Winners in the 20th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business Announced

Posted by Nina Moore on Mon, Nov 13, 2023 @ 11:42 AM

The Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run have announced the 2023 winners today. 

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business is an international competition produced by the creators of the prestigious International Business Awards® and American Business Awards®. The Stevie is widely regarded as the world’s premier business award

SAWIB TemplatesFinalists in the 2023 competition were announced in September. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements among the Finalists were revealed at tonight’s gala event at New York’s Marriot Marquis Hotel. More than 400 nominated working women and their guests attended the presentations, which were broadcast live via Livestream.

The 2023 competition attracted more than 1,600 nominations submitted by organizations and individuals in 26 nations. Winners were honored for achievements in more than 100 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, Startup of the Year, and Women-Run Workplace of the Year. More than 200 business professionals working in seven specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners.

Grand Stevie Award trophies were presented to five organizations that submitted the best body of entries to the competition, in their own names or in the names of one or more clients. These awards cannot be applied for directly. Grand winners were determined by the total number of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Awards won in the competition, with a Gold Stevie win counting for 3 points, a Silver Stevie for 2 points, and a Bronze Stevie counting for 1.5.

The 2023 Grand Stevie Award winners, listed in descending order by points, are as follows:

  • IBM, worldwide, with 37 points, for 4 Gold, 5 Silver, and 10 Bronze Stevie Award wins
  • Green Door Co, Sydney, New South Wales, with 23 points for 3 Gold, 3 Silver, and 4 Bronze Stevie Award wins on behalf of themselves and several of their clients
  • Purpol Marketing Ltd, Chippenham, United Kingdom, with 18.5 points for 2 Gold, 4 Silver, and 3 Bronze Stevie Award wins on behalf of themselves and clients
  • Everise, Florida, United States, with 17 points for 3 Gold and 4 Silver Stevie Awards 
  • Women's Biz Global, Queensland, Australia with 11.5 points for 1 Gold, 2 Silver, and 3 Bronze Stevie Awards 

The 2023 Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners reflect a diverse group of large and small organizations from around the world.

Notable Gold Stevie Award winners in this year’s competition include: 

    • A.S Watson Group, Hong Kong, China, for Company of the Year - Consumer Products - More Than 10 Employees
    • Amazon Web Services, Arlington, VA, U.S.A., for Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Digital Media Relations
    • Cindy J. Miller, President and CEO, Stericycle, Inc., Bannockburn IL, U.S.A., for Female Executive of the Year - Business Services - More Than 2,500 Employees
    • Coca-Cola Company, Istanbul, Turkey, for Achievement in Women-related Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Dara Busch, Co-CEO, 5W Public Relations, New York, NY U.S.A., for Woman of the Year - Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
    • Havas Health & You, New York, NY U.S.A., for Marketing Campaign of the Year -  Healthcare - Disease Education & Awareness
    • Heather Hoytink, President South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America South Division, Orlando, FL, U.S.A., for Female Executive of the Year - Consumer Products - More Than 2,500 Employees
    • Hilton Supply Management, McClean, VA, U.S.A., for Best New Product or Service of the Year - Business Services
    • Kelley Higney, Founder & CEO, Bug Bite Thing, Port St. Lucie, FL, U.S.A, for Female Thought Leader of the Year - Consumer Products
    • LTK, Dallas, TX, U.S.A., for Most Innovative Company of the Year - More Than 10 Employees
    • Nancy McKinstry, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, Wolters Kluwer, Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, for Best Female Entrepreneur- Business Services - More Than 2,500 Employees
    • Preethika S. Kalyanasundaram, Product Executive, Salesforce, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A., for Most Innovative Woman of the Year - Computer Software Industry
    • Rashmi Verma, VP of Employee Experience, Hugo Boss, Metzingen, Germany, for Maverick of the Year - Consumer Products - Durables
    • Thamina Stoll, Leader & Senior Client Solutions Manager, LinkedIn, New York, NY, U.S.A., for Female Employee of the Year - Business - Computer Services
    • Tina Mahal, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Frito-Lay North America, Plano, TX, U.S.A., for Female Executive of the Year - Consumer Products - More Than 2,500 Employees

Organizations that won more than two or more Gold Stevie Awards, besides the Grand winners mentioned above, include Alena Bennett, C. Light Technologies, EngageSmart, Everything Podcasts, Halkbank, LickYourPhone Media, Paxon Energy & Infrastructure, and TELUS.

Visit for a complete list of Stevie winners by category.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business event will be complemented by the seventh annual Women|Future Conference, a one-day virtual networking and learning event on July 23 for women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and industry leaders. Details and registration will be available soon at  

Entries for the 2024 (21st annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business will open in May. Sign up now to get the entry kit once it becomes available.

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

Finalists in 20th Stevie® Awards for Women in Business Announced

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Sep 21, 2023 @ 09:00 AM

World's Top Honors for Women Professionals to Be Presented in New York City on November 10

Finalists were announced today in the 20th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run.

Visit for a complete list of Finalists by category.

SAWIB23 Winners Announced - Rectangle

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®, among other business awards programs. The Stevies are widely considered to be the world's premier honors for achievement in the workplace.

This year's Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists will be revealed during an awards banquet at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on Friday, November 10. More than 400 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast via Livestream.

More than 1,600 nominations were submitted this year by organizations and individuals for consideration in more than 100 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Women-Run Workplace of the Year.

Nominations were submitted by organizations in 26 nations including Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States.

Among the many extraordinary organizations and women who have been recognized as Finalists, the following stand out as those with three or more Finalist nominations:

IBM, various cities (18), Green Door Co, Sydney, Australia (11), Purpol Marketing Ltd, Chippenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom (9), Everise, Plantation, FL USA (7), Personalised Support Systems, Australia (7), Annie Gibbins of Women's Biz Global, Australia (6), Ocean Rescue Alliance International, Apollo Beach, FL USA (5), Tavuun Welfare Association, Lahore, Pakistan (5), The Mach 1 Group, Austin, TX USA (5), Sarah Rusbatch, Grey Area Drinking Specialist, Australia (5), Lisa Watts of The Conversation Media Group, Australia (3), Be a Legend, Inc., Gilbert, AZ USA (4), BODEN Agency, Miami, FL USA (4), BookSmarts Accounting & Bookkeeping, Brooklyn, NY USA (4), DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, Bonn, Germany (4), How Many Elephants, Alresford, Hampshire, UK (4), Microsoft, Redmond, WA USA (4), Sleepm Global, Inc., Markham, ON Canada (4), Symplr, Boston, MA USA (4), The Alpha Enterprise, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines (4), Women Talk Tech, Ontario, Canada (4), Anjani Amriit, Sydney, Australia (3), Bug Bite Thing, Port St. Lucie, FL USA (3), C-Strategies Inc., Chicago IL USA (3), EngageSmart, Boston, MA USA (3), Everything Podcasts, Vancouver, Canada (3), Fix My Books Inc., Toronto, Canada (3), Katrina Wurm of Stress Free Super Mum, Australia (3), Lantern Partners, Sydney, Australia (3), Northern Real Estate Urban Ventures, Washington DC, USA (3), Pearl Interactive Network, Inc., Columbus, OH USA (3), Salesforce, San Francisco, CA USA (3), TELUS, Victoria, BC Canada (3), The Flora May Foundation, San Clemente, CA USA (3), SAP, various cities (3), and The Stardust Food Company, Bethesda, MD (3).

Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 200 professionals around the world, organized in six juries. Their scores will also determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie placements from among the Finalists, to be announced on November 10.

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

Final Entry Deadline Extended in 20th Stevie® Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Aug 24, 2023 @ 08:45 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of the world’s premier business awards programs, has extended the final entry deadline in the 2023 (20th annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Entrants now have until September 6 to submit nominations. The original final entry deadline was August 23.

Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at

SAWIB23-Extended-Entry-Deadline-1200x627 (1)

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor the achievements of working women in more than 100 categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Mentor or Coach of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Achievement in Equal Pay, Women Helping Women, Employee of the Year, Woman-Owned or -Run Company of the Year, and Innovator of the Year. All female entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run, worldwide, are eligible to be nominated.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are widely considered to be the world's premier business awards competition for women. In 2022 the competition attracted more than 1,500 nominations from organizations in more than 27 nations.

The 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business will be judged by more than 200 leading professionals around the world, and nominees will have access to all the judges’ comments and suggestions about their nominations. Finalists will be announced on September 20, and winners will be announced on November 10 at an awards ceremony in New York, New York.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business recognize achievement in the workplace in award categories including:

Achievement Categories
Communications & Marketing (Developed for/by Women) Categories
Company/Organization (Women-Owned or -Led) Categories
Individual Women Categories
Media (Developed for/by Women) Categories
New Product & Service (Developed for/by Women) - Categories
Social Media Categories
Thought Leadership Categories

There are two new Achievement categories for 2023: Achievement in Environment, Social, and Governance and Achievement in Technology Innovation.

Interested in submitting nominations in the 2023 competition?

Request the Entry Kit



Topics: stevie awards for women in business

​Highlights From the 2023 Women|Future Conference

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Fri, Aug 04, 2023 @ 02:23 PM

2023 WFC Media Kit (1080 × 1920 px)-3-1The sixth annual Women|Future Conference, held virtually from August 1-2, brought together over 650 ambitious, forward-thinking women across industries and career stages to connect and discuss key issues that impact their industries, careers, and lives.

A professional development, learning, and networking event, the Women|Future Conference brings together a community of women small business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals interested in starting a business. Attendees tuned in from cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

The 2023 conference agenda featured two days of panels, workshops, and breakout sessions hosted by over 30 world-class speakers, including CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and small business consultants from The Audacious Agency, MENTOR New York, Jennings Social Media & MarTech, and others. 

Speakers also included seasoned leaders from global organizations like Microsoft's Corporate Vice President - Global Industry Marketing; SAP's Chief Marketing & Solutions Officer; and the Founder and CEO of Fempire, the #1 global coaching brand for women business owners.

Top Attended Sessions From #WomenFuture23
Throughout the two-day conference, attendees participated in sessions about business networking, work-life balance, wealth attraction, overcoming adversity, mentorship, and more. Below are the top conference sessions attended:

  • Turning Passion Into Profit as an Entrepreneur
  • From Wages to Wealth: Making the Shift from Employee to Entrepreneur
  • Taking the Leap: How to Transfer Your Skills from One Role to the Next
  • Should I Enter the Stevie Awards? Learn How Leaders Leverage Awards to Boost their Business and build Credibility

On Day 1 of #WomenFuture 23 in the session “Funding Female Futures: Navigating the Investment Landscape and Bootstrapping Success” two female entrepreneur and funding experts, Marnie LeFevre, Founder & CEO of Fempire, and Mez Gallifuoco, Founder & CEO of The Mad Ones, delved into the realities of the investment landscape for women and shared valuable insights on identifying the right investors and business opportunities. 
With her international coaching brand Fempire, Marnie has made it her mission to inspire women to step up and lead with courage, confidence, and from the feminine. Mez is an award-winning technology entrepreneur and strategist for some of the world’s most innovative companies including QBE, AMEX, Virgin Australia, and several startups in Sydney and New York.

Early in the discussion, Mez relayed that men in business are often asked, “What will you do with success?” while women are more likely to be asked, “How will you overcome all these challenges?” Women are sometimes viewed as already disadvantaged in the business space, in some sectors more than others. Even if you have a brilliant idea and are fully committed to making it work, it can be quite intimidating when it comes to getting your vision off the ground, she said,  especially when it comes to learning about and gaining funding, and then growing it.

Before trying to go directly to investors and trying to push a business plan at them, both Mez and Marnie recommend aiming for casual and helpful conversations with investors first. Instead of calling to abruptly ask someone to review your data and plan, just ask them for coffee. Have a conversation about what you’re trying to achieve, what insights they may have, and try to create a connection. 

“Start asking questions—gain advice. Use them as a mentor, and even if they're not prepared to invest in your business, at least you can gain a whole lot of insight. It's about building a relationship before sticking out your hand,” noted Mez.

She emphasized that who the founders are and who your team members are (and how adept or skilled they are) is even more important than your business plan or statistics. When it comes to finally making the pitch for funding, Mez related her own challenges of walking into very intense and critical business meetings. “They barely look at the idea, to be honest. They only really look at, what is the team? do they know what they’re doing….and we’re interested in the founder.” 

Both Mez and Marne agreed that having a well-connected founder—or, even better, multiple founders—who have similar business values can go a long way in securing the relationship and funding. Marne commented: “We're looking for whether we can get along with you, whether we believe in you, whether we think you've got what it takes, whether you have the grit that it takes.”

Day 2 of the conference opened with an instructional session on “How to Write a Winning Stevie Award Nomination given by Denise O’Leary, MBE. Denise is a 21-time Stevie Award winner and relayed her extensive experience on how she has repeatedly created winning Stevie Award entries. Her company, Purpol Marketing, specializes in marketing strategy development and bid management for public sector contracts across various industries. 

Denise answered many common questions she gets from clients across industries on finding and applying for awards, including:

  • Why should you enter awards?
  • Where do you find awards to enter?
  • How to find the right awards for your business
  • What data do you need to consider? 

Denise explained that, based on your specific industry or field, you should build an award target list and track when your targeted awards are open for nominations and what they will require. For example, even the Stevie Awards has eight distinct programs, and, depending on your field, one or a variety of them will get you a different level of exposure to a specific audience, geographic region, or market. Note the deadlines you need to hit and the networking or marketing opportunities they offer. 
She detailed the full Stevie application journey and even provided hints on what judges really want to see. “Play to your individual strengths in your nomination,” she emphasized. “How do you offer better value? How can you explain what you’re doing and make your strengths clear? Prove what you do with tangible evidence.” She covered how to examine your own organization and objectives and then how to tell your personal and business story as well as what types of data should be included with your entry. 

Regarding gathering evidence before writing your Stevie Awards nomination, Denise said, “It’s really important to gather evidence about your business success before writing your nomination. 

  • Read all instructions to make sure you’re eligible.” She also advised doing the following: 
  • If you’re doing a video, review their specific rules on formatting, length, language, etc.
  • Include key performance indicators (KPIs) or other materials in the supporting materials section of the entry submission, like customer testimonials, photos, case studies, etc.
  • Include a folder of press coverage to share, if available. 

“Think about what the judges would like to see. Think about their process,” she noted. “If you need to proofread your nomination more than once a day to make sure it’s perfect, you should. Explain in simple terms what your business does so it’s clear to any judge why you should win a Stevie Award.”

She said you will want to keep track of progress, store, and revisit old nominations you’ve written. In addition, after entering Stevie Awards competitions, all entrants can access the judge’s comments. This feedback can serve as an invaluable asset for guidance on areas the judges were impressed with and how entry nominations can be improved in the future.

In an educational panel discussion, "Make Your Mark: How to Build a Network with Trusted Mentors" that took place on Day 2, speakers explored how to build social capital and a network you can count on.10

Brenda Jimenez, CEO of MENTOR New York, led this panel, and other speakers included Alana Beard, four-time WNBA Champion and President of the 318 Foundation and Founder of Transition Play; Dr. Elizabeth Santiago, author, educator, designer, and leader; and Cicy George, Senior, Organizational Capability at Macy’s. These panelists have made their marks in different industries with an interesting story of how they’ve each become supporters of each other in ways that led to career successes.

Panelists initiated the conversation by examining the concept of social capital—the connections built and nurtured over time that may have beneficial professional implications—and how women specifically can work toward building this capital. For women especially, they agreed, it can be hard simply to ask for help and be vulnerable with a mentor. 

Alana commented: "I encourage [those she mentors] to be to be as vulnerable as possible in these moments because there's no way for people to really understand who you are and what you're going through and what your desires are if you don't speak about them.”

Elizabeth added another perspective, noting that getting comfortable relaying your needs and challenges not only helps you find the help and support you need but also enables you to validate and encourage others with your own experiences once you come out on the other side:

“For me, this is where storytelling comes in. As I look back at my life and my career and all the things that have happened and led me to where I am….there are so many people involved, so many stories, so many ways that I've asked for help over the years that I often share those experiences or share an anecdote about something and usually that helps someone else.”

They explained that self-reflection and conscious awareness of your strengths and, even more so, your weaknesses will help to solidify a sense of confidence and self-worth. The sooner you do the inner work and get past the common feeling of imposter syndrome, the faster you and others will see your potential. In a perfect example of how to be authentic and vulnerable with your peers, Cicy shared part of her personal journey with self-worth and acceptance:

“I've only recently gotten more comfortable with feeling like I am enough, and I feel like I have a hidden greatness that I have yet to unleash. That's just a realization I feel I've come into just now in my early 40s. It's taken me a long time to get here — even just to admit in a global forum that I'm in my early 40s—and I'm just learning some of these lessons now that I wish I had learned earlier on in my life and my career.” 

Special Thanks to Our 2023 Sponsors and Partners​
We are proud to partner with publications, media outlets, and organizations that share our mission of supporting women in business:

  • Enterprising Women Magazine
  • ImageShield
  • Investably LLC
  • MBE Magazine
  • Professional Woman’s Magazine
  • Trust Relations 

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 Women|Future Conference, sign up here to get notified of the 2023 prospectus release.

Last Chance WFC23-1


Topics: stevie awards for women in business, Women Future Conference, WomenFuture Conference

Nikki Walker: Championing Diversity and Inclusion in the Software Industry

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Thu, Aug 03, 2023 @ 03:42 PM

Stevie-winner Domo, Inc. is a cloud-based platform designed to provide direct, simplified, real-time access to business data for decision-makers across the company with minimal IT involvement.

Domo’s business management platform turns data into insights and gives customers the context they need for faster, better-informed decisions. Traditional reporting methods often result in backlog, but Domo automates those processes by connecting to data in real time.

22 spotlight Square-9-4Domo’s low-code data app platform goes beyond traditional business intelligence and analytics to enable anyone to create data apps to power any action in their business, right where work gets done. With Domo’s fully integrated, cloud-native platform, critical business processes can now be optimized in days instead of months or more.

Female Employee of the Year in Business, Nikki Walker
Nikki Walker is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) at Domo, where she works with a team of professionals to elevate and amplify Domo’s mission and values in the workplace and in the community. She does so by creating and driving programs and initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, workplace equity and belonging, and community engagement.

Nikki leads Domo’s newly formed DEI leadership council, which represents multiple voices from around the organization to bring a more contextual application of DEI best practices and outcomes across the entire business. In addition to helping advance a culture of belonging, Nikki also focuses on creating employment pipelines and supporting student leadership programs that help build and nurture a more diverse pool of qualified talent for the tech industry.

Prior to her current role, Nikki was Director of Community Engagement wherein she created and managed programs for Domo that aligned with community partners. In addition, she runs the Domo for Good initiative, a social good program designed to leverage the Domo platform in collaboration with nonprofits, bringing the power of data to help solve society’s most pressing issues.

She has also partnered with the Multicultural Subcommittee of the COVID-19 Community Task Force's digital equity team to address the racial injustices facing the Black community.

Nikki currently serves on the board of directors for Encircle, The Road Home, and The Children’s Center, as well as the Utah Tech Leads PAC, the Foundation Board, and the President’s Cabinet of Salt Lake Community College. Nikki is also a member of The KUED Advisory Board and is an active member of the NAACP, the Utah Black Chamber, and the Junior League of Salt Lake City.

As a professional communicator and a strong advocate of leaving a place better than it was, Nikki has set out to educate the public on becoming more accepting of Black lives. Serving the community is Nikki’s passion, and she's dedicated to spreading the importance of diversity and inclusion at every level of community, business, and government through both her personal and professional endeavors.

Domo’s commitment to multiplying impact extends to its local community through donations of time, funding, and expertise to help build and foster the next generation of tech talent and leadership.

Domo’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Nikki Walker won a Bronze Stevie® Award for Female Employee of the Year - Business in the 2022 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Interested in entering the 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

Request the Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

STEM Punks Provides Award-winning STEM Education Globally

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Thu, Aug 03, 2023 @ 10:56 AM

Stevie-winner STEM Punks’ mission is to “Inspire Tomorrow's Innovators” to create 21st-century learners through a mindset of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. All programs are curriculum aligned and linked with industry to give children career prospects and pathways. 

After researching trends in overseas education, a gap in the market for quality STEM education for children in Australia led Fiona Holmstrom and Michael Holmstrom to co-found STEM Punks (out of their suburban garage) almost five years ago.STEM Punks headshot

At the time, STEM wasn’t part of the national curriculum. They saw the need for quality STEM education for children, providing them with learning outcomes aligned to the national curriculum, not just for entertainment value.

Their mission is to bring STEM education to less fortunate communities, focusing on remote areas and predominantly primary and high schools. Random parties historically service it, providing sporadic STEM education programs through external providers, with an inadequate focus on long-term upskilling teachers and remote support. 

STEM Punks provides leading, award-winning educational programs that support teachers and students to learn about STEM and be skilled for the jobs of the future. 

Scaling STEM Punks Nationally
What started as market testing with the local community had such a rapid uptake from parents and teachers that the business scaled up nationally. Since then, they have inspired and educated over 150,000 young people.

Last year, in a move to bring STEM education to a wider audience, STEM Punks TV was created. It's a world-first streaming platform dedicated to STEM education. The OTT (over-the-top) platform is available on iOS, Android, and Web, and provides leading STEM education to enable equity and equality in STEM education for children across the globe.

They have also formed a new global collaboration between the not-for-profit LING Project (Literacy In Northern Ghana) in Ghana to build literacy for females in the region and help schools and communities access tools, training, and support.

Tackling Stereotypes Around STEM
A particular passion of Fiona’s, getting girls into STEM in and after school in their careers builds a sustainable global female STEM network for integration of students, female leaders, and industry mentors, inspiring a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Studies show that by educating girls in lower socioeconomic demographics, their families and communities also prosper, with a flow-on effect boosting the economies of smaller towns around the world. When these girls finish school and start their own companies, they help grow the nation’s economy as part of the business ecosystem. If we don’t invest in girls, the ripple effect is alarming, impacting well-being and the economy.
stemp punks team
Fiona tackles the stereotypes around STEM, creating visibility around a wide range of careers. She interviews women in STEM all over the world, not just focusing on conventional jobs, but the whole gamut of STEM careers. She challenges the mainstream mindset around learning for the benefit of students. There's a core belief in society that learning must demand self-discipline from learners.

Since Winning Their Stevie® Awards 
Over the past 18 months, STEM Punks have innovated by introducing a world-first streaming platform for STEM Education, STEM Punks TV.

They have also launched space education programs across the world, resulting in a Guinness World Record for the largest STEM lesson in Dubai in 2022. They are expanding their ed-tech program with the recent opening of an office in Austin, Texas.

STEM Punks won a Gold Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year - 10 or Less Employees and Co-founder Fiona Holmstrom won a Bronze Stevie Award in Women Helping Women - Social Change in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

Request the Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

From Principal Dancer to Arts Educator: Sara Ordway's Dedication to Arts Education

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Thu, Jul 27, 2023 @ 12:21 PM

sara ordwayAs a principal dancer, Stevie-winner Sara Ordway captivated audiences across the nation, but her true passion has always been art education. In 2018, she founded the Ordway Conservatory of Classical Ballet, and it immediately became a place where students could feel seen, heard, and respected. 

Sara understands how to get children out of their shells and help them recognize the amazing things they are capable of as dancers and as people. Her students have been recognized in the dance world at international competitions and in the local community. 

One of Sara's greatest skills is creating entertaining performances. The greatest example is her show, “An Interactive Nutcracker”—a Nutcracker performance unlike any other where audience children get a chance to go on stage, see the production up close, and feel what it's like to be onstage. 

Sara's life was changed by dance, and she is passionate about giving that to as many children and adults as possible. She teaches her students and staff that the way you treat others matters—that is the magic, not perfect technique.

Ballet During a Global Pandemic
During the beginning of the pandemic, when Ordway Conservatory had to close its doors, students continued to thrive through Sara's leadership. Not a day of classes was missed in the transition to virtual learning.

ordway logo
Sara provided virtual events for the community like Teach Your Family to Dance Night, trivia night, craft night, a fashion show, virtual prom, and more. The overwhelming feedback at that time was that dance was what the kids looked forward to more than anything else—that it made them happy and gave them a sense of normalcy. 

When doors could reopen, Sara worked with a local park to move all performances to an amphitheater. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, Sara worked to help students excel in and out of the studio. She started creating affirmations for her students and having them journal at the start and end of each class. This taught them about goal setting and gave them an opportunity to check in with themselves after being in quarantine for so long.

During the 2021-2022 school year, Sara's business skills began to shine. She created new programs including a mommy-and-me class and an adult ballet program. She also created new revenue streams through events such as a studio-wide movie night and parent's night off. 

At a time when performances around the world were being canceled, even by top-tier companies with endless resources, Ordway Conservatory continued to perform. Many dance studios did not survive the pandemic, but Ordway Conservatory thrived and continued to grow while entertaining the local community.

Expanding Programs for the Community
Sara is currently creating a preschool program with the hope that she can touch more lives with the many benefits of dance such as increased confidence, health and leadership skills, and improved brain function.

Most dance studios are satisfied with only providing a great dance education. Sara wants more for her students and her business. She continues to add classes that fill up, create events that increase revenue, and start new programs that will reach more of the community and change their lives for the better through dance. All while increasing revenue to be able to support the growth her business is seeing.

Sara continues to educate herself by attending classes and workshops on business, childhood development, and dance. She consistently goes above and beyond to enhance the customer journey in her business and to improve the workplace for her employees.

Artistic Director and Founder of Ordway Conservatory of Classical Ballet, Sara Ordway won a Bronze Stevie®Award for Best Female Entrepreneur in the 2022 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Interested in entering the 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

Request the Entry Kit


Topics: stevie awards for women in business

From Survivor to Success: Woman-Owned Endurance Financial's Mission to Educate and Mentor Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Thu, Jul 27, 2023 @ 11:27 AM

Amanda - endurance financial; An esteemed financial planner and the Founder and CEO of Australia-based Endurance Financial, Stevie-winner Amanda Thompson excels at delivering strategic and tailored advice to businesses and individuals, drawing upon almost two decades of experience. 

She isn’t afraid to share that she is also a survivor of sexual assault, a heart attack, and melanoma. She says that “while I do not let these experiences define me, they have taught me invaluable life lessons that I apply to the way I run my own business as well as my mentorship of other women in business. The challenges I have faced have gifted me grit, determination, and passion.” She attributes these gifted lessons as enabling her to qualify three times for the Ironman World Championships.

As a keynote speaker at events around the country, she is committed to sharing her experiences with others. She is particularly driven to help women overcome the gender biases that stand in the way of personal achievement. Through the lessons she learned thriving in typically male-dominated environments, her goal is to mentor others to find the power of resilience, determination, and dedication.

Leveraging Lessons Learned to Educate Others
In Australia, more than one in three business owners are women. Despite this, the odds are stacked against them. Institutional and market failures create more financial barriers for women in business and limit access to resources, skills, credit, and/ or capital to enable their businesses to grow. According to the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, less than half of women business owners actually pay themselves a wage. 

She recognized that she couldn’t help the hundreds of thousands of her fellow Australian women business owners struggling to achieve financial freedom on a one-on-one basis; in part, because so many of them simply don’t have the means to access one-on-one consulting. Thus, she set out to innovate and develop a scalable, comprehensive, accessible, and low-cost product. 

Launched in February 2022, Financially Fit Women provides education, mentoring, and coaching for women business owners who:

  • know they need to understand the numbers but don’t know where to start;
  • are working really hard but don’t seem to be making a profit;
  • wish they had a full-time finance department; and
  • are feeling alone and potentially vulnerable – and would love to connect with a network of similar-minded women who are all looking to grow.

The 12-week online course includes six self-paced digital modules, six group sessions connecting participants with their peers, and three one-on-one mentoring sessions with Amanda. The course was born from extensive research and consultation, including market research, situation analysis, and consultation with clients and prospects to assess knowledge gaps.

The course content was developed from Amanda’s expertise in business and finance in addition to collaborating with experts in other fields such as legal, marketing, and mortgage brokering to provide a holistic financial education offering.

Financially Fit Women is the first-ever financial education course developed specifically for women business owners in the Australian market.

To make the course accessible to those who can benefit most, they offer a fully sponsored position in each course to a woman who is not able to pay. This position is filled based on nominations from the business community. An ongoing membership community is available to participants who would like continued coaching and support, and all membership revenue is donated to organizations working to support victims of domestic violence.

Above all, the Financially Fit Women program is grounded in a desire to create long-lasting social impact by contributing to: 

  • Women business owners paying themselves a proper wage, leading to financial freedom and independence 
  • Women-led businesses being afforded opportunities to secure capital and resources, enabling them to grow
  • Women-led businesses experiencing more growth, creating more jobs and having a positive economic impact 
  • Improved workforce participation with less women dropping out of self-employment 

It is Amanda’s aim that Financially Fit Women will turn women business owners and entrepreneurs into astute CFOs with focus, direction, and a tailored game plan. 

Recently, to complement the course, Amanda’s team developed and launched a Financial Bootcamp aimed at all females to be able to access a base of information with ease and affordability, slowly but very surely closing the gaps within all aspects of finance for women.

Amanda also launched a new book titled Financially Fit Women, which helps women understand what truly matters when looking at their numbers, giving them the confidence, knowledge, and power to be financially fit.

Endurance Financial Founder & CEO Amanda Thompson won a Gold Stevie Award for Women Helping Women - Business in the 2022 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

Request the Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

Pakistan's Youngest Woman Tech CEO Dominating the Industry Wins Silver Stevie® Award

Posted by Amanda Del Signore on Mon, Jul 17, 2023 @ 03:25 PM

FiveRiversT_MZMahe Zehra Husain, aka “MZ,” is a trained mathematician, data scientist, serial entrepreneur, and artist. At the age of 31, MZ became Pakistan’s youngest woman tech CEO, leading an award-winning software house, FiveRivers Technologies (FRT) in Pakistan, dominating a heavily male-dominated space and rewriting history.

Since then she has led the company to catapult to the eight-figure mark with 400% growth in a short span of five years. From a small services firm, with a handful of employees, they now stand at 170 employees, encouraging diversity and inclusion and promoting women technologists. Very few tech firms have woman-friendly policies in Pakistan, but MZ made sure FRT didn’t follow suit. She has mentored over 124 women technologists and grew her female workforce by 50%.

FRT has become one of the top software firms in Pakistan, winning several national and international awards. They provide data science analytics, develop e-learning software, and have now ventured into virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

Her work gained international recognition when two of their mobile applications for Blackberry ranked number one globally. Their principled work ethics and unmatched creative work caught the interest of big names like Samsung, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, First Detect, Dell, and Wateen, who became clients.

FRT’s Recent Projects
MZ launched an innovative new software product SmartWindows (patent pending), which is a desktop software utility to make Windows 10 smarter by increasing the productivity of remote workers. It has over 6,000 downloads and 145,000+ impressions on Google.

MZ’s latest startup, which has piqued the interest of the national media and local entrepreneurs alike, is PakistanCreates (PKC; launched in January 2022. PKC is a venture that serves to drive positive, sustainable change through technological inclusion and women empowerment. Through this startup, MZ wants to support small women-owned businesses and give back to society. She commented:

“Pakistan has an amazing and inspiring talent, and I have always wanted to highlight our local products globally. There are thousands of young creative entrepreneurs and micro-business owners, especially women, who need a platform to represent their creativity. PakistanCreates is a small way for us to contribute to this massive local industry with huge potential. Anyone can open their free e-shop on PakistanCreates. We want ideas to become potential successful businesses. To encourage maximum participation, we have kept the registration quite simple with no fees, no subscriptions, no commission, and no hidden charges.” 

Since Winning a Stevie Award
MZ is working on developing a hands-on learning book and workbook combo to teach young women entrepreneurship skills, how to manage finances, budgeting, ways to promote and market their products, how to develop their own brand, etc. It includes all of the important aspects related to business to get a better standing in the supply chain based on MZ’s personal experience and successes.

This will be the first-of-its-kind guidebook in Pakistan. MZ also plans to translate this book into the national language Urdu and the regional language Punjabi to maximize the benefit and reach.

MZ is on the Board of Alif Laila Book Bus Society (ALBBS), a nonprofit working toward literacy for young girls. She mentors these girls and has given them access to maker-space technical training, which helps them consider a career path in electronics, computers, arts, crafts, and photography.

Recently (July 2022), FRT in collaboration with ALBBS conducted relief work in Sindh and Balochistan, Pakistan, where thousands of families lost their homes and livestock to catastrophic floods. They provided dry food items to over 400 families in 16 communities. 

FiveRivers Technologies CEO Mahe Zehra Husain won a Silver Stevie Award for Best Female Entrepreneur in Business Services among organizations with 11 to 2,500 Employees in the 2022 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Interested in entering the 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business? 

Request the Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business

The Stevie® Awards Issues Call for Entries in 20th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jun 20, 2023 @ 09:00 AM

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of the world’s premier business awards programs, has issued the call for entries for its 2023 (20th annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business®. Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at


The awards are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor the achievements of working women in more than 100 categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Mentor or Coach of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Achievement in Equal Pay, Women Helping Women, Employee of the Year, Woman-Owned or -Run Company of the Year, and Innovator of the Year. All female entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run, worldwide, are eligible to be nominated.

The early-bird entry deadline is June 27, the final entry deadline is July 26, and late entries will be accepted through August 23 with payment of a late fee. Winners will be announced on September 21, and the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 10 in New York City.

There are two new Achievement categories for 2023: Achievement in Environment, Social, and Governance and Achievement in Technology Innovation.

The 2022 Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners reflect a diverse group of large and small organizations around the globe. Winners in the 2022 program include, among others:

  • Jill Osur, President & CEO, Teneral Cellars, Somerset, CA USA
    Aleka Sansom, Executive Creative Director, Vanguard's Internal Advertising Agency, Vanguard, Malvern, PA USA
  • Beena Ammanath, Global Deloitte AI Institute & AI Ethics/Tech Ethics Leader, Deloitte, Pleasanton, CA USA
  • Fatima Sultan Al-Kuwari, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Ooredoo, Qatar
  • Gehad Hamdy, Founder, Speak Up, Giza, Egypt
  • Lauren Oakes, CEO, Megaphone, Melbourne, Australia
  • Sara Ganz, Senior Director of Marketing, Capital Rx, New York, NY USA
  • Tracy Nolan, Senior Vice President, Branded Retail, T-Mobile, Bellevue, WA USA
  • Victoria Usher, CEO & Founder, GingerMay, Kent, UK
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev, New York, NY USA
  • Forbes, Jersey City, NJ USA
  • GingerMay, Kent, UK
  • Halkbank, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Hatch Inc., Palo Alto, CA USA
  • IBM Manufacturing Solutions Pte Ltd, Singapore
  •, Bucharest, Romania
  • The Roundtable, Toronto, Canada
  • United Way of the National Capital Area, Washington, DC USA

The 2023 Stevie Awards for Women in Business will be judged by more than 200 leading professionals around the world, and nominees will have access to all the judges’ comments and suggestions about their nominations.

Get Your Entry Kit

Topics: stevie awards for women in business