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Shortlist announced for prestigious businesswomen awards

The Veuve Clicquot awards have been running since 1972.

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Vanleles founder and jewellery designer Vania Leles, founder and CEO of Starling Bank Anne Boden and Group MD of Selfridges Anne Pitcher, who are this year’s Bold Woman Award nominees at the Veuve Clicquot Awards (Veuve Clicquot Awards/PA)

Vanleles founder and jewellery designer Vania Leles, founder and CEO of Starling Bank Anne Boden and Group MD of Selfridges Anne Pitcher, who are this year’s Bold Woman Award nominees at the Veuve Clicquot Awards (Veuve Clicquot Awards/PA)

Vanleles founder and jewellery designer Vania Leles, founder and CEO of Starling Bank Anne Boden and Group MD of Selfridges Anne Pitcher, who are this year’s Bold Woman Award nominees at the Veuve Clicquot Awards (Veuve Clicquot Awards/PA)

Finalists have been announced for a prestigious business awards ceremony which aims to celebrate female leadership.

Veuve Clicquot said its awards, which have been running since 1972, honour inspirational women with a track record of success.

Finalists in the Bold Woman category are Anne Boden, chief executive and founder of Starling Bank; Anne Pitcher, group managing director of Selfridges; and Vania Leles, founder of Vaneles Diamonds.

They are inspiring the next generation of female leaders to challenge convention and follow in their footstepsSian Westerman

Judges said they were impressed by Ms Boden’s achievement in becoming the first British woman to start a bank and her commitment to ethical banking practices.

Panellists noted Ms Pitcher’s innovation to grow the business in a tough retail market as well as her ongoing commitment to sustainability, while judges commended Ms Leles for her contribution to the diamond industry in such a short amount of time, pioneering the revolution of the ethical sourcing of gemstones.

Sian Westerman, a member of the judging panel, said: “This year’s nominees are some of the most determined and innovative women leading British business today.

“By boldly taking on challenges such as market turbulence and heavy industry competition, they are inspiring the next generation of female leaders to challenge convention and follow in their footsteps.”

The shortlist for the Bold Future Award, which celebrates innovative female entrepreneurship, are Michelle Kennedy, chief executive of Peanut; Celia Pool, co-founder of DAME; and Ella Goldner, co-founder of Zinc VC.

Veuve Clicquot awards 2020
Anne Pitcher, Michelle Kennedy, Ella Goldner, Vania Leles, Anne Boden and Celia Pool (Veuve Clicquot Awards/PA)

Pip Jamieson, a member of the judging panel, said: “Entrepreneurship is a challenging path to take; however, the availability of role models from all backgrounds like this year’s Bold Future Award nominees make a huge difference in inspiring women to take the leap.

“The shortlist demonstrates how the UK’s female entrepreneurs are not afraid to take on the big issues, and can achieve strong growth whilst keeping these values at the heart of their proposition.”

– The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in London in May.

PA