ILKLEY businesswoman Karen Slade has been announced as a 2018 ‘Working Mum of the Year’ finalist.

This award is for a mother who epitomises the dedication required to juggle a busy home and family life alongside achieving personal career ambitions.

Hundreds of nominations were received by the Pitman Training’s SuperAchievers awards.

Karen Slade is a mother and co-founder of Social Sense Media, a business set up to help other businesses understand how to utilise social media. The business was founded alongside Kate Cox. Their experience spans both business to business and business to consumer marketing.

Karen said: “In the space of exactly one year, I have transformed my life from ‘stay at home mum’ to ‘social media trainee’ to ‘social media agency owner’.”

Having worked in marketing roles throughout her 20s, Karen branched out and set up a candle making business. She sold that business shortly before the birth of her first daughter.

At the beginning of 2017, Karen started a six month training programme which built on the prior marketing experience she had already gained, specifically focusing around social media. As soon as she successfully completed her training, Karen joined forces with another mum, Kate Cox, and together they founded Social Sense Media.

When asked what keeps her motivated, Karen said: “I want to set an example to my girls that hard work and perseverance, focused into something you love will pay dividends. Also, for them to see that taking risks and accepting you might fail is more important than knowing you can before you start – to inspire them to live bolder.”

Voting is now open for all finalists -

The public vote closes on Friday, April 13 and the winners will then be announced on April 20.

Claire Lister, managing director at Pitman Training Group, said: “We are honoured to be able to highlight such incredible stories, across a really varied set of professions and showcase those who are striving to achieve. Each year, I look at the entries submitted, and it inspires me to see what people are achieving through hard work and ambition.”