The theme for WMB’s annual Conference & Awards 2021/22 is ‘Inspiring Voices’.

During a period of great challenge and uncertainty, it is amazing to see how women are leading the global response to COVID-19. Some months ago, the World Economic Forum posted a video which highlighted five women for their contribution to fighting the Pandemic – of course, there are many more inspirational voices!

Dr Özlem Türeci, Co-Founder of BioNTech – her company created a COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer; Professor Sarah Gilbert, Vaccinology expert at the University of Oxford – Sarah lead the team that designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine; Neema Kaseje, Founder of Kenya’s Surgical Systems Research Group – Here digital tools and training schemes are applied to flatten the COVID curve in Kenya’s Siaya region with great success; Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist – Soumya coordinated the global vaccine development where the need for fairness and equity is paramount; and Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh – Devi is a leading authority on COVID-19 and a consistent voice in media discussions.

These inspirational role models are beacons of hope.

Here at WMB, we believe that there are many heroes of the pandemic – frontline workers, carers, parents, teachers, retailers etc.

Through our WMB Awards we want to pay tribute to the businesswomen and female entrepreneurs who have also worked tirelessly during this unprecedented period, to ensure the safety of their colleagues, customers and clients. These businesswomen have had to be more than just employer and employee, leader and innovator – they wear many hats and give selflessly in order to guarantee the success of their businesses, the retention of jobs, the future of our economy and the safety of family and friends.