WWA Sponsored Inspirational Leader at the West Country Women Awards – Winner Revealed!

WWA's Nikki Griffiths with Inspirational Leader Award winner Emma Hewitt and Plymouth City Council's Caroline Cozens

WWA Sponsored Inspirational Leader at the West Country Women Awards – Winner Revealed!

The brightest and best female talent from across the Westcountry was celebrated at a glittering award ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth on the 1st December. The remarkable achievements and triumphs of women from Cornwall to Wiltshire were championed across 15 categories at the red-carpet-glamour event.

WWA were immensely proud to support the West Country Awards and sponsored the Inspirational Leader category. On the night, WWA’s Tanya Brownridge, Business Services Partner, revealed the West Country Women Award’s Inspirational Leader 2022 as Emma Hewitt.

Emma works at Plymouth City Council and her passion and enthusiasm for the development of Plymouth and with that the creation of opportunities for people in the city, can be seen in her leadership of three outstanding projects for Plymouth – Building Plymouth, Skills 4 Plymouth (including Skills Launchpad Plymouth) and the Road to Mayflower. Emma was crowned Inspirational Leader with glowing recommendations from PCC colleagues, project partners and Plymouth initiatives supporters in what was a fiercely contested category with over 50 nominations.

The other finalists in the Inspirational Leader category were Ann James, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Plymouth, Leah Marsh, Managing Director of Swallowcourt Care Homes in Cornwall, and Lynn Stephens from the Fitness Instructor Academy at South Devon College. The WWA judging panel for the category were overwhelmed by the standard of all the nominations received and reviewed some truly remarkable accounts of leadership – with leaders often guiding their teams through significant change and overcoming unprecedented challenges during the past couple of years. The calibre of the finalists for the award was extremely impressive, and together they represent outstanding leadership from across the spectrum including the NHS, Local Government, Community, Social Care and Law.

Inspirational leaders drive change and motivate others to make a positive impact in their field. They are vital in forging the collaborative relationships needed to shape positive change for people, places and the planet, both at a local and global level. In sponsoring the Inspirational Leader category, WWA champions these motivational leaders and we hope to learn from them and how they face adversity and challenge as we strive for fundamental change within the construction industry – a sector where only 12.3% of the UK workforce were women in 2019.

WWA has made notable gains in addressing equity, diversity and inclusivity issues – nearly 30% of our staff are female, but we realise we still have a long way to go. We hope that awards like the West Country Women Awards that showcase the impact women are achieving in a variety of sectors will encourage more people to consider following in their footsteps and drive greater change.

Speaking about winning the Inspirational Leader Award, Emma said: “I am truly honoured to be recognised in this category alongside so many inspirational women from across the region. Absolutely delighted that my hard work and passion for making a difference is being recognised, however, I cannot achieve these goals alone and I’m really thankful for my amazing Skills team, supportive colleagues, partners and stakeholders including the brilliant Building Plymouth partnership who believe and positively support the bold missions and my innovative ideas to drive change and deliver impact. Thank you so much to WWA for sponsoring this award and crowning me as Inspirational Leader 2022.”