The award was established in 2012, and aims to define and encourage successful women who hold senior positions in large companies and public agencies, or are widely recognized for their achievements in culture and sports fields.

The main criterion of the jury, which is traditionally comprised of men — heads of major St. Petersburg's businesses, is "forming the image of a female leader, who is responsible for positive changes in urban environment and citizens' lives".

In 2017, Daria Kozlova, Vice Rector for International Relations of ITMO University, became one of the award winners.

According to her, in 2016, the university undertook a series of crucial projects and got international recognition, which was most important not only for ITMO, but for Saint Petersburg as a whole. Last year, ITMO got UNESCO's gold medal for creating a "unique university environment", as well as 56th position in THE's Computer Science ranking.

"The university underwent many internal changes, which led to significant results and international recognition. Also, being located in Saint Petersburg, ITMO becomes an international center which attracts talents from all over the world. Naturally, we support this process and actively cooperate with the city. In a way, Saint Petersburg has become our laboratory", shares the Vice Rector.

According to Ms. Kozlova, the fact that a representative of education and science was chosen as the award winner shows the growing importance of intellectual capital formed by universities.

"I believe that education, particularly higher education establishments, was always an important part of a city's development, especially when talking about Saint Petersburg. It is no coincidence that according to the QS ranking agency, our city is among the world's ten best for a student to live in, notes Ms. Kozlova. Why it is that today, business journals and business representatives in general pay all the more attention to universities? This is because it became clear that the development of Russia's economy now solely depends on the competitive ability of specialists that our universities train. Intellectual capital has become more important than ever."

All in all, more than a hundred women who work in different sectors of economy, education, science and arts got the award. Among them were opera director Larisa Gergieva, sportswoman and Duma member Svetlana Zhurova, trainer Tatyana Moskvina, first dancer of Mariinsky Theater Julia Makhalina, CEO of Interfax North-West Lyudmila Fomicheva, board member of the Melon Fashion Group Galina Sintsova, member of Legislative Assembly Irina Ivanova, and others.

The candidates for the contest were chosen by Business Petersburg's editorial office and a special jury comprised of 22 influential men, including Alexandr Kashin, Board Chairman of the EGO holding company, Kirill Soloveichik, Director General of the Lenpoligrafmash Jsc, Vladimir Hilchenko, president of the Constellation Aquarius holding company, and others.