Category: Industry News, diversity and inclusion, Partnership, technology, magazine, benefit, champion, tech leaders
The winners of the Women in IT Awards were announced yesterday at the gala ceremony in the prestigious Great Room venue in Grosvenor House, Park Lane. The event has been proclaimed as the largest tech diversity event with over 1000 business and tech leaders in attendance.
The Women in IT awards aim to help tackle the technology industry’s lack of gender balance as only 16% of roles are filled by women, whilst also highlighting the importance and benefits of diversity and inclusion. The initiative is championed by business-technology magazine Information Age in partnership with headline sponsor Amazon Web Services.
“Gender diversity in business helps drive innovation, gives business a better understanding of customers, and means you can always hire and develop the best talent,” said Gavin Jackson, UK and Ireland managing director at Amazon Web Services.
“We all have a real responsibility to ensure that the next generation of women are able to do so on ability and merit, and we’re delighted to support the Women in IT Awards’ efforts to shine a spotlight on some of the country’s most inspirational technology leaders.”
Joining Amazon Web Services as partners of the Women in IT Awards 2017 are premium sponsor Salesforce and diversity partner BMC Software, as well as Accenture Security, Ada College, Direct Line Group, EOL IT Services, Equal Experts, Ericsson, Frank Recruitment Group, Informed Solutions, KPMG, Schroders, Yoox Net-A-Porter Group and Zayo.
This year’s keynote speaker was Sir Alex Younger, Head of MI6, who gave an incredible speech highlighting the importance of women in the security services – revealing that Q from the Bond films is in fact a woman.
He commented: “The gadgets now that we employ – or operational technology as we more properly call it – probably defy the imagination of spy writers. So it’s always been there, but technology now is at the core of what we do in a way that it wasn’t before.”
His priority, he said, was to employ the best and that meant dispelling myths. “The problem for me is that we’ve got to get over and see through the Bond thing. Alright, that’s good actually – let’s do the Bond thing for a bit. It’s great in some ways because it means that all of our opponents think there’s an MI6 officer behind every bush and that we’re 10,000 times larger than we actually are.
“That’s all great, but there’s a problem because it leads to a stereotype which is of a particular kind or a particular sort of person that will join MI6 – whether they’re really posh or going to Oxford or whatever it is. I’m none of those things by the way.
“And the issue for me is that stands in the way of something that I regard as being so important which is that we can reach into every community in Britain and make sure that we get the people that are the best regardless of their background.”
The event was presented by TeenTech CEO and TV presenter Maggie Philbin, who was appointed OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for her work in inspiring young people to pursue a career in STEM and the creative industries.
“I’m delighted to host the Women in IT Awards again and it’s been a joy to see this diversity initiative grow over the last few years,” said Philbin. “It’s vital that we inspire women to engage with technology at a young age, help them see the increasing number of opportunities and change the misconceptions that deter them from pursuing it as a career.”
The winners are:
Advocate of the year
Bernadette Andrietti, Intel
Highly commended: Vicki Cadman, BT
Business Leader of the Year
Sophie Harrison, Panaseer
Business Role Model of the Year
Wendy Tan-White, Entrepreneur First
CIO of the Year
Maggie van’t Hoff, Shell
Highly commended: Alison FitzGerald, London City Airport
Digital Leader of the Year
Beverley Bryant, NHS Digital
e-Skills Initiative of the Year
Amali de Alwis, Code First: Girls
Highly commended: Accenture
Vladlena Benson, Kingston University
Employer of the Year
Highly commended: Thoughtworks
Entrepreneur of the Year
Brynne Herbert, Move Guides
Highly commended: Nancy Cruickshank, MyShowcase
Future CIO of the Year
Claire Priestley, City, University of London
Global Leader of the Year
Bethany Mayer, Ixia
Highly commended: Yasaman Hadjibashi, Barclays Africa Group
Innovator of the Year
Estelle Lloyd, Azoomee
Highly commended: Joanna Wake, RAW Digital Training
Rising Star of the Year
Harriet Lester, Internet Watch Foundation
Highly commended: Eleanor Harding, Twitter
Security Champion of the Year
Michele Hansom, Transport for London
Transformation of the Year
Helen Gowler, Avon
Woman of the Year
Alison Ross, Auto Trader
Congratulations to all winners!
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