The winners of the fifth annual Women in IT Awards UK have been revealed at a gala ceremony in Grosvenor House, Park Lane
The awards, organised by Information Age in partnership with Amazon Web Services, serve to showcase the achievements and innovation of women in technology and identify new role models in a sector where female representation stands at only 19% — a definite improvement since the awards programme began.
The awards were held in Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane and were hosted by Gadget Show presenters, Ortis Deley and Georgie Barrat, who revealed 21 winners chosen from over 800 nominations.
Niki Dowdall, MD of Events at Bonhill Group Plc, opened the event by celebrating the fact the Women in IT Awards have gone global.
“We have held magnificent events in New York, Ireland and San Francisco and this year will see launches in Singapore, Europe, Eastern Europe and Canada, with content led daytime summits also being added.
“Here, at Information Age and Diversity Q we are working continually to encourage dialogue around the topic of gender parity in the tech industry and these events and summits are a platform to celebrate the wonderful women at the forefront of change and innovation.”
She also paid tribute to Cheryl Willis from NetApp, who was nominated for Woman of the Year, but unfortunately died before ceremony.
“Cheryl believed that part of her role was to drive consistency and under her inclusive and open leadership, her team delivered great improvements to the overall customer experience. As part of her role, Cheryl implemented a successful cultural program across the global support centres, focusing on several key values that define the support culture.
“It is this spirit – her spirit – that continues to inspire men and women alike. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues at NetApp, but her light shines on. Ladies and Gentlemen if you could all stand and join me in a standing ovation in honour of her.”
A sporting triumph
Tracey Anne Neville MBE, head coach of the England national netball team, delivered the evening’s keynote speech. She spoke about her journey from being an athlete whose career was cut short by injury to becoming head coach for the Vitality Roses — with her team winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and being selected as the Team of the Year at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year — “the proudest moment of my life,” according to Neville. While this was an inspiring sporting story, the parallels with overcoming the lack of diversity in technology were obvious, and resounded with many in the audience, and indeed, their daughters!
Neville and her teams efforts have put Netball firmly on the map in the UK — and we wish the team the best of luck at the upcoming World Cup later this year.
AWS Get IT
Gavin Jackson, managing director for AWS, followed Neville’s keynote by bringing out two of the participants from AWS’s Get IT programme. The two girls from Townley Grammar School came on stage in front of the entire audience and said what an inspiration it was to meet some of the nominees at an afternoon tea organised by AWS earlier in the day. Speaking to these role models gave them the confidence and necessary information to potentially pursue a career in technology in the future — this is what the Women in IT Awards is all about.
Of course, it’s a celebration of the amazing women in technology, but it serves as a method to identify female role models, who can inspire the next generation. It was certainly a highlight of the evening.
A commitment to changing the status quo
The Women in IT Awards UK is the flagship event in an ongoing Information Age campaign to tackle technology’s diversity problems.
Now, the Women in IT Awards Series — originating in London — has become a global initiative. In 2018, we launched two US editions of the event in New York and San Francisco, while hosting an event in Dublin, Ireland. We will also be in Singapore later this year, for the first edition of the Women in IT Awards Asia, with further events planned in Europe, eastern Europe and Canada.
In the UK, we run two further diversity events: Tech Leaders Today, a careers fair for female university students, and Future Stars of Tech, which identifies and promotes the industry’s top female career climbers.
Joining headline partner, Amazon Web Services, as sponsors at the Women in IT Awards 2019 are: Alix Partners, BMC Software, Frank Recruitment Group, Oracle, Salesforce, Six Degrees, YOOX Net-a-Porter Group, arm, BP, DAZN, DocuSign, Fasthosts, HSBC, NFU Mutual, Rolls-Royce, SAP Concur, Schroders, Red Hat, SailPoint and The Economist Group.
Winners (in order of announcement)
DATA LEADER OF THE YEAR
Katia Walsh, Vodafone
E-SKILLS INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by fasthosts
Mahek Vara, Code Camp
GLOBAL LEADER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Schroders
Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargeback Company
DIGITAL LEADER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by DAZN
Amy Johnson, Anglian Water
SECURITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR – sponsored by DocuSign
Carly West, Bank of England
YOUNG LEADER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Alix Partners
Tara Annison, Lendingblock
EDITOR’S CHOICE – sponsored by Information Age
Dr Alessandra Sherman, United Konsultants
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Yoox Net-a-Porter Group
Avril Chester, Cancer Central AND Emma Margetts, Alpha Exchange
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Oracle
Priya Lakhani, CENTURY
DIVERSITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by HSBC
Debbie Forster MBE, Tech Talent Charter
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Arm
Accenture AND Thoughtworks
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR – sponsored by The Economist Group
Laura Drysdale, News UK
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by BP
Zoe Cunningham, Softwire
TRANSFORMATION LEADER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Six Degrees
Nina Monckton, NHS Business Services Authority
ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by NFU Mutual
Sian Allsopp, Morgan Stanley
IT TEAM OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Rolls-Royce
FUTURE CIO OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Frank Recruitment Group
Laura Yeaman, National Crime Agency
BUSINESS ROLE MODEL OF THE YEAR – sponsored by BMC Software
Bijna Dasani, Lloyds Banking Group
CTO OF THE YEAR – sponsored by SAP Concur
Katie Nykanen, Adstream
WOMAN OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Salesforce
Anne Doherty, JP Morgan
CIO OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Amazon Web Services
Tiffany Hall, Cancer.org.uk