Who is the best sales woman in the utilities sector?
A new award launching this year hopes to find just that – the best sales women in the industry for the regions Europe, North America and India (which includes Asia).
It’s a new category in the second annual Women In Sales Awards, a ceremony looking for women with strong commercial acumen exceeding their sales targets, in sectors from healthcare to financial services.
Managing Director of the awards Afi Ofori said they were inspired by research which found a link between the number of women in sales and how many make it into top business roles.
Summed up in the Harvard Business Review, the findings suggest the following: “Rainmakers get noticed — and promoted.”
Ms Ofori told ELN: “This research linked women working in sales with making it into the boardroom or senior positions. However, obtaining executive sales positions continues to be a challenge for women.
“Therefore, if we can celebrate women in sales’ achievements, we hope to inspire more women to get into sales and to attract talented women to seek senior sales roles breaking the proverbial glass ceiling in many sectors.”
Finalists will attend a judging panel where they will meet the judges and winners will each be mentored by experts in their field. For the utilities award, the mentor is EY Partner Alison Kay who worked at National Grid for years and is Group General Counsel for the transmission firm’s board.
One of three judges for the utilities’ sales awards, Chris Billing, Head of Indirect Sales at RWE npower told ELN: “Gender should be immaterial in the energy sector and it’s encouraging to see an increasing amount of women undertaking both technical and non-technical roles in the sector.”
He has “definitely” noticed the increase, adding: “It would be good to get an equal balance of men and women in the industry.”
Sales professionals are “critical” to building trust in the energy sector, he said, which is why he is so pleased the awards are recognising the contribution women make to that.
“This year for the first time there’s a unique utilities category but there’s also range of other categories available which compete against all industries, sales director, sales manager and sales professional.”
An energy professional was winner of last year’s Best Sales Manager in the WIS awards: Sarah Middleton, RWE npower’s Client Manager for Industrial and Commercial (I&C).
Deadline to enter the awards – or nominate someone – is 25 September 2014.