Trailblazing entrepreneurs recognised at the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards

From left: Giuliana Isolani (Country Manager, Nestlé Malta); Nilay Camilleri (Winner of the Sustainability Role Model Award); Norman Aquilina (CEO, Farsons Group); H.E. George Vella, President of Malta; Deborah Schembri (Winner of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year 2019); Caroline Buhagiar Klass (Head of Human Resources and Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Malta); Charmaine Mangion (Winner of the Young Businesswoman of the Year Award and Winner of the Company Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Women).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 at 11:03 am by Andre Camilleri

Deborah Schembri has won the second edition of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award, in recognition of her extraordinary role in structuring and growing STM Malta Pension Services Limited into a major global pension provider, as well as for demonstrating determination and perseverance in accomplishing her professional goals.

The Young Businesswoman of the Year Award was presented to Charmaine Mangion, for her dedication and enthusiasm in founding the first and only child care centre in Malta which operates with the Steiner Waldorf educational approach, and is now in the process of opening her third child care centre whilst being a busy mother to a young daughter.

Magic Castle Child Care Centre received the Company Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Women in Business, whilst Nilay Camilleri received a special mention, and was awarded the Sustainability Role Model Award for her instrumental role in creating job opportunities both in Ghana and Malta which have empowered female entrepreneurship in fashion and technology, whilst building a business which focuses mainly on sustainability.

A virtual ceremony to announce the winners was held at San Anton Palace and all nominees were invited to join remotely. The presentation of the trophies to the winners was held a few days later by H.E. George Vella, President of Malta. The winners were also presented with a smartphone each, sponsored by Vodafone Malta.

“I am honoured to win this important and prestigious award.  It is the result of my hard work, integrity and perseverance that I always have put in, in the various C-Level roles that I have held over the years.  In my current role as CEO & Managing Director of STM Malta Pension Services Ltd, I was and am instrumental both in structuring and growing the business and also in contributing to shaping the pensions industry in Malta targeted both at local and international clients.  I would like that as the winner of the Malta Businesswoman of the Year Award, I will have the opportunity to promote the competences and capabilities of women with a view to seeing more women being appointed in decision-making positions and as board members.  I also hope that I serve as an inspiration and encouragement for other women,” said Deborah Schembri.

The Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards were launched in 2018 through a partnership between HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. and the Office of the President of Malta, with the aim of highlighting outstanding female leaders in the business and economic world. This year’s edition of the awards was held under the patronage of the President of Malta, and sponsored once again by HSBC Malta, together with Farsons Group and Nestlé Malta Ltd.

“These awards are an excellent opportunity to consider women’s determination to break free from socio-cultural expectations and gender ascribed roles and instead embark on entrepreneurial missions and progress to the highest ranks and positions,” the President told the Malta Businesswoman of the Year virtual awards ceremony. H.E. encouraged more companies to introduce family-friendly measures and life-long learning schemes which promote gender balance and equal opportunities.

Caroline Buhagiar Klass, Head of Human Resources and Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Malta and Chair of the Judging Panel, said: “This year’s nominees have clearly shown that our community is rich in female success stories and these awards provide a national platform for them to be recognised and celebrated.  It is our hope that up-coming female entrepreneurs are inspired by the award winners and make it to the top.”

More information about the awards and future events are available at

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