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Girl power has women leading in race to find Britain's hardest workers
Published:  06 June, 2014

UK Worker of the Year is now in its fifth year, with women dominating the competition to find the UK's hardest workers.

Workwear company Dickies, launched the 2014 competition to find Britain’s top workers and the fifth UK Worker of the Year. In 2010, John Stone won the first competition, and since then three women have taken the title.

In 2011, charity worker Anna Simpson won the competition, with manufacturer and inventor Di Mayze winning in 2012, and  farmer Judi James winning in 2013.

The 2014 competition is sponsored by Dickies in association with Suzuki. This year's winner will have the choice to take home a Suzuki S-Cross car, a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 motorcycle or a Suzuki ATV Quad. In addition to these prizes, the winner will also have the chance to win a cash prize of £100,000.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the final round of the British Superbike meeting at Brands Hatch on 18 October, 2014. Runners up in the competition will receive thousands of pounds in holiday vouchers.

Judi James, 2013 Worker of the Year, said: “I would urge anyone who hears about the competition to have a go at entering or to nominate someone as an entrant. It costs nothing except a few minutes of time and those few minutes could prove to be incredibly worthwhile. It’s great for me to be recognised for my hard work in what is a male dominant industry.”

Ms James set up her own RSPCA Freedom Foods veal production unit alongside carrying out her daily farming duties. Whilst impressing the audience with her passion and commitment towards her job, Ms James also spoke of her desire to set up farming activities to raise money for her breast cancer charity as well as her aim to inspire other women to take on farming as a profession.

Di Mayze, an inventor and mother from Nottingham stated: “Winning the competition has changed my life and I’m delighted to have been recognised for my work. I never thought I would get as far as I did in the competition and would encourage anyone who thinks they work hard to enter.”

Ms Mayze's company called Ippee Design Limited was lunched in January 2011, while she was on maternity leave. Over three years on, the popular product BuggyTug is sold by some of the leading retailers in the country. Ms Mayze also went on to launch a new product called TugTrio, which consists of three buggy straps.

Ms Simpson, a charity support worker for the Amber Trust who provides practical help for adults suffering from mental illness, has also urged people to enter this year’s competition. She said: “It has been life-changing and it has helped boost people doing the sort of work I do, who are often unsung heroes.”

Maurice Morton, sales & marketing director at Dickies stated: “As things stand we have had three female winners and Mr Stone. We launched this competition in 2010 to reward hard workers in the UK and there is no doubt that the four winners so far have been the most deserving of the title. Given the on-going uncertainty that the country faces economically, a feel-good initiative of this type is more important than ever to remind our nation’s workforce that they have much to be proud of and look forward to.”

UK Worker of the Year is a free-to-enter competition and is open to anyone aged 17 or over (on the date of the launch), who works in the UK.

To enter UK Worker of the Year 2014 or to find out more about the competition please visit www.ukworkeroftheyear.com