Sheffield's Jessica Ennis-Hill took the top award at the Sportswomen of the Year ceremony on Friday.
The Olympic heptathlon champion returned from giving birth to her first child to land World Championship gold in Beijing in August.
In the Sunday Times/Sky Sports-backed awards, Ennis-Hill finished ahead of second-placed Lizzie Armitstead and third-placed Lizzy Yarnold to be named sportswoman of the year.
Ennis-Hill said: "When I think back to the year it has been incredibly hard. Just adjusting to life as a mum and having those amazing experiences, and coming back into training and reaching the top of my career again, it's been absolutely incredible. I really didn't think I would win the gold medal."
The 2016 Olympics in Rio is her next target, and Ennis-Hill said: "I'm very much looking forward to next year. If I can get there in one piece it'll be my last Olympics so I really want to enjoy it, I want it to be special and I want my family to be part of it."
England's hockey side were named team of the year.
The EuroHockey champions, who came from 2-0 behind to force a penalty shoot-out in which they beat Holland to take the title in August, beat the England and Chelsea women's football teams to take the prize.
England forward Alex Danson said on Sky Sports: "The England women's football team - we were inspired by you, we watched you.
"This type of award is a platform to showcase our sport, and if we've had that impact on anybody out there on any young girl then it's a fantastic privilege for us and we are delighted."
The young sportswoman of the year award went to sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, while wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley was also a winner.
Playing this week in the United States, Whiley wrote on Twitter: "So I just got out the shower, looked at Twitter and I've won disability sportswoman of the year at @SkySports #SWOTY ... Wow! thank you!"
Liverpool Homeless Football Club took the community award, while football coach Annie Zaidi - who has faced prejudice as an Asian woman who wears a headscarf - took the Helen Rollason award for inspiration, being hailed in a video message from David Beckham as "an inspiration to so many people".
The lifetime achievement prize went to former England cricketer Enid Bakewell.