Women in IT Awards UK 2019: Meet the Judges

The fifth annual Women in IT Awards UK — in partnership with Amazon Web Services — is only two weeks away.

The event will be hosted at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, on 30 January, and attendance is expected to eclipse the record-breaking number who attended last year’s awards.

Our movement is growing.

With over 800 nominations this year, compiling the shortlist was a challenge, especially given the quality of the submissions.

However, the task of judging the shortlist and deciding the winners was a different beast entirely.

The judges — some returning and some new — for the Women in IT Awards UK 2019 are: Anna Barsby (CTO, Morrisons), Elaine Safier (chief commercial and operating officer, Digital Channels, HSBC), Emma Maslen (managing director for UK&I at SAP Concur), Gavin Jackson (managing director, UK&I, Amazon Web Services), Zoe Morris (COO, Frank Recruitment Group), John Gibbs (Group CIO, Rolls-Royce), Jacqueline de Rojas (president of techUK and chair of Digital Leaders), Norma Dove-Edwin (Chief Data and Information Officer at Places for People), Pip White (senior area vice president, head of Commercial Sales at Salesforce), Tim Mann (CIO at NFU Mutual), Sophie Ball (acting co-managing director, Apps for Good) and Sarah Wilkinson (CEO, NHS Digital).

After hours of deliberation, 21 winners were decided and will be announced at the gala ceremony in two weeks time.

“I would like to thank the judges for their enormous effort in helping us distinguish the winners of the 2019 Women in IT Awards,” said Nick Ismail, content editor, Information Age.

“This year, on top of the volume, the quality of submission was again, so high, that I certainly did not envy their position!

“After two hours of discussion, with excellent comments across all of the categories, we have our winners.

“Everyone shortlisted deserves a massive congratulations, as well, as the competition was so high this year. I look forward to seeing everyone on the night of the 30th for the largest technology diversity event in the world.”

Women in IT Awards 2019 – finalists revealed for flagship UK awards

The finalists for the 2019 edition of the Women in IT Awards, the world’s largest tech diversity event, have been revealed ahead of the gala ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane on 30 January. Read here

The Judges… On diversity

The business case for diversity is there for everyone to see, and organisations (in and out of technology space) are now starting to act. Closing the gender gap is now a priority. But, we also need to inspire girls at school level to pursue a career in technology.

To find out more, we spoke to Gavin Jackson, Zoe Morris and Pip White after the judging to find out: have diversity levels in tech improved, what their organisations are doing to improve diversity, the importance of female roles and if events, such as the Women in IT Awards, are making a difference.

On whether diversity levels have improved in tech, the three judges all agreed that it had, although there were no concrete ‘data points’ to focus on.

Zoe Morris said that “over the last 12 months thing have definitely be improving and there is momentum. But it’s going to be a long, slow journey, as with any change.”

Pip White agreed and said there “definitely seems to be more intention,” regarding diversity in technology.

Gavin said that while “it’s difficult to give a data-driven, holistic view, but anecdotally, the people that I sit across the table from in executive boardrooms from our customer base and partner base, increasingly, are women.”

As to the diversity initiatives their organisations are running (both internally and externally), I’ll leave you to watch the interviews below — because there are plenty!

Regarding the importance of the female role model (and we had many at the judging lunch), again, all three judges noted their importance in inspiring others into the tech space.

Pip said that she was humbled by some of the nominations she read in the shortlist, and that it was inspiring for her. “We need to continue to do initiatives like this, whereby we give these women a platform, so they can promote [to other areas] of their business.”

Gavin also stated that we can’t underestimate the importance of role models — not just in tech, but in general. “We all aspire to the person we relate to the most,” he said.

Zoe pointed to the age old saying: if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. “It’s absolutely true, and the more elevation that women can get across the workplace, will mean that people can actually look up to them, follow them and emulate them. Events like the Women in IT Awards are really important because it gives women this platform.

And finally, onto the Women in IT Awards. Gavin said that the event “was now central to the calendar”. All three of the judges pointed to the growth of the awards in terms of attendance — from a few hundred to 1,200 — nominations and type of company involved, as a signifier to the difference the event is making to diversity and inclusion levels in technology.

Gavin Jackson, managing director, UK&I, AWS

Zoe Morris, COO, Frank Recruitment

Pip White, senior area vice president, head of Commercial Sales at Salesforce

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 HatSailPoint and The Economist Group.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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