Local schoolgirl and racing driver Alice Powell was honoured at the 2009 Women of the Future Awards, held last night (12 November) at a ceremony in London, supported by David Cameron and Cherie Blair.

Alice was runner up in the Young Star Award category, which was won by 19-year-old inventor and businesswoman Ruth Amos, who developed a revolutionary mobility aid whilst studying for her GCSEs.

Other entrants in the Young Star Award included: actress Georgia Groome star of the movie “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging” and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen.

Alice, who lives in Chipping Norton and attends the Cotswold School near Cheltenham, says: “It’s a real honour to get recognition. Few women have made it in motorsport and no one has made a real impact in F1 – that is my ambition. I think the time is right, if a girl is out there doing well then more women would watch Formula 1 – it would definitely make it more exciting.”

Alice continues: “I’d like to be a role model for girls entering motor sport. A successful woman in motor sport would be a true ambassador for the sport and women wanting to enter it and do well. I am breaking new ground and would like to do for motor sport what Ellen MacArthur has done for sailing.”

Founded by writer and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE and Caspian Publishing, and supported by Shell, the Women of the Future Awards were established to identify Britain’s talented young women aged 35 and under, who are set to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Now in their fourth year, previous winners include Melody Hossaini, co-founder of the UK Youth Parliament, soloist ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson and television presenter and writer, Dawn Porter.

At last night’s ceremony, David Cameron delivered a speech on the vital role of women in the UK. Cherie Blair, a long-standing patron of the awards, presented the award for the Business Woman of the Future category.

Awards went to:
Art and Culture Woman of the Future – sponsored by Visa Europe
• Alexia Khadime (24) and Dianne Pilkington (34), currently performing the lead roles in Wicked.

Business Woman of the Future – sponsored by Asda
• Sam Smith (35), FinnCap

Entrepreneurial Woman of the Future
• Holly Tucker (32), the co-founder of internet retailer notonthehighstreet.com which provides a platform for small businesses to take on established brands.
• (Special commendation: Emily Bendell (28), Blue Bella)

Media Woman of the Future
• Julie King (33), Head of External Relations for the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body organising the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Professions Woman of the Future – sponsored by Sodexo
• Annie Graham (31), Ernst & Young
• (Special commendation: Ayesha Hazarika (34), Special Advisor to Parliament)

Science and Technology Woman of the Future – sponsored by Shell
• Dr Sarah Teichmann (34) of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
• (Special commendation: Dr Karen Masters (30) of the Institute of Cosmology & Gravitation, University of Portsmouth)

The Woman of the Future Voluntary Award
• Katy Tuncer (29), Metropolitan Police

The Young Star Award – sponsored by Barclays
• Inventor and businesswoman Ruth Amos (19) of StairSteady who has put university on hold to focus on the company she formed after inventing a product to help people with mobility issues as part of a GCSE project.

Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Booz & Company
• Birgit Neu, HSBC

The Women of the Future Corporate Award – sponsored by KPMG
• Global outsourcing giant Capgemini UK
• (Special commendation: Caroline Carr and Seung Earm, Executive Directors, Goldman Sachs)

A Women of the Future Awards Special Commendation went to Debbie Moore of Pineapple Studios who was the first women to float a company on the London Stock Exchange.

The awards ceremony took place at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on Thursday November 12, 2009.

For information on the awards, visit: http://womenofthefuture.co.uk/