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WIE award winners 2018 revealed in Berlin

A selection of inspirational professionals working in the international education industry have been recognised for their positive impact on the sector at the 2018 Women in International Education Awards held in Berlin.

Lifetime achievement winner and CEO of Active Centre Of English Training in Ireland, Odile Migieu. Photo: Lead5050

Now in its second year, the event is a celebration of the amazing work being done by women and men in international education

Now in its second year, the event is a celebration of the amazing work being done by women and men in international education, all in the name of gender equality.

“The WIE awards are a great way to recognise some of the most successful and innovative women in our sector”

Held at the Berlin Hotel Intercontinental, the event brought together education professionals from across the globe for an evening of celebration around their colleagues’ achievements in raising the profile of women in the industry.

The event’s keynote speech was provided by Melissa McCoy, a reporter and media liaison in the US Marine Corps for four years before entering the male-dominated field of general aviation as a public relations director.

McCoy gave an inspirational speech on the power of words, and how they can pigeonhole people into harmful gender stereotypes.

Winner of the Best Champion of Change award and director of Bayswater Education, James Herbertson, told The PIE News that he felt “honoured” to be recognised amongst the others who have been in the industry for a long time.

“Probably even bigger than that is to be part of a cause, a movement that is really trying to shake up the industry because I think it’s needed. I think what [Lead5050]  have done is really put their head above the parapet and what they’re trying to do is brilliant.

“It’s trying to inspire the industry to go against conventional wisdom, to try to encourage people to know that this platform is great. I really respect that. To win an award created as a result of their work is a massive honour,” he added.

Nicoletta Pinto, EU account manager for, who previously spent nine years at Ideal Education Group, was the receiver of the Rising Star of the Year award.

Pinto told The PIE: “Since I started very young in the industry, its a great recognition of the work I have done over these 10 years.”

Mentor of the Year winner Martha Johnson added: “It has been humbling to receive this award. It is imperative that leaders at all levels work to mentor new professionals, but also to be open to what we can learn from those entering the profession with new skills and different perspectives.”

Co-founder and marketing director of The PIE, Clare Gossage, said the business was delighted to sponsor the “fun and constructive” WIE awards once again in 2018.

“It has been humbling to receive this award”

“We fully support the work Lead5050 are doing to raise the profile of women in international education, and we see the WIE awards as a great way to recognise some of the most successful and innovative women in our sector, as well as celebrating the companies and men who are supporting them,” she said.

Gossage explained that Lead5050 have created an “incredibly valuable” platform where issues around gender inequality and the needs to women in the workplace can be openly discussed.

“This year’s awards were well-attended by women and men from across the industry who are also supportive of Lead5050’s mission, so there was a very positive vibe at the event. Melissa McCoy was a brilliant speaker and she led to a lively discussion about issues currently being faced by women in the workplace.

“Congratulations to all the winners!” Gossage added.

The full list of 2018 WIE Award winners:

Unsung Hero
Chloe Shaw (Cambridge English)

Inspirational Woman of the Year
Eleri Maitland(French in Normandy)

Enlightened Employer Award
Stacy McKay Benander(Athena Study Abroad)

Woman Business Owner/MD of the Year
Jane Dancaster (Wimbledon School of English)

Best Champion of Change
James Herbertson (Bayswater Education)

Rising Star of the Year
Nicoletta Pinto(Guard.Me)

Best New Business/Startup of the Year

Mentor of the Year
Martha Johnson (University of Minnesota)

Teacher/Academic Director of the Year
Marisol Gracia (Heart Thinking Project)

Charitable Endeavour of the Year
WINNER: Hessy Elliott (RefuAid)

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Odile Migieu CEO, ACET

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