Future Stars of Tech - winners revealed at inaugural event!

In our pursuit of closing the gender gap in the technology industry, we hosted our latest diversity event offering on Wednesday - Future Stars of Tech: which aims to inspire, celebrate and empower the next generation of female technology leadership in the UK Future Stars of Tech – winners revealed! image

On Wednesday evening, 400 people from across the technology industry descended on the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London for Information Age’s inaugural Future Stars of Tech – the diversity event celebrating and empowering the next generation of female technology leadership in the UK.

The event is the latest effort by Information Age, partnered by the London Stock Exchange, to tackle the technology industry’s poor female representation and glaring gender pay disparity. Sister events include the world’s largest tech diversity event, the Women in IT Awards, and technology’s largest careers fair for female university students and early graduates, Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today.

Despite efforts from employers, educators and government to make technology more inclusive, female participation remains stubbornly low. Women occupy just 16% of IT jobs in the UK and make up less than 14% of CIOs, less than 10% of tech CEOs and less than 5% of board directors at tech firms.

This lack of diversity is producing significant restrictions on innovation and decision-making, and creates an off-putting image for young women thinking of joining the industry at a time when a digital skills shortage exists across the UK. For this to change, employers must recognise their female rising stars and nurture them into senior leadership.

Future Stars of Tech provides this platform for recognition through its awards programme. By identifying and promoting the industry’s top female career climbers, last night’s event demonstrated diversity as a positive, necessary force, not a challenge, in the world of technology. And by boosting the visibility of female talent in the first eight years of their career, women are provided with the tools and exposure to be role models to young people.

Inspiring female role models deliver the keynotes

Last night’s inaugural event was hosted by the electric Lucy Hedges, the Metro’s tech editor and presenter on BBC Travel, who introduced two truly inspirational female technology leaders.

Lucy Hedges hosted the inaugural Future Stars of Tech

Lucy Hedges hosted the inaugural Future Stars of Tech

Dawn Franklin, IT Service Management Programme Director, London Stock Exchange – premium sponsor of Future Stars of Tech – opened the keynotes with a fascinating insight into her expansive career, with a particularly poignant message of coming through adversity, referencing the tragic events of 9/11 during her time in New York as a female VP in IT at Goldman Sachs.  

“I was at the forefront of recovery during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Goldman Sachs offices faced the towers. After evacuating the building and fleeing to the East River, I found myself wearing three hats: a victim, in triage mode trying to assess the impact and full on disaster recovery. As you can recall, nobody for days knew the impact and how New York City, let alone the business community, would recover. There was very little guidance, and decisions I made had to be the ones that would work. We couldn’t look back. When I think back to that time, I realise now just how much my will, resilience and perseverance was tested and strengthened for the better.”

Dawn Franklin, IT Service Management Programme Director, London Stock Exchange, delivering the opening keynote

Dawn Franklin, IT Service Management Programme Director, London Stock Exchange, delivering the opening keynote

This keynote was followed by the Women in IT Awards UK Woman of the Year, Sheila Flavell, COO of FDM Group (who have a 50/50 split of male and female representation in management), who delivered three key tips for those women in the audience, many of whom were at the beginning of their careers in technology.

“It’s no longer about me and other members of my generation. It’s all about you [referencing the Future Stars of Tech in the crowd]. So, I want to give you three tips.”

“The first one being: follow your dreams, because the word impossible should not exist in tech…You can shape your life any which way you choose. Number two: stand up for the industry, give tech the reputation it deserves. Now, you as the next generation of technology leaders, need to make sure the positive change that tech can bring is highlighted. Number three: transform our industry for the better. Diversity is a driver for excellence. Our industry turns over billions of pounds every single year, yet still women, ethnic minorities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds are very purely served. So, I ask you all – how can we deliver the kind of innovation needed to drive our economy forward, if we fail to reflect the society that we serve? As future leaders, you have the power to change this. So, use this privilege to open our industry and help it become the kind of diverse sector it should be. It is often said with age comes wisdom, but I’m telling you tonight, with youth comes change.”

Sheila Flavell, COO FDM Group, delivers her speech to the audience

Sheila Flavell, COO FDM Group, delivers her speech to the audience

Both keynotes served as the perfect way to kick off the evening, highlighting women at the pinnacle of their careers who provided inspirational advice and anecdotes to the Future Stars of Tech audience.

The winners

Future Star in Artificial Intelligence, sponsored by BP

WINNER: Devon Edwards Joseph – Lloyds Banking Group

Highly commended: Noor Sajid – Accenture

 VP Digital Innovation at BP, Morag Watson (L), Devon Edwards Joseph (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

VP Digital Innovation at BP, Morag Watson (L), Devon Edwards Joseph (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Collaboration, sponsored by Zayo

WINNER: Simi Agbaje, EY

Managing Director of Europe & SVP Fiber Solutions Europe at Zayo Annette Murphy (L), Simi Agbaje (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Managing Director of Europe & SVP Fiber Solutions Europe at Zayo Annette Murphy (L), Simi Agbaje (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in IT Management, sponsored by Schroders

WINNER: Clare Kelly – London Borough of Camden

Highly commended: Stephanie Burrell – World Economic Forum

 Chief Technology Officer at Schroders Stewart Carmichael (L), Clare Kelly (M), Lucy Hedges (R)

Chief Technology Officer at Schroders Stewart Carmichael (L), Clare Kelly (M), Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Security, sponsored by Rolls-Royce

WINNER: Claire Hodge, SensePost

 Group CIO at Rolls-Royce, John Gibbs (L), Claire Hodge (M), Lucy Hedges (R)

Group CIO at Rolls-Royce, John Gibbs (L), Claire Hodge (M), Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Software and Services, sponsored by Belvedere Communications

WINNER: Oishi Deb, Rolls-Royce PLC

 Chief Executive of Belvedere Communications, John West (L), Oishi Deb (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Chief Executive of Belvedere Communications, John West (L), Oishi Deb (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Web Development, sponsored by growthbusiness.co.uk

WINNER: Alicia Grandjean, BBC

 Head of Media Sales at GrowthBuisness.co.uk Tracy Onen (L), Alicia Grandjean (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Head of Media Sales at GrowthBuisness.co.uk Tracy Onen (L), Alicia Grandjean (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Data, sponsored by Vitesse Media

WINNER: Elizabeth Ho – Accenture

Lawrence Gosling, Editorial Director, Vitesse Media (L), Elizabeth Ho (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Lawrence Gosling, Editorial Director, Vitesse Media (L), Elizabeth Ho (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Cloud, sponsored by Information Age

WINNER: Roisin Meehan – DXC Technology

Nick Ismail, Content Editor, Information Age (L), Roisin Meehan (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Nick Ismail, Content Editor, Information Age (L), Roisin Meehan (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Change Management, sponsored by Oracle

WINNER: Sylvia Ranchin – EY

 Senior Director of Consulting and Chair of Oracle Women in Leadership at Oracle Ana Perez (L), Sylvia Ranchin (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Senior Director of Consulting and Chair of Oracle Women in Leadership at Oracle Ana Perez (L), Sylvia Ranchin (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Digital, sponsored by Frank Recruitment Group

WINNER: Paula Hughes – Tarmac

Head of Account Management EMEA at Frank Recruitment, Danielle Ramsbottom (L), Paula Hughes (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Head of Account Management EMEA at Frank Recruitment, Danielle Ramsbottom (L), Paula Hughes (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Highly commended: Shreedipta Mitra – Royal Dutch Shell

Future Star in E Commerce, sponsored by Amazon Web Services

WINNER: Lotti Lindgren Sjöberg – Bacardi

Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Service Shafreen Sayyed (L), Lotti Lindgren Sjöberg (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Service Shafreen Sayyed (L), Lotti Lindgren Sjöberg (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Entrepreneur Future Star, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group

WINNER: Lydia Yarlott – Forward

Business Management Lead - Insurance & Wealth at Lloyds, Anna Helberg-Hansen (L), Lydia Yarlott (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Business Management Lead – Insurance & Wealth at Lloyds, Anna Helberg-Hansen (L), Lydia Yarlott (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in IT Infrastructure, sponsored by Girls in Tech

WINNER: Kate Self, BT

 Managing Director of Girls in Tech London and CEO at Untrite, Kamila Hankiewicz (R) and Managing Director at Girls in Tech London Clairine Chan (L), Kate Self (ML) and Lucy Hedges (MR)

Managing Director of Girls in Tech London and CEO at Untrite, Kamila Hankiewicz (R) and Managing Director at Girls in Tech London Clairine Chan (L), Kate Self (ML) and Lucy Hedges (MR)

Highly commended: Helen Gidney – Softcat

Future Star in FinTech, sponsored by London Stock Exchange

WINNER: Mariam Ogunbambi – Starling Bank

Head of Global Business Development Market Infrastructures at London Stock Exchange, Antonella Amadei (L), Mariam Ogunbambi (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Head of Global Business Development Market Infrastructures at London Stock Exchange, Antonella Amadei (L), Mariam Ogunbambi (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group Sheila Flavell (L), Sophie Ball (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group Sheila Flavell (L), Sophie Ball (M) and Lucy Hedges (R)

Future Star in Diversity, sponsored by FDM Group

WINNER: Sophie Ball – Apps for Good

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