Nominations have opened for the inaugural Women in IT Awards, which will recognise the achievements of female IT executives in the UK.
The winners of the 13 award categories will be announced at an evening gala ceremony in London on 29 January 2015, attended by hundreds of technology’s leading players.
Despite technology becoming an increasingly integral part of our business and personal lives, the amount of female IT professionals in the UK has halved in the last 20 years to just 17%.
This rapid decline is more of a problem than a gender imbalance debate. One research report found that tech companies with women on management teams have a 34% higher return on investment, while another predicted that increasing the number of women working in IT could generate an extra £2.6 billion a year for the UK economy.
As well as raising awareness of these issues, the Women in IT Awards 2015 will recognise the outstanding innovation that is already produced by females in the UK.
Through a series of end-user, vendor and special recognition awards, the black-tie ceremony will gather the industry to highlight the tremendous value that women can bring to IT roles, and the satisfaction that such a career can give them.
Deciding the winners will be 12 top IT leaders who hold the cause of getting more women into IT close to their heart: Susan Cooklin, CIO, Network Rail; Kevin Griffin, CIO, GE Capital International; Michael Ibbitson, CIO, Gatwick Airport; Carrie Hartnell, associate director, TechUK; Gillian Arnold, chair, BCSWomen; Claire Vyvyan, GM and executive director, Dell UK; Emma McGuigan, MD, Accenture Technology UK/I; Kate Craig-Wood, MD, Memset Hosting; Mark Maddocks, CIO, Cambridge University Press; Paul Clarke, director of technology, Ocado; Richard Lloyd-Williams, former IT director, Net-A-Porter; and Karen Price OBE, CEO, e-Skills UK.
“The lack of women in IT jobs is a great cause for concern,” said Ben Rossi, editor of Information Age, which is organising the event. “At the same time, the excellent work that is already achieved by women in technology often goes uncelebrated.
“The Women in IT Awards will take on both of those injustices in one evening, and with the whole industry watching. An event like this has been a long-time coming, and we’re delighted to be the ones bringing it to life.”
All nominations can be submitted on the website – organisations and individuals are able to nominate themselves or others for as many awards as they wish. The deadline for submissions is midnight on 5 September 2014.