The Women in IT Awards, technology’s largest diversity event, returned in style last night as 500 of the UK’s most prominent IT leaders descended on the ballroom at Grosvenor House, Park Lane.
The event showcased the achievements and innovation of women in technology over the last 12 months, identifying new role models and promoting further dialogue around diversity among industry influencers.
Organised by business-technology magazine Information Age, the Women in IT Awards has gathered resounding support from trade associations, politicians and companies of all sizes and sectors since launching last year.
According to a study from employer body The Tech Partnership, which supports the event, just 16% of the IT industry is made up of women and the gender gap is worsening.
The event was introduced by Ben Rossi, editorial director at Vitesse Media and creator of the Women in IT Awards and sister event Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today.
“We all know the awful statistic that has stuck around in this industry for too long now: just one woman to every five men,” said Rossi. “I suspect the lack of female leadership role models in the technology industry is harming the aspirations of young women looking to embark on a career in IT.
“That’s why initiatives like the Women in IT Awards are so important, providing a platform to show off the wonderful female leaders that grace the world of technology.”
>See also: Women in IT Awards 2016 – finalists revealed
Amy Williams, Olympic gold medalist and presenter of The Gadget Show, hosted the ceremony, while Pippa Evans brought laughter to the lively evening with her post-dinner comedy routine.
The audience were also treated to keynotes from Baroness Joanna Shields, Minister for Internet Safety and Security, and Sir Rod Aldridge, who grew Capita from start-up to a FTSE 100 company and now chairs the Aldridge Foundation.
"Congratulations to all the women shortlisted for this year's Women in IT Awards,” said Baroness Shields. “This is a platform not only for celebrating the achievements of female IT leaders, but also for identifying new role models for young women.
“It is vital that we expand the circle of women innovators, creators and drivers looking to join our industry. Simply being involved in this initiative contributes to tackling technology’s disheartening gender imbalance."
The Women in IT Awards 2016 was sponsored by Salesforce, Atos, CWJobs, EMC, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Informed Solutions, O2, TechUK, eSkills for Jobs, Software AG, World First, Zayo, and Ada, the National College of Digital Skills.
Further insight into how each award was chosen by the judges, as well as winner reactions and pictures, will feature in the February issue of Information Age magazine.
The Women in IT Awards 2016 winners
Advocate of the year – sponsored by O2
e-Skills Initiative of the Year – sponsored by e-Skills for Jobs 2015 and techUK
Apps for Good
CIO of the Year – sponsored by EMC
Christina Scott, Financial Times
Future CIO of the Year – sponsored by Software AG
Georgina Owens, Vodafone
Security Champion of the Year – sponsored by World First
Becky Pinkard, Digital Shadows
Deployment of the Year – sponsored by CWJobs
Greater Manchester Police
Business Role Model of the Year – sponsored by Fujitsu
Melissa Di Donato, Salesforce
Business Leader of the Year – sponsored by Zayo
Amy Wettenhall, Ericsson
Innovator of the Year – sponsored by Informed Solutions
Big White Wall
Editor's Choice – sponsored by Ada, the National College for Digital Skills
International Star of the Year – sponsored by Atos
Kamakshi Sivaramaskrishnan, Drawbridge
Woman of the Year – sponsored by Salesforce
Ursula Morgenstern, Atos