Debbie Francis has won the award for ‘demonstrating the courage to challenge and make a real difference in a male-dominated industry’.
Business Women of the Year
Attended by over 500 people from across the country, the Women of the Year awards aim to promote positive female role models who provide inspiration across all areas of society and the business community.
The ‘Woman with Edge’ award recognises business women who challenge the status quo and understand the road to success is not always straight. Debbie Francis has won the award for ‘demonstrating the courage to challenge and make a real difference in a male-dominated industry’.
The Women of the Year awards took place on Friday 25 October 2019.
I am absolutely thrilled to win this award. It’s a great honour to even be nominated but to win when against such inspiring and amazing women is truly an honour. I’m hoping my work can inspire other women to break into industries which are traditionally male dominated and be catalysts for change. We’re committed to promoting equality across DRS, and across the whole of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group.
– Debbie Francis, Managing Director of Direct Rail Services (DRS)
Forward Ladies recognise the achievements of businesswomen throughout UK. Forward Ladies (North West, Ireland and Wales) revealed that Debbie had been shortlisted for a ‘Corporate Leader’ award alongside four other applicants. The award ceremony took place on 13 September 2019.
Director of the Year – Inclusivity
The finalists for the national Institute of Directors (IOD) awards were chosen from the hundreds of Directors that entered into one of the 11 heats across the UK, in 14 different categories. Earlier this year, Debbie won the IOD Director of the Year – Inclusivity at the Isle of Man and Manchester awards. Winners were announced at the award ceremony on Friday 18 October 2019.
Debbie left school at the age of 16 with very few qualifications, but went on to graduate from Liverpool Polytechnic before gaining a masters from the Manchester Business School.
She has more than 30 years’ experience across a range of industries, including IT, infrastructure maintenance and railways – Debbie is now studying for a PhD.