The Women of the Year Lunch took place on Monday 22 October, the culmination of a busy few months for the Campaigning and Digital teams. The Lunch is a celebration of extraordinary women– every single guest is hand picked in recognition of their personal contribution to society.We run the Women of the Year website, Facebook page and Twitter feed and, in the months leading up to the event, we worked with previous awards winners and this year’s judges to generate original content for these channels. The terrific blogs we received from singer Lulu, founder of Karma Nirvana (a support group for victims of honour violence) Jasvinder Sanghera, and presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper really brought the lunch to life.The 2012 Women of the Year special award wines were:
- Iraqi-American women’s rights activist Zainab Salbi
- Team GB Olympic & Paralympic women medallists
- P.D. James
- Doreen Lawrence
- Kate Woolveridge – who won ITV1’s Lorraine ‘inspirational woman of the year’ award after a viewers’ vote – for her tireless work to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in Cardiff with the “Forget Me Nots Choir”
With more than 30 of Team GB stars (including rower Katherine Grainger, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, gymnast Beth Tweddle, weight-lifter Zoe Newson and cyclist Sarah Storey) joining Doreen, Zainab and P.D. James, we managed a busy press room incorporating two photo-shoots and interviews with sponsor outlets including Good Housekeeping and ITV1’s Lorraine.Coverage highlights included interviews with President of Women of the Year, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, in The Independent and guardian.co.uk; an interview with P.D. James on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour; ITV1’s Lorraine, Tatler.com, Daily Mail and Evening Standard.Famous faces gracing the red carpet at the InterContinental London Park Lane included Dame Helen Mirren, Beverley Knight and Tessa Jowell MP, who presented awards at the lunch; as well as Fifty Shades of Grey author, E L James, Dame Mary Archer, Kathy Lette, Martha Kearny and Esther Rantzen.Meanwhile, we also ensured that the inspirational ‘women in the room’ were not left out, securing local coverage in the Leicester Mercury, Harrow Times, Daventry Express, Northampton Chronicle, Sheffield Telegraph, Essex Chronicle and South London Press; a double page interview in Woman’s Weekly, as well as interviews on BBC Radio Northampton, British Forces News and BFBS Radio.