About The Awards

Merseyside Women of the Year : The Story So Far...

The story of Merseyside Women of the Year (MWOTY) is one of three women who came together to help other women, using their passion and professional skills to enable women to be the best they can be, every day.

Ellie Kerr is now the sole Founding Director, taking forward the legacy of MWOTY after being its first winner in 2003. Back when Ellie won it was run by two gentlemen, but after seven years they decided they could no longer keep the awards going. The curtain was set to fall on the well-loved annual awards.

Ellie, Jean Gadsby and Elaine Owen recognised the value and importance of the event and could not bear to see it disappear, so they stepped in to take the reins. Each bringing their own individual network, skills and qualities to the event, over the years they created an event run by women, for women. Elaine and Jean have moved on now but the passion, talents and empathy, combined with determination to make a difference for others, has helped the event grow and eventually it took on a life of its own.

MWOTY has gained a reputation for social impact and value and its foundation is a total desire to ensure that women who would not ordinarily be in the spotlight were found, seen and heard on the MWOTY platform.

MWOTY is now indisputably the place to be in June. It is the event that champions change, supports women and demands the recognition of their work and achievements within the Liverpool City region.

The MWOTY Legacy

Thirteen years on from taking over the event, it is still the biggest celebration of women on Merseyside and it has a unique purpose – find those women who do not seek the limelight or push themselves to the front but get their heads down and make a huge difference to the people, sectors and communities they serve. The women who care for others and keep going, no matter what adversities they face, personally or in the course of their work.

Jean and Elaine have now moved on to other projects and Ellie is the custodian of this important and amazing event. Taking it forward has enabled her to nurture her passion for helping women, which over all these years has never diminished. Ellie coaches the overall Woman of the Year and category Finalists all year round and so the legacy impact of the event goes far beyond one day in June.

The awards give all Finalists a supportive network and permanent platform from which to shine at local, national and international levels. All Tweleve previous Woman of the Year winners are still out there making a noise, standing up for what is right, making a difference and not taking no for an answer – and MWOTY is still out there supporting them. MWOTY enables others to be cared for, to be brave and helps women step into a path that has already been trodden but without any traps! It makes sure that the ladder is always down and ready to give a helping hand.

Nothing stays the same forever, but the collaboration of three women who refused to let a vital platform disappear will always be the foundation of MWOTY. It has made a difference over the years to thousands of women’s lives and it will continue to do so for many years to come. As we step into 2023, after an amazing comeback in 2022 the event will be one of hope, celebration and championing equity.

So, let’s get started and welcome those brave and selfless women of Merseyside and help them find their voice and raise them on to the Merseyside Women of the Year platform to shine, be seen, be heard, be found and be celebrated.

We are delighted to have Pauline Daniels as our Commère.

Birkenhead born Pauline Daniels made her name as Britain’s best female stand-up comedian, noted for her spot-on comic timing. Progressively, she has extended her range as an entertainer to great effect, achieving acclaim as an actress in various plays such as Shirley Valentine and Twelfth Night. Pauline is a professional singer and has performed in both stage and television.

She successfully owned and managed The Actor’s Studio to feature in her own productions and provide great opportunities for emerging local talent. She is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and in 2011 she published her book “My Story”. Pauline was part of the first Everyman Company in 2017 and in 2019 Pauline toured the country with Calendar Girls. Has had a very successful radio show and is now busy touring with her “Where’s My Pension” show for 2023.

Annually the Judging Panel receive a significant number of nominations which makes it a very difficult task to decide who will be a category winner. Due diligence is carried out on all the nominees, to ensure that only the most deserving are selected as Finalists.

The overall “Merseyside Woman of the Year”, is voted for by members of the general public and is a completely independent verified result. This is then added to the Judges vote which determines the Woman of the Year winner.

Each year, the event helps to raise money for The Women’s Fund and Merseyside Women of the Year Legacy Awards.

Exciting new developments are already underway, if you think your business could help us to make 2023 even bigger and better, then please contact us.

See all our award categories and great category sponsors.

View the full list of all our legacy awards from over the years.