PWN Global Announces Winners of 2019 Gender Balanced Leadership Awards

15 October 2019 Language : English

Leading lights in the global business world gathered on 11th October 2019 for the Inaugural PWN Global Gender Balanced Leadership Awards, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Dublin, Ireland. PWN Global, the leading network of professionals accelerating gender balanced leadership in the workplace and in society at large decided to launch their Inaugural global award ceremony in Dublin. Special Guest, Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland opened the awards sharing some concerning figures regarding how much work remains to be done in Ireland in this area. 

The Awards attracted nominations from big companies and small companies; from multinationals, state agencies, academia, professional services sector – genuinely representing the breadth of gender balanced leadership activity.

The PWN Global Gender Balanced Leadership Awards are produced by PWN Global’s elected Federation Board. The awards recognise the efforts of and brought together international business leaders from all over the world to celebrate best practice in gender balanced leadership. 

The Winners are: 

  • Best Company: Portolano Cavallo
  • Best Employee Network: Gloria Lorenzo, Oracle 
  • Best CEO: Pamela Quinn, Kuehne + Nagel Ireland
  • Excellence in raising the voice of Gender Balanced Leadership: Kristen Pressner, Roche 
  • Gender Balanced Leadership Research: Allyson Zimmermann of Catalyst
  • Excellence in working for a Charity / Not-for-profit: Joint winners - Joanna O’Riordan of Mercer and Joanna Freitas & Catarina Soares, Leading Together, working with INSEAD 
  • Excellence in Women’s Empowerment: Melissa Raczak, Deloitte
  • Training Initiative of the Year: Bernie O’ Connor, ESB 
  • Young Gender Balanced Leader of the Year: Captain Ayse Asli Basak, UCTEA of The Chamber of Marine Engineers Turkey
  • PWN Member of the Year: Virginia Otel, President of PWN Romania
  • Manbassador of the Year: Brian Levey of IntervalZero

The biggest award of the night, Lifetime Outstanding Contribution Award, went to Avivah Wittenberg-Cox of 20-First, for her unyielding approach to making gender balanced leadership a boardroom topic. Winners video is available here.

Feedback on the Awards: 

Attendees made the following comments about the Awards reception, dinner and ceremony:

  • It was a great to bring this business community together with this great idea set in a beautiful venue.
  • I thought it was a great format.
  • The pre-dinner networking activity made networking opportunities rich and numerous in a relaxed environment.
  • The evening was superb. It is a welcome surprise to have all these powerful business people in one room.
  • This Awards has everyone buzzing about the work being done to advance Gender Balanced Leadership. I never knew so many of these companies were making strides in this area. 
  • We brought our Global Senior Management Team - they are so impressed! It has been a great experience for them in Dublin and to be present for the Awards. 

The PWN Global Gender Balanced Leadership Awards is being complemented by a half-day educational Diversity Lab that takes place in the stunning premises of William Fry.  The Diversity Lab was an exclusive, invite only event, where industry leaders will brainstorm the most prominent issues surrounding gender balanced leadership with a view to creating sustainable and systemic solutions for change.  

In its inaugural year, award entries were received by more than 100 organisations and individuals around the world. Award categories include: Best Company; Best CEO; Best Employee Network; Excellence in Women’s Empowerment; Young Gender Balanced Leader of the Year; Manbassador of the Year. The highlight of the night was the Lifelong Achievement Award. Nominations came in from over 20 different countries including Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Visit the PWN Global Gender Balanced Leadership Awards website for a complete list of Finalists and Winners by category. 

PWN Global understands that gender balanced leadership is no longer simply the ‘right’ thing to do – major research projects have shown, time and time again, that it’s the profitable thing to do. Forward thinking companies and professionals know that putting balanced leadership at the heart of their business strategies will lead to sustainable growth and profit. For this reason, PWN Global wants to encourage us all to celebrate some of the important work being done by thought-leaders across many different industries who are really making a difference to our future, and our children’s futures. The awards were supported by Failte Ireland, Julie Sinnamon of Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Times. 

For more information on the PWN Global ‘Gender Balanced Leadership Awards’ go to

 About PWN Global 

PWN Global is a federation of PWN city networks across more than 30 cities worldwide, with over 3,500 members representing 90 nationalities and a community of 60,000+. PWN Global exists to advance gender balanced leadership. We believe that better decision making, economic sustainability and a happier society will be realised only by leveraging 100% of the world’s talent. 

Our 'For Purpose’ volunteer association is creating a movement of professional business people and leaders who aspire to accelerate the current pace of change towards gender balanced leadership.  Members of PWN Global include women and men, corporate partners, collaborative institutions, academic establishments, other networks, forums and supporters of gender balanced leadership. The awards are one event used to raise essential funding for the organization to operate as it is not a state funded organization. 

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Contact: Emma Olohan,VP of Public Relations


Mobile: +353868499520 



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