Sandra Sassow, CEO at SEaB Energy, is shortlisted in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Category.

With a new female prime minister, eight women cabinet ministers, and a new female chair of the Institute of Directors, British politics and businesses are trailblazing for women in leadership.

And Forward Ladies has announced the shortlist for the 2016 National Women in Business Awards, sponsored by HSBC, which this year has attracted the highest number of entries ever received.

In announcing the results for London and the South of England, Griselda Togobo, MD of Forward Ladies said: “This has been a fantastic year for women; we continue to start, grow and run high profile successful companies. We have been surprised and delighted by the number, calibre and diversity of the applications we have received, and look forward to celebrating their success.

“The award categories are a reflection not only of the types of businesses with which women are involved but also industries which need to attract and encourage young women to join for future growth and prosperity.”

Debra White Regional Director of Small Businesses for HSBC and judge said: “There was an impressive number of high-calibre entries this year, highlighting the quality of talented businesswomen we have in the UK. These entrants are the future entrepreneurs of our country, with the Forward Ladies event to showcase the best Britain has to offer. HSBC will be supporting them every step of the way to ensure their businesses prosper and thrive in the long term.”

Other judges included Ajaz Ahmed, the founder of Freeserve, Helen Samuels from United Utilities and Saha Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic.

Now in its seventh year, the Awards have grown from being purely regional into one of the most prestigious events in the calendar for professional women. The organisation, founded in 1999, supports women in their professional lives and celebrates and champions the role of women in the workplace.image007

The shortlisted applicants in each of the categories will be invited to attend the regional final at the Amba Hotel, Marble Arch in London on 16 September. The winners from this and the other regional finals, will then be invited to appear before a live judging interview panel in November, followed by the national final in Leeds on 1 December.

Find out more here.