A waste sector leader has picked up a top businesswoman award – and she’s praised her “inspiring” female peers.  

Vikki Jackson-Smith, Managing Director at J&B Recycling, picked up the Business of the Year Award at the Tees Businesswomen Awards organised by Tees Business magazine and hosted by Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen. 

She joined women from a range of business sectors at the glitzy inaugural event at Wynyard Hall in the Tees Valley.  

Vikki said: “It was inspiring to see so many women in business being celebrated.  

“I was delighted to accept the award – it was great to have our business recognised and an award that acknowledges all of the staff and not just one person.   

“The staff are what make our business, so it’s recognition for everything that they do. It is a team effort.”  

Vikki says that although the waste industry has been predominantly male-dominated, she has never experienced discrimination based on her gender within the sector.     

She said: “My gender has never been an issue and certainly not a barrier to what we have achieved. Our organisation always judges people by merit rather than by gender.  

“It is our mission to maintain our high standards whilst executing on our significant growth plans for the business; an ethos that is continually driven by a strong management team that has an equal 50/50 split of both males and females.   

“We have some exciting investment plans over the next six months and look forward to continuing to encourage more ladies into the waste industry to maintain a good balance within the team to assist with the delivery on our growth strategy.”  

J&B Recycling employs around 200 staff across three sites in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. 

Vikki transformed her father’s solid fuel distribution company into a waste management and recycling specialist that now boasts a £17m turnover.  

The event arranged by Tees Business magazine was attended by more than 270 people and J&B Recycling’s Business of the Year Awards was sponsored by Cornerstone Business Solutions.