Announcing the top 100 Women in Trade Association – the Powerlist!

Today is International Women’s Day and it is with great pleasure that we launch the inaugural Trade Association Forum’s Women in Trade Association’s Powerlist in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry and the Federation of Small Businesses. Within this list of 100 women will be familiar names. Chances are they convene your sector, you hear them on the news and know of their successes in Westminster and Whitehall. After a gruelling six years championing their sectors while managing the fall out of Brexit, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on them as they do so ably day in and day out for UK plc.

We asked for recommendations for inspirational women in associations, women who champion their sector, deliver tirelessly for their members, and support their colleagues. We had two simple requirements in that nominees must:

  • Work for or in a UK trade association (defined as a UK membership organisation representing UK businesses)
  • Be inspirational, influential and brilliant…

We wanted to keep as open a door as possible for people to define inspirational, influential and brilliant in their own terms. It resulted in compelling case studies with considerable evidence of impact across:   

  • Policy engagement – supporting their sectors to open up global trade routes; secure billions of pounds of funding; and keeping trade going.
  • Creating industry wide coalitions – both in the UK and internationally.
  • Developing sustainable organisations – through membership growth and ensuring business profitability by showing impact and diversifying offerings.
  • Project delivery – a lot has happened through trade associations that deliver on the ground with sustainability and training being two big themes, along with delivery mechanisms such as events and education partnerships.   
  • Diversity and inclusion – including supporting colleagues growth (from women’s groups, split roles to menopause support) and actively evaluating and supporting the sectors work to build a more diverse workforce;
  • Crisis management – see above, there have been a few!

“A formidable champion for her members, vocal, visible and hugely passionate”

Said of our most nominated candidate Fiona Campbell who with 14 recommendations seemed to capture so many of the qualities shown in our leaders. We wouldn’t want to feed into the slight trite idea of ‘female characteristics’ for success, yet for those interested to know why these people have had such accomplishments a word cloud would pull out the following:

  • Brave (especially the CEO who polled her team on her management style);
  • Champion, advocate, tirelessly represents, persuasive, strong voice;  
  • Collegiate, inclusive, great team player, collaborative;
  • Fair, calm, reliable, well informed;
  • Formidable, driven, resilient;  
  • Inspirational, passionate, dedicated, determined;   

My significant thanks to Emily Wallace, CEO of TAF, for driving this project – it would not have happened without you. Equally my huge appreciation to our Judging Panel including Caroline Lavelle (FSB), Maxine Bligh (CBI), Henry Aldridge (CBI), Lisa Collins (IABM), Ellen Daniels (BCGA), Martin McTague (FSB) and last, but never least, the incredible Gaynor Pates (Chair TAF).

With over 250 nominations we had a significant job in evaluating the nominees and it was incredibly hard to filter to just 100. In the nominations we had a number of brilliant recommendations from a cohort of women who are clearly rising stars, who while don’t feature today we will ensure that they secure a place in their own list. Undoubtingly there will be incredibly capable, talented, and well-loved candidates we haven’t been able to recognise here as we pared down to the most notable for the work over the past few years. My apologies to them and we hope that you don’t see this as a slight.

We will shortly be celebrating with the women in the list. Next year we hope to revisit the group again and extend this wider to women performing other significant roles driving associations including Chairs and other members. More, as always, will follow. In the meantime our list and nominees will be getting on with the job while being inspirational, influential and brilliant – congratulations again to them!

Nicola Bates


Women in Trade Association’s Power List

Watch the highlights from the 2023 Trade Association Awards below

On Thursday 23rd February 2023, more than 320 people gathered to celebrate the best of the UK trade association sector, recognising excellence across 18 categories including the coveted Trade Association of the Year!

See all the winners here.

Recent news from TAF


TAF member-only content

This content is only available to Trade Association Forum members, if you are a member please log in below and you will be able to view the content.

If you are from a TAF member organisation but do not have an account yet, please contact and we will set you up, or you can speak to the lead contact for TAF at your organisation who will be able to set you up.

If you are not a TAF member and would like to find out more about joining, take a look at all the great TAF member benefits here or get in touch with us directly and we would be happy to discuss.



TAF member-only content

This content is only available to Trade Association Forum members, if you are a member please log in below and you will be able to view the content.

If you are from a TAF member organisation but do not have an account yet, please contact and we will set you up, or you can speak to the lead contact for TAF at your organisation who will be able to set you up.

If you are not a TAF member and would like to find out more about joining, take a look at all the great TAF member benefits here or get in touch with us directly and we would be happy to discuss.


Diversity for many associations is still a challenge, particularly for those who represent traditionally male-dominated sectors.

Traditional associations derive their activists, volunteers and often their staff teams from their members, with individuals often moving to and from associations and their member businesses.

The diversity of an association therefore often reflects the diversity of their sector.

In many ways this is inevitable. Associations need to be experts in their sectors, they need to understand how it works both in detail and in practice. They need to understand all the nooks and crannies, the people, the culture and the industry politics too.

So, in many ways, associations need to overcompensate with their focus on diversity, encouraging unrepresented groups to participate in the association, and also actively seeking diverse candidates into appropriate roles. 

The current labour market has proved challenging on this front, our member benchmarking survey published in November last year, showed that associations are struggling to recruit, and are concerned about retaining talent.

The Trade Association Forum as the ‘association of associations’ wants to play our part as well. 

We exist to bring members together, develop communities and encourage the sharing of best practice. There are some great examples of associations leading the way to encourage their sectors to be more diverse. Including the two associations shortlisted for ‘Diversity Initiative of the Year’ for this year’s Trade Associations Awards:

  • The British Beer and Pub Association launched the first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Charter for breweries and pubs; a sector-wide commitment to embed practices throughout members’ businesses from boardroom to the bar. 
  • RenewableUK launched a Switch List, an industry-sourced list of women in the industry specialists in their field, ready and able to participate in panels, be speakers, keynotes or roundtable representatives. The list is open-access and for use by the whole energy industry and trade bodies to ensure that there can never be the excuse that ‘there aren’t any women who know about this topic’. 

These are great initiatives that we are proud to celebrate with our awards, but we want to use our platform to highlight other stories as well.

This is why we have launched a new initiative with the FSB and the CBI to celebrate women in Associations. We are building the Women in Trade Association Powerlist to publish on International Women’s Day, and bringing together for the first time inspirational women from across the sector to act as a demonstration of the incredible female talent we are lucky enough to have. To coin a phrase, “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.”

We also want to encourage associations to attract and recruit from a wider pool of candidates, which is why we are working to promote associations as a great place to grow and develop your career. We are currently reviewing our training and development offer, and working with our recruitment partners Membership Bespoke and Ellwood Atfield to develop best practice around recruitment and retention.

We are also working with other partners including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)  to build networks of PR and Public Affairs and communications professionals in associations to champion the work that they do.

In the future, we think that TAF should be the place where anyone working in or looking to work in an association goes when they need professional support and advice about how to build and develop their career in Associations.

You can play your part too.  

Nominate your inspirational women in association by the 6th February:

How to build a successful insurance scheme for your association

a case study

Over many years, but especially since the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it had on association’s traditional income streams, revenue diversification has been a huge topic for association leaders and one we get lots of questions on here at TAF.

Many associations have tried to launch new member services with the aim of providing greater value to members and also finding new ways to generate income, though with varying success.

Insurance has been one of the main services associations turn to – building a sector-specific offer for a product that is universally needed, but many have struggled to drive uptake or make their scheme a success.

To help members, we have developed this case study in alongside Partners& and TAF member NAPIT, about an insurance scheme they have built that has achieved impressive take up and delivered results for the association and its members. 

The case study

Background – Challenge

NAPIT is a membership organisation for the building service and fabric sectors – primarily electrical contractors, heating engineers and renewable energy installers. Like many trade organisations, NAPIT offers value added and inclusive support services to their members including training, technical support, legal & HR support – and insurance.

Retaining and growing the membership is a challenge in today’s competitive environment. The pandemic has impacted every business sector in different ways. For many, the world they inhabit has changed irrevocably.

As part of the process to design an insurance offering, Partners& and NAPIT focused on understanding the risks and issues facing members and the priorities for NAPIT. As a result, maximising value for existing members and, as a result, enhancing member retention was fundamental. 

What we do - Support

The NAPIT Insurance offering was designed to provide another valuable service that the membership needs. Aligning with a trusted partner was important in order to really understand the membership demographic and their specific needs.

The majority of NAPIT members are small businesses – either sole traders or involving one or two employees of a limited company. Insurance isn’t something they have the time to spend researching – they simply need to find the right covers for the specific type of work they carry out, for the right price.

Working with both NAPIT and their insurer partners, Partners& carefully developed a tailored package based on the insurance needs of members.

Technology underpins the offering, and the branded NAPIT Insurance website includes an efficient quote and buy online service supporting members’ preferred approach to buying insurance.

It’s then about getting the offer out their and building awareness. Using Partners& marketing expertise and working in partnership with the NAPIT team, they then introduced the NAPIT Insurance brand to NAPIT members. By engaging with the NAPIT marketing team and Partners&’s in-house Insurance advisers, they were able to develop communications and initiatives that are relevant and worthwhile for members – helping them to understand more about the insurance they have and why they need it.

As well as the digital side of things, Partners& supported NAPIT and its members with attendance at industry EXPOs, and by producing newsletter articles which demonstrate thought leadership and highlighted the solutions offered to support them. This helps to truly connect the offer with the membership and understand the challenges both they and NAPIT face.

The results – Perform

Partners& aims to deliver the best traditions of broking – those based on relationship and sound technical advice. By combining this approach with modern thinking and intelligent use of technology, we’ve delivered a quote and buy system that NAPIT members can use at a time that suits them. It’s available 24/7, 365 days a year – not just during office hours.


But it’s not just about click and buy. NAPIT members are advised and supported by a personable team of qualified, professional advisers based in our specialist centre near Reading. As a result, NAPIT Insurance is on hand to answer questions and provide advice, resulting in better outcomes for the members. The offering is underwritten by Hiscox who provide a superior claims service – support when it is needed most.

Since October 2020, NAPIT Insurance has:

  • Transacted over 5,000 policies, representing almost a third of membership
  • Achieved a total premium spend of approximately £1.7m GWP
  • Generated more than £250k revenue for NAPIT since launch
  • Anticipated annual revenue after three years expected of £175k p.a.
  • Embedded the insurance offering as a fundamental benefit of joining NAPIT
  • Achieved gold standard Investor in Customers Award, demonstrating our commitment to deliver a positive experience for members

In summary, we have established a proposition that provides NAPIT members with the insurance cover they need – enhancing confidence in their member organisation and delivering outstanding results.


Find out more

You can find out more about Partners& on the TAF website, or get in touch with their team to find out about how to launch your own association insurance scheme:

Nominate the best women you know for the inaugural 2023 Powerlist

TAF, the CBI and the FSB are joining forces to champion the role of Women in trade bodies , celebrate their achievements and encourage the next generation of women into the association sector.

On International Women’s Day we will be launching the inaugural Women in Trade Associations powerlist. Our list will celebrate the best, the most brilliant, and the most formidable female business and sector champions in the UK.

We are looking for inspirational women in Associations, women who champion their sector, deliver tirelessly for their members, and support their colleagues.

Nominees must:

  • Work for or in a UK trade association (defined as a UK membership organisation representing UK businesses)
  • Be inspirational, influential and brilliant


Anyone can make a nomination, Just tell us why you think they deserve a place on our 2023 list (maximum 300 words).

So, who do you know that should make the list?

Join the conversation

Join the conversation and help promote the Women in Trade Associations Powerlist on social media:



why start an awards competition?

Awards are more popular than ever. It’s all about being superior in sport, quality, service, industry, etc. If you wish to improve your brand recognition and your revenue, starting a business award program can be a real game-changer and quite beneficial for everyone associated, including the organizer, sponsors, program judges, everyone recognized with a nomination, and of course the worthy winners.

Awards as a source of revenue

There are usually two types of awards competitions:

  1. Paid awards – entrants pay a fee to enter the awards
  2. Free awards – entrants are either members of an association/membership organization and pay an annual fee that includes nominations for the awards or the awards competition is sponsored by a large organisation/corporation and entrants can enter for free

Both options are powerful tools to increase the revenue of your organization and are often the main source of revenue for some associations or membership organizations.

Obviously, starting an awards competition does not automatically mean increasing your revenue. In order to be successful, such programs should be approached strategically and every step should be planned well in advance.

It starts with understanding why other companies would consider being part of your awards.

It’s great marketing

Awards celebrate success and hard work, but also make for great PR opportunities. They’re a fantastic marketing tool, full stop! Any business can improve brand awareness and acquire new customers by simply being nominated, let alone winning an accolade.

A good benchmark

Participating in an awards competition is a good way to see how a company compares against the rest. Whether this is then used to convince future clients into doing business, or helps the company improve various aspects of their work, it’s always a win-win, no matter the benchmarking results.

Improved social trust

A business getting short-listed for an award is essentially viewed as a 3rd party endorsement. It can improve social trust in the nominated brand, which can then be used as a sales pitch, help retain existing clients, improve relationships with suppliers, stand out from the competition, etc.

Awards attract talent

It’s a way to strengthen a company’s hiring power. Award-winning companies pitch themselves as the best and this helps them attract better talent, which in turn empowers them to take their business to the next level.

Employee motivation

Awards essentially recognize the hard work of a company’s employees so an award or two often boosts staff morale and motivation. It also shows people what’s great about the company they work for and this gives them pride to be a part of that.

How to make it work?

Laying the groundwork

Set a budget and make sure you have some of it dedicated to marketing and the tools you’ll be using to make the program a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Consider your pricing strategy as well, it’s quite important. Figure out the key dates like entry submission, judging rounds, winner announcements, etc.

Building toward success

An awards program has a lot of moving parts and you will need a dedicated staff to keep everything on track. It helps to have people working on specific goals for the program with set deadlines. Remember that getting your awards ready for accepting entries requires an enormous amount of work.

Getting the right tools for the job

One of the big struggles with organizing a successful program is staying organized. At this point, no matter how big your team is, you will need a reliable end-to-end awards management platform. This is basically where a tool like Evalato takes over and helps you literally every step of the way.

  • Streamline and automate your work. Saves you time and makes your program look top-drawer and highly professional. Not only that, but the platform is also highly flexible and customizable so you can tailor everything down to the last detail.
  • User-friendly and modern interface. This is another important element, as it directly affects how entrants and program judges perceive your awards. It also guarantees that both judges and entrants have a blast being part of your program, so they’ll gladly come back for more.
  • Create a site for your awards. This is quite an important part and should be a big focus in the preparation of your call for entry. And even if you have your own website, the platform integrates easily with it, so you’re still making the most out of it.
  • Powerful entry submission. Collect more submissions with a sleek and adaptive submission portal. The application process can be customized with various powerful options.
  • Easy communication and follow-ups. Whether you wish to send notifications to remind people about submitting their entries, or to instruct judges about their duties, you have the tools you need.
  • Custom evaluation phase. You can set up the entry evaluation to your exact requirements, choose various scoring types with custom criteria, scales, and weights, then invite people to the jury panel, create public voting rounds, etc.
  • Announce the winners. Then easily set up a gallery of all award entries, so people can admire them long after. You get to showcase program applications, results, judge comments, individual votes in just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Analyze data and improve. Benefit from an always complete picture with real-time scores, votes management, a results page, and many features that help improve and grow your awards.

Focusing on awards credibility

On one hand, with Evalato you get a secure and fully GDPR-compliant solution, but that’s not enough. To add actual credibility to your program, consider inviting some big names from your industry to judge program entries. Having judges who are well-known will greatly increase the prestige and legitimacy of your awards.

Sponsors as a source of revenue

Sponsors and partners are crucial stakeholders that can really help with growing your program and your revenue. Here it’s important to understand why they would be willing to sponsor your awards to make them a compelling offer.

The buzz

Awards are the darlings in any industry and that’s what makes sponsors take notice. It’s a chance for them to reach a wide audience, or at least strengthen brand recognition. Which is always a win for them.

The feel-good

An awards competition often serves a good cause. They can be about distinguishing excellence in science, supporting environmental efforts, pushing innovations, etc. A good cause is something that any company is happy to get behind.

awards as an indirect source of revenue

Business awards not only directly increase your organization’s revenue but also provide excellent business opportunities that indirectly contribute to the overall growth of your business. It’s why business awards are such an excellent business opportunity.

Get new business leads

No matter how large a database of existing clients you have, an awards program will attract some extra attention to your brand. And this naturally brings many new business leads, which is always good for business.

Strengthen your brand

That extra attention to your brand will of course strengthen it considerably. An awards program is a long-term project and as time goes by, the awards will grow and the benefits to your brand will get bigger and bigger.

Extra publicity for your organization

Not saying here you’ll automatically get free publicity simply because you’re organizing an awards competition. But awards generate a ton of online buzz, media coverage, shares, likes, and commentary across all channels.

New business partnerships

Because everyone’s fascinated by award competitions, there’s great potential for negotiating new business partnerships, even with companies that aren’t part of the industry you operate in. Awards are great for branching out as well.

awards as an indirect source of revenue

Awards are a lot of work if you go the old-school route of spreadsheets, folders, endless emails, etc. But this can be so much easier with a good platform that tracks, stores, and helps you manage every stage of entry submission and judging for your program. Saving hours upon hours of work is another way you’ll be increasing your revenue, should you decide to start your own awards program.

Evalato is the next-gen awards management software designed to suit all your needs  – free testing is available and no credit card is required.

Published originally on Evalato on June 2, 2022.

Comprehensive financial, salary & benefits benchmarking of more than 100 trade associations now available to buy!

The TAF Benchmarking survey 2022 produced in partnership wtih Ellwood Atfield provides up-to-date information on key financial indicators, salaries, pay awards and benefits offered by associations.

The data was collected during September and October 2022 and there were 105 valid responses from organisations together employing some 1,152 staff with combined salary bill of more than £42m.

The report allows association leaders to make informed decisions about budgeting, salaries and strategy. Available now for just £100 (ex VAT) for TAF Members and £150 (ex VAT) for non-members.

The report and accompanying data tables breaks down findings by geographical location and size of association and has been produced specifically to help associations benchmark themselves against similar sized associations. The data includes:

  • Salary bill, wage inflation and benefits
  • Revenue makeup and cash at hand
  • Recruitment, staffing levels and ways of working
  • Salary scales at 5 levels of seniority
  • Bonus levels and criteria
  • Board remuneration
  • Pensions

Example data

Below are some examples of the types of information included in the report:

How long could your association survive on cash-at-hand?

How have you found recruitment over the past 12 months?


We benchmarked salaries at 5 different levels for trade association staff (by size and geography) and also explored how employers have adapted to new ways of working and are using benefits to improve their offer and retain staff.

Get this and much more in the full report and data tables.


TAF member-only content

This content is only available to Trade Association Forum members, if you are a member please log in below and you will be able to view the content.

If you are from a TAF member organisation but do not have an account yet, please contact and we will set you up, or you can speak to the lead contact for TAF at your organisation who will be able to set you up.

If you are not a TAF member and would like to find out more about joining, take a look at all the great TAF member benefits here or get in touch with us directly and we would be happy to discuss.


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