Dames win top CMI Honours: Nestlé Boss and tech innovator awarded management and leadership accolades

13 March 2018 -

CMI Awards

Food industry leader Dame Fiona Kendrick won the CMI President's Gold Medal, while IT pioneer Dame Stephanie Shirley received a lifetime achievement award

Jermaine Haughton

Two esteemed business leaders received prestigious awards at the annual CMI President’s Dinner 2018. Celebrating the UK’s finest industry leaders, esteemed Nestlé UK & Ireland chairman Dame Fiona Kendrick received the Chartered Management Institute President’s Gold Medal for her successful contributions to high-level management and leadership.

Meanwhile, trailblazing IT entrepreneur and philanthropist Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley became the first woman to win the CMI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising her stellar contribution to British engineering and technology.

The two women collected their awards in front of more than 250 business leaders at the ceremony.

CMI president Bruce Carnegie-Brown, who presented both awards, says the winners are perfect role models for the next generation of female business leaders.

"I'm delighted to recognise Dames Fiona and Steve for their outstanding leadership,” he said. “By any measure, Fiona has had a remarkable career and her commitment to skills development makes her a worthy winner of our Gold Award. Dame Steve is just as energetic and engaged today as she was 25 years ago when we awarded her our Gold medal, so I'm delighted to present her with the CMI’s Lifetime Achievement award. They are pioneering women who are blazing a trail for many others to follow in their footsteps."


Presented at each annual CMI President’s Dinner, the Gold Medal Award celebrates leaders who have made a positive social impact through their management and leadership excellence. Previous winners include Unilever CEO Paul Polman and John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.

A Commander of the British Empire for services to the food industry and youth talent development, Fiona Kendrick was the first woman to be appointed chief executive of Nestlé UK in 2012 and was named chairman of UK & Ireland in 2017. She is Deputy Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Chair of the new University of Hereford for Engineers.


A Gold Medal winner in 1991, Dame Steve Shirley famously provided numerous opportunities for female tech professionals after founding her own computer software company in the 1960s. Some 297 of her first 300 staff were female. By the time she sold the company 45 years later, it employed 8,500 people in a gender balanced workforce. Established in 1986, The Shirley Foundation has also organised, supported and invested more than £50m into numerous projects developing research on autism spectrum disorders.

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