Suzanne is a national leader in business

Suzanne Smith from Retford won the National STEM Leader award at the Forward Ladies Awards
Suzanne Smith from Retford won the National STEM Leader award at the Forward Ladies Awards

A businesswoman from Retford has won a prestigious national award.

Suzanne Smith, director of Soteria Asbestos and Sherwood Knowledge in Retford, took the title of National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Leader at the Forward Ladies National Awards.

Hosted by acclaimed television presenter, reporter and producer Arti Halai, the awards took place at The Royal Armouries in Leeds last month, where outstanding, entrepreneurial female business leaders from across the UK competed in 12 categories.

Suzanne had earned her place in the final round of the awards after winning the Midlands heat earlier in 2017.

She then fought off tough competition from business leaders of large multi-national companies, including the head of technology at Sky, a senior vice-president at GKN Aerospace and a senior engineering manager for Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, to win the national award.

In the final, Suzanne and the other finalists were put through their paces at a live session with an expert judging panel.

Suzanne’s panel included Ajaz Ahmed, founder of Freeserve.

Suzanne said: “I was delighted to have won the Midlands final so to also have been recognised as the national leader in STEM was truly an honour.”

“I work hard to support and encourage women in STEM by speaking at universities, attending school events and volunteering as a regional co-ordinator for the Women’s Engineering Society.

“I love my job but fear many women are simply not aware of the huge range of rewarding careers available in the sciences.

“I hope I can use this award to inspire more girls to consider careers in STEM.”

Winning the award was the icing on the cake of a fantastic 2017 for Suzanne.

In March, she was named East Midlands Business Woman of the Year.

And in Many, she was a finalist at the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards.