A Newtonian who has worked her way up to a senior management position with supermarket giant Asda has been recognised for her achievements in business.
Alex Newbould (above, centre) won the business category of the national Women of the Future (WOF) awards in London.
The ceremony, now in its 11th year, celebrates the best of upcoming female British talent.
Twelve women were recognised at the 2016 event, including awards for arts and culture, entrepreneurship, media, science, technology and sport.
And former Woodham Academy student Alex, who is now Asda’s head of pricing strategy, was singled out in the business category.
The 27-year-old told Aycliffe Today: “I was just shocked when they read my name out, I really didn’t expect it.
“During the presentation, and watching the kind of women I was up against, and what they’ve achieved, I was just happy to be shortlisted – but to win it was amazing.”
After educating at Woodham and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form in Darlington, Alex graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in psychology in 2011.
After working initially on placement for Asda, she eventually won an insight analyst role with the national retailer before quickly working her way up to head of pricing strategy.
The 12 winners of the WOF awards were selected from a shortlist by a judging panel chaired by Sir John Peace, chairman of Burberry Group and Standard Chartered.
Alex now lives in Leeds close to Asda’s head office but returns to Aycliffe most weekends to visit her parents John and Karen and friends.
In a message to aspiring young ladies making their way in education and career paths, Alex said: “Self-confidence is so important.
“I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always had supportive parents who have encouraged me to be bold and put myself forward.
“It’s better to fail at something than to not try at all, and if you’re not confident in yourself, then nobody else will be.
“I’d just say to all young ladies, always take opportunities when they come along and don’t be afraid to have a go.”
The WOF awards event, proudly supported by headline sponsor Aviva, was attended by WOF founder Pinky Lilani, WOF patron Cherie Blair, baroness Shami Chakrabarti and John Bercow MP, speaker of the House of Commons.
The ceremony is one component of a wider ‘Week of Women’, coordinated by WOF, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Wilton Park, including a WOF International Summit held in London, bringing over 300 young female leaders from over 25 countries around the world.
The full list of winners was:
• Arts and Culture: Sheila Nortley, Screenwriter, Dreamscape Films
• Business: Alex Newbould, Head of Pricing Strategy, Asda
• Community Spirits: Natalie Campbell, Founder, A Very Good Company
• Entrepreneurship: Brynne Herbert, CEO, MOVE Guides
• MBA Star: Julia Paykin, MBA Candidate, London Business School
• Media: Chayya Syal, Broadcast Journalist and Blogger, BBC Asian Network and Avid Scribbler
• Professions: Fayola Yeboah, Head of Contracts & Legal, UK & Ireland, Manpower Group
• Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction: Bryony Day, Associate, Arcadis
• Science: Dr Maria Bruna, Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics, University of Oxford
• Sport: Danielle Brown MBE, Company Director, Danielle Brown
• Technology and Digital: Maxine Mackintosh, Chair, HealthTech Women
• Young Star (for high achievers aged 16-21): Nusrath Hassan, Alumna, Mulberry School for Girls
• Mentor of the Year: Tamara Box, Managing Partner EME, Reed Smith
• Corporate Award: London Stock Exchange Group
Founder and chair of WOF Pinky Lilani said: “We are delighted to celebrate the remarkable personal and professional achievements of the winners of this year’s Women of the Future Awards.
“The WOF network grows stronger every year as we recognise the young women who are together shaping Britain’s future through their shared passion, determination, and kindness. Congratulations to all the winners!”