Jacqueline O’Donovan, managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, has been named as Most Inspiring Business Woman at this year’s Best Business Women Awards in Welwyn. Jacqueline was recognised for her passion and drive to succeed in a male-dominated industry since the age of 17, and her determination to fundamentally change the construction waste industry and the development of those within it.

The prestigious Best Business Women Awards seek to find the very best female business talent from across the UK, celebrating female entrepreneurs who not only run successful businesses but, in many cases, also juggle the needs of their families and overcome other challenges. The awards are designed to recognise the achievement of these women across a wide range of business categories.

Jacqueline has cemented her place in the construction waste industry having overcome the death of her father, when she was just 17. But she has continued his legacy by setting new industry standards for others to follow, establishing a reputation that dispels any stereotypes of a woman being unable to succeed in a sector traditionally dominated by men. Her work has fundamentally changed the face of UK transport policy, both in terms of safety and sustainability, and her passion to develop her entire workforce sees her deliver in-house training for all, as well as devising safety training that is applied industry-wide.

The judges were inspired by Jacqueline’s commitment and tenacity to succeed, with the family business having grown exponentially under her leadership. O’Donovan turns over more than £19m, employs 160 staff and operates a fleet of 85 HGVs as one of the South East’s leading waste management companies operating within London and the surrounding area.

The business award is Jacqueline’s second in the space of two weeks, having been honoured with the title of Business Woman of the Year at the Women of the Year Awards earlier this month.

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, said: “I’m honoured to receive this award and would like to extend my thanks to everyone who made it possible. To be perceived as an inspiration to others is very humbling, and I’m proud to collect this award on behalf of the family business and its great heritage.”