An East Lancashire businessman has won an award for championing gender equality.
Lee Chambers, the founder of Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing, has won the Agent of Change Award at this years’ Northern Power Women Awards.
The entrepreneur from Wilpshire received the award at a ceremony at Manchester Central, attended by more than 1,000 guests from businesses across the country.
The Northern Power Women Awards, which celebrate those who have championed gender equality in their respective fields and industries, are now in their seventh year and have become a highlight of the region’s calendar.
This year’s event saw a record 1,500 nominations across 11 categories, with individuals and organisations shortlisted for their work on gender equity and inclusion.
The Agent of Change category recognises an individual who has strived to make lasting improvements in gender equality and wider inclusivity through authentic leadership and impactful collaboration.
Judges commented Mr Chambers “lives and breathes challenging the status quo and bringing people together to create tangible, sustainable change”, while another judge highlighted his, “clear vision, passion and determination as a male ally, and that the work he is doing is truly inspiring.”
Mr Chambers said: “To be recognised at the largest awards for gender inclusion in Europe, and in front of hundreds of my peers, was a memory that I will cherish forever.
“I don’t do this work for badges and trophies, and it’s tiring challenging the status quo, but I am determined to be part of working towards a more inclusive and equitable future for everyone.
"Thanks to all those that support me; I don’t do this work alone.”
Simone Roche, founder and chief executive of Northern Power Women, added: “This year’s award winners and commended once again showcase the awe-inspiring contributions that we can make as individuals, organisations and communities when we support one another.
“Those recognised represent the outstanding leaders and role models present in and from North.
“It’s fantastic to see how our community is using its power to achieve truly great things for the benefit of others, embodying the Northern Power Women ethos of inspiring people to use their power for good and accelerate gender equality.”
Alison Kay, managing partner for Client Service at EY UK and Ireland, said her organisation was delighted to sponsor the event.
She said: “The competition this year was outstanding and it was incredibly hard to pick one winner for each category.
“All of those recognised – whether individual or organisation – are shining examples of how we can drive real change and use our influence and power for the benefit of others.”
Other winners on the night included Natalie Kenny of Biograd, Lyndsay Geraghty of the BBC and Syima Aslam of the Bradford Literature Festival, while Deloitte won the Large Organisation Award.