Natalie Briffa Farrugia is the winner of the first edition of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award, capping a remarkable journey – from teaching primary students, to tending to the vulnerable in Ethiopia and Guatemala, to leading one of Malta’s largest elderly home service providers, the Care Malta Group.
Amanda Xuereb scooped up the Young Businesswoman Award during a ceremony that saw a line-up of inspirational business leaders and pioneers at Verdala Palace in Buskett to celebrate the spirit of female entrepreneurship.
The Company Award for Excellence was presented to Tigné Mall plc for demonstrating a passion for inspiring, engaging, empowering and furthering the success of women within its company and in the community.
Isabella Mifsud received a special mention for her inspiring commitment and for acting as a role model for others.
The Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards were launched last year through a partnership between HSBC Bank Malta plc and the Office of the President, with the aim of highlighting outstanding women leaders in the business and economic world.
Dr Coleiro Preca, who is patron of the awards, conveyed her heartfelt congratulations to the winners and all the nominees of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards and said that “through these awards, we are not only celebrating the achievements of these remarkable women, but also empowering our young women and girls to take up leadership roles across all strata of society”.
Women-owned and run businesses are the fastest-growing economic segment in some countries, including the US; however, in Malta, the agenda to advance women’s entrepreneurship lacks momentum.
In fact, 60 per cent of graduates from the University of Malta are female but only 8.5 per cent of all board positions in Malta’s listed companies are held by women – the lowest in the EU.
Andrew Beane, CEO of HSBC Bank Malta plc, said: “With the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the achievements of women and celebrate their many contributions to the business world and beyond. I hope the amazing women who have won this year’s awards inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”
Chair of the judging panel, Sonia Hernandez, said: “I’m proud of Vodafone for contributing to this relevant women empowerment agenda, and I’m personally committed to make an impact and help more women in Malta to be successful. I encourage Maltese business leaders to consider diversity as part of their companies’ strategy and our powerful women to take the risk and give it a try.”
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