I was at the Sussex Women in Business Awards last week. It was a packed affair, as these affairs usually are. Plenty of posh frocks, men in black ties, glitz, glamour and fun.

It was far more than that though.

I’ve been involved in lots of awards, both running some and entering others, or being entered by persons unknown. Listen to some people and cynicism reigns supreme. They’re a way to make money from deluded punters say some. I don’t know how they do the judging, it’s a bit incestuous say others. What I say is, you should have been there this week.

This week I saw women, young and old, left speechless because they’d won an award. I saw women made beautiful by joy because they’d been acknowledged by their peers, or others who they perceived were of a ‘higher’ status than them, perhaps for the very first time in their lives. I saw women grow by ten inches because someone had taken them by the hand and congratulated them on their success. I saw women bewildered and humbled by the fact that an unknown had taken the time to put their names forward. I saw a room of over 250 people stand as one in applause to a courageous woman who’d battled against all odds and was still battling to give her children a positive role model in a world of negativity.

So don’t ever give me the superior, holier than though cynical talk. In a society where women are too often thrown to the bottom of the pile let’s celebrate those occasions where they are elevated to the top.

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