The Belfast Telegraph today launches its first BT Woman of the Year awards in association with Spar.
We are asking you to nominate outstanding women you know in each of our nine categories.
We want to hear about women who have made a difference in your life - be they public figures, colleagues, friends or relatives you admire, or someone who has reached the pinnacle of success in their field or industry.
Our panel of judges, which is chaired by Belfast Telegraph features editor Gail Walker and includes deputy features editor Marie Foy, restaurateur Jeanne Rankin, hairdresser Paul Stafford and Beth Robinson, a partner in Templeton Robinson, will decide on the shortlist and who should win the overall title of BT Woman of the Year.
Your nominee could be a guest of honour at the BT Woman of the Year gala awards ceremony to be held in Belfast's Europa Hotel on Wednesday, November 28.
Compered by BBC Radio Ulster presenter Wendy Austin, the night promises to be a celebration of the most inspirational women in Northern Ireland.
Throughout the next few weeks we'll be detailing each category and the type of people who should be nominated.
Chair of the judges, Gail Walker, said: "We're looking forward to finding out just what kind of female really inspires our BT Woman readers.
"Women are achieving so much in so many areas in Northern Ireland.
"But this isn't just about well-known success stories, it's also about those unsung women in homes across the country who have shown great determination to cope with whatever life has thrown at them."
Bronagh Luke, marketing controller of the Henderson Group, which owns the franchise for Spar in Northern Ireland, said the business was proud to be title sponsor of the first Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year awards.
She said: "Spar stores are owned and operated by local people in the heart of communities across Northern Ireland.
"For that reason, it is apt that these very unique awards will recognise the strengths, talents and achievements of women who live in those communities.
"These awards will provide the platform to recognise those unsung heroes throughout local communities who deserve recognition for their achievements.
"Everyone knows a woman who really shines - whether in her professional or personal life.
"She may be someone who gives of their time for others or someone who has acted as a huge inspiration to those around her.
"Perhaps she has fantastic talent in her particular field or has made astonishing progress in her career.
"Her achievements may already be widely acknowledged or she may be an unsung hero whose efforts are much appreciated by those whose lives she touches.
"We would really encourage Belfast Telegraph readers to get involved and nominate for the first Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Awards in association with Spar - an event which will no doubt become an important event in the local social calendar."
You can enter the competition by telling us in under 200 words why your nominee should win in their category.
For each of the categories the nominee should have been in her line of work for a least a year and have demonstrated a particular achievement.
You should say how she has inspired others and how she has shown passion, drive and energy in her endeavours.
You can send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to BT Woman of the Year, Belfast Telegraph, 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast, BT1 1EB.
And, by nominating someone, you and a friend are in with a chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets for the gala ceremony, worth £100.
The closing date for entries is November 12.
If you want to attend the ceremony you can buy tickets, priced £50, from JPR on 028 9076 0066.
Nominees and those nominating must be over 18.
We want your nominations
Categories in which you can make nominations include:
- Business Woman of the Year, sponsored by LIFE Communications
- Woman of the Year in the Fashion Industry, sponsored by West Coast Cooler
- Woman of the Year in Health, sponsored by Specsavers
- Sportswoman of the Year, sponsored by Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre
- Woman of the Year in the Voluntary Sector, sponsored by Firmus energy
- Woman of the Year in Arts sponsored by Belleek Living
- Mum of the Year sponsored by Boots
- Inspirational Woman of the Year
- Woman of the Year in Education