Shining a spotlight on women executives, entrepreneurs and organizations run by women worldwide, winners in the 2017, 14th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business were announced on Friday, November 17. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.
Sharmila “Sam” Wijeyakumar had been named a Finalist in the Female Executive of the Year category, for government or non-profit organizations with 10 or fewer employees, and flew to New York to receive the award. (Although, if an employee was counted by how much they achieved, Sam might count as 10+ employees, all on her own!)
Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners were announced during a gala event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Friday, November 17.More than 500 businesswomen and their guests attended. Nations represented at the event include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Iceland, India, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom.
The presentations were broadcast live worldwide. (You can catch a replay here.)
More than 1,500 entries were submitted for consideration in over 90 categories from 25 countries, including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Company of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Women-Run Workplace of the Year.
As a champion against human trafficking and survivor herself, Sam founded Rahab’s Daughters to educate the public and raise awareness to prevent this modern-day slavery, as well as rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate trafficking survivors. Rahab's Daughters' comprehensive, faith-based process includes shelter, clothing, education, vocational training, and research-based guidance that empowers them to make their own choices, never again to be controlled by someone else. She has been working to free survivors for 20+ years in programs that span the globe.
Finalists were chosen by more than 170 professionals worldwide serving on five judging committees. Jurors’ average scores determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the finalists.
“Every year we say that the current crop of Stevies for Women nominations couldn’t be better, and the next year we’re proven wrong,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards. “The judges’ scores and comments bear witness to the fact that this year we will honor a truly remarkable class of women and women-led organizations.”
Sam is a tireless advocate. She speaks frequently to local organizations, and trains volunteers and service providers who are often the first line of contact in identifying and referring trafficking survivors for help.
She personally counsels the survivors that come through Rahab’s Daughters’ program. True reintegration is a lengthy, detailed process—“a cradle to grave solution,” Sam explains—that requires commitment, faith and love… all of which Sam and her team bring, in abundance. No girl is ever abandoned or turned away as long or as often as she is willing to participate in her own healing and progress.
On November 19, Sharmila "Sam" Wijeyakumar, COO was awarded a Gold Stevie Award as Female Executive of the Year and Rahab's Daughters was awarded a Silver Stevie Award of a Government or Non-Profit Organization with 10 or Less Employees.
For a complete list of Stevie Award winners and more information, visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women.Entries for the 2018 edition of the awards open in May.
Now it’s your turn. Sam and Rahab’s Daughters requires your commitment, faith and love in order to keep safehouses open, programs running, and survivors thriving. Make a donation today… or show your support with a monthly commitment here.