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Women outnumber men for first time in 2017 Social CEOs Awards

Women outnumber men for first time in 2017 Social CEOs Awards

This year’s CEO saw women outnumber men in the top 30 for the first time.

The Social CEO awards took place on 17 November, and 19 of the top 30 were women, compared to 15 in 2016. In addition to the Social CEOs top 30, there were five individual awards this year, three of which were also won by women.

The five individual awards recognise excellence in and digital leadership. They were won by James Cusack of Autistica (Best Senior Leader), Kirsty Marrins of the Small Charities Coalition (Best Trustee) and Clare Laxton of CLIC Sargent (Best Rising Star), Steve Ford of Parkinson’s UK (Best Digital CEO) and Lara Burns of Age UK (Best Digital Leader). The latter two awards were new for this year for charity leaders who have led digital transformation.

In all, the awards received 101 nominations. 14 of the top 30 were new entrants, up from 13 last year, while only two charity CEOs in this year’s top 30 have won every year, down from four last year.

The nominees were judged by a panel of digital leaders chaired by Simon Blake, CEO of the NUS. The other judges were Lang Banks, WWF-UK Executive Director, Ruth Ibegbuna, CEO of RECLAIM Project, Jo Wolfe, Managing Director for London at Reason Digital, Lucy Caldicott, CEO of UpRising and Clive Gardiner, Head of Digital at NSPCC.

Zoe Amar, Director of Zoe Amar Communications, said:

“Amongst this year’s winners it is heartening to see charity leaders taking considered risks on social media to achieve rewards such as discussing sensitive topical issues, developing relationships with key stakeholders in government and the private sector and using video to share stories. Digital is now becoming a hygiene factor for leaders and our judges would like to encourage more leaders to be bold and brave about pursuing their charity’s goals on these channels.”

Main image: Lara Burns, Age UK. Winner of Best Digital Leader award.


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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