Deputy Principal Wins National Award For Inspiration
13 July 2012
A NATIONAL award for inspiration has found a home in Middlesbrough after Zoe Lewis, Deputy Principal of Middlesbrough College, was voted the most inspirational female leader in the country working in further education.
Zoe, 39, (pictured on the right) was chosen by the Women’s Leadership Network as their Inspirational Leader of the Year after being nominated by College Principal and Chief Executive, Mike Hopkins.
The network was set up 25 years ago to help women in further education break the ‘glass ceiling’ preventing their promotion to senior posts.
Mike said: “This prestigious award is truly well-deserved - Zoe is imaginative and innovative and combines professional commitment and endeavour with an infectious sense of fun.
“As Deputy Leader of a college with a £30m turnover, she combines first-class technical skills with an operational focus while moving forward in a strategic direction.
“Zoe works hard, and her own commitment and dedication inspire those around her to do the same.”
Zoe led the £70m capital project to consolidate the College onto one site at Middlehaven and has been ‘inspirational on a daily basis
The award was presented by Women’s Leadership Network’s chairwoman Sally Dicketts who said mum-of-two Zoe was inspirational for her ability to focus on operational matters and strategic priorities, while giving her children the same energy and commitment that she takes to work.
“Zoe is a good role model for junior staff in MiddlesbroughCollege, who see that successful careers can be combined with happy family lives,” she said.
“Given the current under-representation of women in senior leadership roles, it is important to have role models who will encourage more women to aim high.”
Mike Hopkins said news of Zoe’s award had been well-received at the college.
“When I informed the College Leadership Team of the award, they broke into applause - a clear confirmation of the value they put upon Zoe's leadership and friendship,” he said.
“I also believe Zoe’s award reflects well upon Middlesbrough College, including its Governing Body, because it has provided Zoe's most recent working environment in which to thrive.
“Our congratulations go to Zoe for receiving this impressive national award – it’s a fitting accolade for a truly exceptional leader.”
“I have worked at Middlesbrough College for seven years and during this time have seen and been part of the College going from strength to strength.
“I feel very lucky and honoured to be part of an organisation which quite literally changes people’s lives, so the sense of fulfilment and satisfaction from the hard work that we all put in every day makes it all worthwhile.
“I feel extremely honoured to have won this award and look forward to putting as much energy and commitment into the next seven years, as I have the last.”