Nine Sterling Women Set Gold Standard for Returners, Management and Media
Most effective returner category
Sharon Robinson, 44, injured her back and could not continue as a day care assistant for people with special needs. She embarked on a BTEC Professional Development Certificate in Advanced Counselling at Ebbw Vale College going on to complete a postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from the University of Wales College Newport earlier this year.
She runs a counselling service called, Balance and has won a place among the finalists for the Most Effective Returner Category in this Year's Welsh Woman of the Year competition, sponsored by PHS Group Plc.
Laura Morris Lloyd
When high flyer Laura Morris Lloyd, from Caerphilly, gave up work as a cabin crew member eight years ago to start a family she was determined to go back to the classroom.
Laura took A-levels with evening classes and home study and went on to achieve a first class honours degree in Education from Cardiff University. Now the managing director of Plane Success, a unique company providing training for people seeking jobs in the aviation industry.
After leaving school to work in supermarket and becoming a mum at a young age it seemed very unlikely that Anna Smith would ever return to the classroom.
But thanks to a course in confidence building, after raising her family of four and having been ``just a mum for so long'' and her own determination to make a go of life she is now a teacher of design and technology at Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan in Conwy. She set a superb example to the girls in the school who might follow in her footsteps, and is one of the finalists for the Most Effective Returner category in this year's Welsh Woman of the Year competition, sponsored by PHS Group Plc.
Management Achievement category
Mother-of-four Annie Finlayson, from Caerphilly, whose youngsters are all under the age of 11, was last year's Most effective Returner. She is now in the final three for this year's Management Achievement category, sponsored by Elwa and the Open University Business School.
As Head of Customer Retention at the hygiene products specialist Annie has become one of the highest contributors to the company's continuous improvement scheme, by concentrating on keeping the customer satisfied and securing new business worth pounds 600,000.
Julie Cundick Head of Youth Service for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council spends her time trying to solve other people's problems.
Her work developing a support network for youngsters in the Valleys has also turned her into a role model for women in business and put her in the running for the Management Achievement category, sponsored by Elwa and the Open University Business School.
The challenge for Jacqueline Royall began just weeks into her new role as operations director at Perkin Elmer Ltd, the daunting task of making almost a fifth of the workforce redundant in a global restructuring that meant that 18 people at the plant on Llantrisant Business Park had to go. The experience had the effect of cementing relationships which became the launch pad for huge improvements at the analytical instrument-maker's South Wales site. The former accountant's role in its change of fortunes has helped her to the final stages of the Management Achievement category.
Woman in Media
Carolyn Hitt is used to breaking new ground as a journalist after this year winning BT Welsh Sports Journalist of the Year and BT UK Sports Journalist of the Year. …