Kenyan expat shortlisted for British Women Leaders award

Yvonne Owuor
Women Leaders finalist Yvonne Owuor. Photo: Andrew Watt

A Kenyan expat who lives and works in Milton Keynes has been shortlisted for the Women Leaders awards which are being held in the Buckinghamshire town tonight (12 October).

Former Kenya Airways’ flight attendant Yvonne Owuor, came to the UK to study Travel and Tourism, graduating with a first class degree from the University of West London before moving on to study her Masters in Political Science at Royal Holloway University. 

While studying, she worked for the Royal Household as an Admissions Supervisor in Windsor and Buckingham Palace before moving to Milton Keynes after graduating, where she took up her current role as a Major Projects Advisor at NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes.

Despite working full time and raising her son, Yvonne has volunteered for a number of charitable endeavours in her precious free time. It was this selflessness that has led to her receiving nominations for the prestigious awards which recognise the talents and achievements of women living or working in the Milton Keynes area.

Yvonne has been nominated in the Community Impact Voluntary category and describes herself as “an individual, a mother, a professional and a volunteer”. 

Not only was she nominated by a colleague from within NHBC, but also externally.

In her nomination, Yvonne was described as having an “an energy and resilience that is contagious” and that she “successfully delivers excellence in any engagement she takes on.” It adds that she is an “inspiration and critical asset wherever she works and is passionate about helping others.”

“Although she is fairly new in Milton Keynes, she is already making a positive impact in the community by continuously promoting best practice in everything she does with continuous energy and perseverance.

“When I received the email I had this surreal – in a good way – type of feeling because I never expected anyone to ever notice my efforts,” she told Brits in Kenya.

“I am currently involved with Food Bank, Work Tree, World Vision, Community Action MK and Habitat for Humanity and always try to give back my time so as to make a difference.

“There is urgent need for policy action to break the cycle of poverty and my main goal is to strive towards breaking this cycle by helping those I can to choose the best path, while continuing to raise awareness for the charities I am involved in.

“Corporate Responsibility issues are an integral part of life and good business, and I am glad that NHBC is involved in initiatives that influence the industry by getting involved in important issues affecting the society we live in,” Yvonne added.

Following her nomination, Yvonne attended an interview where she presented the judges with a mood board which told of her journey from Westlands in Nairobi to Milton Keynes and shared the challenges she has faced which have shaped her into the woman she is today.

Yvonne Owuor Women Leaders Finalist 2018
Yvonne shows the Women Leaders judges her mood board charting her journey from Kenya to the UK. Photo: Twitter/Pam_Gosal

After meeting all the finalists, the judges had the difficult task of choosing the winners in each category. If she is successful tonight, Yvonne will be put forward for the CBI award and get to meet the Queen again. But this time, she would be meeting Her Majesty as an award winner, not an employee. 

“I am delighted and very grateful to everyone in NHBC who has shown me their support, now and in the past. And I am deeply honoured to be a finalist as it will be nice to be recognised for my contribution to the society I live and work in,” Yvonne said.

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