Renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid has been crowned the winner of the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, it was announced today.
The Iraqi-British visionary was recognised for her inspiration and business zeal and the iconic works her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, has created across the world.
Tech entrepreneur Kathryn Parsons, of digital skills company Decoded, was announced the winner of the first ever New Generation Award, celebrating up and coming female entrepreneurial talent in the UK.
Both women's achievements were marked at a special ceremony hosted by Veuve Clicquot in London last night and attended by a roll call of influential business names including the first female CEO of a FTSE 100 company, Dame Marjorie Scardino, and home secretary Theresa May.
ABOVE: Dame Zaha celebrates her win
The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award - the so-called "Oscars" of the business world - was set up in 1972 as a tribute to Madame Clicquot, to celebrate women who reflect her enterprising spirit, courage and tenacity in business.
Dame Zaha, who became the 41st woman to receive the prestigious honour, said currently women make up less than a quarter of all qualified architects and she hoped her win would encourage more women to enter the profession.
"When I started my career in architecture it was very much a male dominated industry, but in recent years I’ve seen a growing number of talented female architects join the profession and succeed," she said.
Dama Zaha's company is responsible for many major projects around the world, including the MAXXI museum in Rome, the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics.
Kathryn, 30, said she was thrilled to receive the first Veuve Clicquot New Generation award for founding coding business Decoded in 2011.
ABOVE: Kathryn picks up the first ever New Generation Award
"It’s a fact that can’t be denied: there are, quite simply, far fewer women in technology-related fields then there are men, and I want to help change this," she said. "This ever-increasing digital transformation of global business brings a greater need for a new hybrid skills set of the future, one that has code literacy at its core."
The judges singled out Kathryn for developing a business that puts coding and technology on the map, and helps businesses across the UK move towards the future.
"Dame Zaha displays the same passion and determination that Madame Clicquot possessed over 200 years ago," said Christina Jesaitis, senior brand manager for Veuve Clicquot. "While Kathryn displays many of the core characteristics that Mme Clicquot demonstrated in her own early career.
"Both have visions of the future and anticipated how industries and commence will change – and adapted their own approach."
Congratulations to both winners and see below for a list of 2013 finalists. You can find out more about the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award here.
2013 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award: The Finalists
The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award:
• Dorothy Thompson: CEO, Drax
• Thea Green: CEO, Nails Inc
The Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award:
• Hayley Gait-Golding: Founder, Bear Nibbles
• Jenny Dawson: Founder, Rubies in the Rubble