Two Hull businesswomen recognised for 'exceptional' contribution to regions economy

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Jun 2017

Two Hull businesswomen have been recognised for their “exceptional” contribution to the region’s economy.

Linda Clarke, marketing and digital director at MKM Business Supplies and Shirin Kemp, marketing director at Pace Communications, have been announced winners of Yorkshire’s Celebrating Women in Business Awards.

Ms Clarke was named Yorkshire Woman of the Year (Larger Business) for her long and distinguished career.

The judges described her as “an advocate of championing women in male dominated industries”, and paid particular tribute to her role in helping to grow MKM into what is now the UK’s largest independent builders’ merchant.

They said: “She has been instrumental in nurturing the growth of the business since 1995 to a business now turning over in excess of £280m, with 1100 employees across 47 sites.”

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Mrs Kemp was announced winner of the Rising Star award, in recognition of her achievements in her previous role at Kcom  - where she was promoted within 10 weeks of joining the company - and her “outstanding leadership skills” during the Hull telecomms firm’s rebrand.

Since joining Pace in 2016, Mrs Kemp has helped to accelerate the growth in the company’s client base and build the internal team.

She said: “I was thrilled to make it on to the shortlist so to win is a wonderful feeling. I’m lucky to be working in an industry I love and I’m even luckier to be working with a bunch of people that inspire me every day.”

Now in their third year, the awards are organised by Barclays and are aimed at senior business women and businesses operating across all sectors and sizes in the region.

Debbie Mullen, head of Barclays Corporate in Yorkshire, said: “Women from all sectors across Yorkshire are securing key roles in larger companies and we wanted to recognise exceptional achievements for the contribution they are making.

“The applications were all exceptionally good and the judges had a tough job drawing up the shortlist and selecting the finalists.”

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, was one of the speakers at the awards dinner.

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She said: “There are now a record number of women in Parliament after the General Election, but just like the world of politics, the business world has much to do when it comes to giving women a fair deal.

“Boardrooms are still dominated by men and the pay gap between men and women remains unacceptably wide.

“These awards are an excellent chance for business women from across Yorkshire to network, share ideas and knowledge. Celebrating their achievements is an important way we can mark the success of women in business today, and the future successes that I am sure will follow.”

The awards attracted 83 nominations, which were whittled down to 22 finalists by an independent judging panel that included Amanda Shea of Harrison Spinks – a winner from last year’s awards.

Also on the judging panel were Jonathan Turner, CEO at Bayford Group; Andrew Smith of Endless LLP, and Alison Page of DLA Piper.

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