Trudy Harrison MP has praised local organisations for putting Cumbria on the national stage.
It follows the announcement of finalists for the Northern Power Women awards.
Those shortlisted include the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Cumbria branch.
They will join other Cumbria finalists – Prima Uno Ltd, Balfour Beatty’s Amanda Mackay and Sally Fielding of ‘Sally’s Cottages’, at a ceremony in March where the winners will be announced.
The Northern Power Women Awards celebrate the women and men working towards creating gender balance in organisations across the entire Northern Powerhouse, which includes big players like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle.
MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison said: “I am absolutely delighted that Cumbria is being recognised on the national stage at the Northern Power Women Awards.
“I want to send my heartfelt congratulations to the finalists, who are shining examples of what our county has to offer.
“Having smaller businesses like Prima Uno Ltd and powerful networks like the WiN Cumbria community is helping to ensure our region is a vital contributor to the UK economy, and I look forward to continuing my work with them to improve gender balance in industry.”
The WiN Cumbria team was established in March, as part of the global organisation, WiN UK, which recognised the unique contribution that the county makes to the nuclear sector.
Since its launch, the network has become a powerful community of local organisations and individuals working together to achieve gender diversity within the Cumbrian workforce.
Chair of the WiN Cumbria, Claire Gallery-Strong, said: “The WiN Cumbria team is absolutely honoured to be among those positioning Cumbria as a key player within the Northern Power Women community.
“Less than a year since we launched, I am overwhelmed and extremely proud of what our small but formidable team of volunteers has managed to achieve.
“From building a powerful network of businesses, individuals and advocates, providing training and mentoring, leading campaigns across the county to enhance visibility of role models, helping host the iconic suffrage flag and supporting the community when in need – we feel we have become an integral part of Cumbrian industry.
“It is our mission to ensure we create an inclusive and fair environment that helps attract, retain and build a diverse workforce of the future, for Cumbria and the UK.”
Prima Uno Ltd in Cleator Moor will compete for ‘Small Organisation’ award. Managing Director, Sarah Purdham, said: “To have the company and employees of Prima Uno nominated and shortlisted for such a prestigious award is amazing.
“Things like this really do raise the profile of Cumbrian businesses and people making a real difference for their company, county and their gender.
“I am so proud to be Cumbrian and I hope this inspires others to follow and realise their dreams.”
Amanda McKay from Balfour Beatty is shortlisted for the ‘Mentor of the Year’, while Sally Fielding of Sally’s Cottages is up for ‘Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year’.
The patron for WiN UK and CEO of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Adrienne Kelbie, is also a finalist in the ‘Transformational Leader’ category.
Currently only 22% of the UK’s nuclear industry is female, and this number declines significantly at senior levels, statistics that WiN UK is working to change. There is strong evidence to suggest that an inclusive environment, with diverse teams, leads to better performance.
WiN UK has been praised for helping the mission is to address the industry’s gender balance, to improve the representation of women in leadership, and to engage with the public on nuclear issues.
The winners will be announced at the Northern Power Women Awards in Manchester on 18 March 2019.