honour the achievements of so many. Following last year’s virtual event, Women of the Year were delighted to be able to come together to pay tribute to so many incredible women. In recognition of the unsung heroines of the pandemic, there was a Covid focus for the 2021 Lunch, with around half the guests being Covid-related – bus drivers, supermarket workers, caterers, taxi drivers, pharmacy workers and cleaners, as well as frontline NHS staff and officials.
Women of the Year also paid tribute to the Toyko 2020 Olympians and Paralympians this year for their persistence, strength and determination over the summer, with athletes including Kate French, Sophie Hahn, Emma Wiggs, Eilidh McIntyre, Kathleen Dawson and Kylie Grimes all in attendance. High profile figures joining the afternoon’s celebration included Victoria Coren Mitchell, writer, broadcaster and poker player; Dame Sheila Hancock, actress; Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, Royal Court Theatre; Helen Glover MBE, Olympic rower; Tanni Grey-Thompson, former paralympian; Tracey Ann Oberman, actor; and Charity Wakefield, actor; Arlene Foster, Former First Minister of Northern Ireland; Monique Roffey, Author, Dame Carol Black, Adviser to NHSI and PHE on Health and Work; Anneka Rice, broadcaster; Dr Phillippa Gregory CBE, writer and historian, Julie Platten, Chair, Critical Care Networks National Nurse Leads, and Gillian Prager, President of the Nightingale Fellowship.