IOE director general named First Women of Business Services at awards event

Fri 12 Jun 2015
Posted by: IOE News
IOE News

Our director general, Lesley Batchelor OBE, has won the highly coveted ‘First Women of Business Services’ accolade at the 11th annual Real Business First Women Awards.

The win is a further acknowledgement of Lesley’s outstanding professional achievements and follows closely on her recent investiture, where she received an OBE for services to business.

The event, which was held at the London Marriott Hotel, is widely recognised as the UK’s premium awards programme for senior-level business women and professionals.

Supported by the CBI and hosted by Clare Balding – a long-standing supporter of the First Women movement – the awards, which recognise the achievements of women in business, were attended by leading women from a wide range of industry sectors.


An advocate of UK exporters, Lesley is a graduate of both the Institute of Export’s Qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She studied as an intellectual property auditor and has additional expertise in global licensing and marketing.

Her impressive record in international trade and export marketing spans over 17 years, working with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe and Coca-Cola Europe, before setting up her own business – CMC Marketing – in 1992 to help SMEs to understand how world trade worked and how to enter new markets.

Elected chair of the IOE in 2007 and appointed Director General in 2010, Lesley has shaped policy and decision making at the highest levels. A member of the Advisory Panel and active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Trade & Investment and the All Party Manufacturing Group, Lesley gives evidence to The House of Lords Select Committees on various issues affecting international trade and Government support for SMEs.

Speaking shortly after her win, Lesley commented: “It was a fantastic event and an honour to spend time in the company of such motivated and inspirational women. These ladies champion the role of women in the workplace and I am proud to be counted amongst their numbers.”

Caroline Dinenage, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Education, said “It was fantastic to see the achievements of women in so many different areas of industry.

“It is vital that we champion the successes of women, and ensure that all young people have inspirational role models,” she added. “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. You should be exceptionally proud of these achievements.”

Amy Carroll, events director at Real Business, added: “Every year we’re delighted by the amazing calibre of the entrants to the First Women Awards, and this year was no different. With entry levels higher than ever before competition was particularly fierce, so the winners this evening should be particularly proud.

“There were many highlights this evening, but for me it’s all about facilitating networking opportunities for such an amazing, diverse group of women.”

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