Female talent in spotlight at business gala
THE achievements of women in business on the Sunshine Coast will be recognised at an awards night in Caloundra tonight.
The 17th Sunshine Coast Women's Network Awards will be announced in front of a capacity audience of 300 at The Event Centre at Caloundra.
Twenty-nine finalists have been selected from 60 nominations across five categories.
An overall winner, the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year, will also be chosen from the successful finalists.
Michalle Faulkner, chair of the judging panel, said the standard of entrants was exceptional.
"This is the 17th year of the awards and every year, year on year, we are still astounded at the calibre and variety of businesses on the Coast and what business women are achieving," Mrs Faulkner said.
She said the finalists represented organisations as diverse as a cat retreat, a supermarket chain, a real estate firm, and a clean tech business.
"It really is such a diverse range of work represented," she said.
Mrs Faulkner said the awards were more than a "popularity contest".
Winners were chosen after a two stage judging process involving written submissions and face-to-face interviews, she said.
"It's a very independent process that's undertaken. It's very fair and equitable."
A past winner herself, Mrs Faulkner, managing director of EastCoast Human Resource group, said the awards were an opportunity for business women to appreciate their achievements.
"It's a very reflective process that allows you to take time out of your business and focus on what you've actually achieved and how far you've come," she said.
"As a winner, you then get to enjoy the recognition and the pats on the back for what you've achieved for your business."
Mrs Faulkner said SCBWN award winners often went on to win other business awards and enter into other business collaborations.
Young Business Woman of the Year
Micro Small Business Woman of the Year
Professional Business Woman of the Year
Corporate Business Woman of the Year
Sustainable Business Woman of the Year
An overall winner will be named Outstanding Business Woman of the Year