Trio of Doncaster businesswomen make prestigious shortlist

Alison Straw of Taylor Bracewell Solicitors.

Alison Straw of Taylor Bracewell Solicitors.

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Three Doncaster business women have been shortlisted in this year’s Barclays-Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards, which have attracted the most diverse and largest ever number of entries since the awards began.

Judges have struggled with the volume of entries from the cream of Yorkshire and the North East’s business and professional women, who will now go forward to the finals with the results announced at the Queens Hotel in Leeds on 15 November.

Caroline Pullich, Head of Relationship Banking for Barclays in Yorkshire and the North East said: “At Barclays we recognise that women in business are a major contributor to the UK economy and we’re delighted to be partnering with Forward Ladies again, celebrating exceptional achievements in tough economic trading conditions.

“These awards encourage an environment that supports women on their entrepreneurial journey and they are a fantastic opportunity for ladies across the region to network and share ideas and knowledge.

“We’ve been amazed at the volume and calibre of the entries – which proves there are some fantastic businesses out there competing in what is set to become one of the country’s top awards for business and professional women.”

The following are the shortlisted finalists in each category:

Women in Property:

Teresa Galley of Galley Properties, Doncaster, was a previous winner in the Women in Business Awards. She has developed a portfolio of HMOs (Houses in multiple occupation), apartments and houses since 2004, when she bought her first buy-to-let property. She learned early on that she needed to work harder than everyone else in an environment dominated by male contractors.

Within four years she had a substantial portfolio, all of which she rented and managed herself. She later launched a lettings and property management company, managing hundreds of properties within just two years. With seven full time staff and a number of contractors, the company is set to grow further, and plans are in place to launch an estate agency.

Professional/Corporate business woman sponsored by Finance Yorkshire:

Alison Straw of Taylor Bracewell, Doncaster, is a partner and head of family law.

She joined the company in 2007 as the department was making a loss, calling for tough decision making.

She reduced staff and cut out all legally aided family work before the government withdrew funding, and introduced fixed fee family work.

She is a Law Society Children Panel member and assessor, a former chair of South Yorkshire Resolution and leads its Doncaster/ Rotherham collaborative group and plans to apply to become a judge in the near future.

Michelle Wood founded and owns Little Footprint Baby Boutique in Doncaster.

She is a finalist in the Start up business woman sponsored by Oriflame and the Retail category sponsored by The Co-operative.

Following the traumatic early birth of her daughter through pre-eclampsia, Michelle struggled to find safe products to protect her delicate baby.

She launched her company after sourcing organic and eco-friendly products borne of fair trade, in line with her own environmental and ethical beliefs.

Using her background in accountancy, she researched social trends and discovered a market for greener products, including organic cotton as an alternative to conventional fabric which contains dangerous insecticides, which when absorbed through skin could kill.