By Susie Field General Manager Argonon
[All views in this blog are the writers own!]
I was delighted when James suggested to me that Argonon become sponsors of The Women of The Future Awards, in particular because these awards are not solely based on rewarding those women working in television, but celebrate extraordinary women across all industries, full stop, period, no ifs or buts.
So after an inspirational event nominating Champions for mentoring, where Farah Pandith, literally blew our minds, I was keen to become involved and jumped at the chance to judge one of the prize categories earlier this month.
Farah btw, is Special Representative to Muslim Communities from Hillary Clintons office– check her out on twitter @Farah_Pandith
Our category was The Young Star Award, which was 1 out of 10 categories being judged that day.
My fellow judges were going to be the News Anchor for CNBC Europe, Louisa Bojesen and Acting Lifestyle Editor at The Huffington Post, Sarah O’Meara. I have to admit it took me a bit of time to figure out what to wear, I didn’t want to intimidate the candidates but I wanted to hold my own with these two powerful intelligent and ambitious co-judges!
In the end Louisa got pulled away onto a bigger story and Sarah and I were left to face six candidates, aged between 16-21, one every 20 minutes in one intense session in the basement at No 1 Cornhill, Bank. It was going to be tough.
I had prepared (of course!!!) 10 key questions that I wanted to ask each of the candidates and Sarah and I spent some time pulling together a preferred order of questions. We got on famously with each-other. Read her tweets on @sarahomeara or Huffington Post, you can get an app.
I am pleased to say that Q1 was mine
‘What is brand [insert name of candidate here]?
We also asked what the award would mean to each candidate, how would it help them in their chosen profession, how they would use it and if they didn’t win what impact that would have. We wanted the award to go to someone who would use it to validate what they were doing.
We were fair and tough and completely overwhelmed by these fantastic smart young women who confidently sat in front of us and bounced back our questions with erudite and sometimes surprising answers. Given the age range, I can confidently say that there is hope for us all yet.
So my FB status after the judging read as follows
“Dammit! When I was 18 I forgot to a) write a series of novels b) become a particle physicist c)campaign for education for girls d) pick up a job in engineering e) take on bankers and f) start my own business (although i did attend approx 200 punk rock gigs, bleach my hair white, purchase 3/4 length Dr Martens and smoke 500 cigarettes)”
The winners will be announced later this month – watch this space!