For the past eight years, everywoman has created and showcased successful role models – women working in the technology industry who can inspire the younger generation to follow in their footsteps.
This year is no different as from a record-breaking number of entries, winners included a woman supporting 70,000 children in India to gain scholarships and valuable IT work experience, a man who was appointed the London Tech Ambassador by the Mayor’s Office for his personal investment in gender equality, and a school student who created an innovative app to help address the concerns of the young LGBT community.
With the theme “Inspiring Tomorrow’s World”, this year’s programme focussed on the importance of nurturing an interest in STEM subjects from a young age.
Recent studies show the staggering shortage of female students choosing these subjects, including computer science and engineering & technology.
The 2018 Woman of the Year is Dr. Marily Nika, Engineering Program Manager at Google, based in San Francisco. Marily’s contribution to the UK technology industry is invaluable.
She pursued a PhD in Computer Science at Imperial College London, where she founded the first Women in Computing Group. She also founded London Geekettes, a global platform connecting over 2,000 female innovators in technology and has personally mentored over 1,000 women.
Her work at Google impacts millions of people, launching voice recognition technologies across all European, Middle Eastern and African languages.
The 2018 category winners are:
Academic Award – sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group: Jeni Brown, (pictured above) Training Manager, London School of Economics and Political Science, from London. She has contributed greatly to LSE’s goal of creating globally employable graduates through an innovative IT training programme. Last year saw a 300% increase in attendance in just two years, making it one of the most successful programmes throughout the entire university.
One to Watch Award – sponsored by Computacenter: Katie Griffiths, Student, King Edward VI School, from Stratford-Upon-Avon. 17-year-old Katie created the “I’m Okay” app for teenagers questioning their sexuality and gender. From reading stories about people with similar experiences to understanding LGBT terminology, Katie hopes to remind young people that they are not alone.
Apprentice Award – sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Sophie Caffrey, Technical Apprentice, Leonardo, from Luton, was inspired to pursue engineering after visiting her first-ever Apprentice Open Day at Leonardo. Sophie’s first complete project as an apprentice – designing a Printed Circuit Board – has since been used on every global trial of this product in 2017.
Rising Star Award – sponsored by T-Systems: Kimberley Norris, Senior Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin & Pilot Officer, RAF Air Cadets, from Portsmouth. At the Royal Navy Maritime Capability Office, she has worked on some of the most challenging programmes including unmanned technology and has led various out-of-work activities devoted to the advancement of women in technology. Kim is also a Pilot Officer with the RAF Air Cadets, volunteering as a STEM ambassador across multiple Squadrons.
Digital Star Award – sponsored by CGI: Carrie Anne Philbin, Director of Education, Raspberry Pi Foundation, from Cambridge. Raspberry Pi is a high-powered computer designed to help young people all over the world learn computer science. Through her Picademy educator support programme, she has helped train over 2,000 educators and 12,000 adults and encourages teenage girls to embrace making things with technology through her YouTube channels “Crash Course” and “The Geek Gurl Diaries”.
Software Engineer Award – sponsored by NatWest: Kirsty Tidmarsh, Senior Software Engineer, Department for Work and Pensions, from Widnes, who played a key role in enhancing coding standards throughout her entire practice and was central to introducing an integrated telephony platform, saving on considerable supplier costs. Outside work, she created the “Women in Software Engineering Community” dedicated to mentorship and volunteers at “Code Club” – a nationwide network of free after-school coding clubs for children.
Team Leader Award – sponsored by American Express: Tanja Lichtensteiger, Business Systems Development Manager, Leeds Beckett University, from Leeds. With 17 years’ experience building systems, Tanja is a natural problem-solver with a clear passion for her team and technology, demonstrated through her determination to secure funding for their training and development. Described as a natural leader, Tanja proactively addresses the gender imbalance in senior management in higher education giving talks for Code First, encouraging girls to pursue IT careers.
Start-up Founder Award: Gemma Milne, Co-Founder, Science: Disrupt, from London. Science: Disrupt is the only media outlet focused on science entrepreneurship, which is not linked to another institution, meaning it can be completely unbiased. It produces podcasts, events and editorial, bringing together over 600 academics, entrepreneurs, scientists and Nobel Prize winners. Through Science: Disrupt, Gemma gives women access to role models within the industry.
Entrepreneur Award – sponsored by Fujitsu – Georgina Nelson, CEO & Founder, TruRating, from London. Georgina began her career as a consumer rights lawyer, before spotting a gap in the market for reliable customer ratings. Georgina’s success in bringing TruRating to market in a traditionally male-dominated technology industry is truly impressive. Starting with no knowledge of the technology involved, whilst on maternity leave, she built the world’s first mass point-of-payment consumer rating system.
Innovator Award – sponsored by Equiniti: Amanda Adams, Cryptography Architect, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, from Chester, who uses her world-class technical ability to protect the bank’s security. She shares eight patents inclusive of variations within the cryptographic space and has written numerous posts tackling complex technical subjects in an accessible language. Outside work, she is a mentor for CoderDojo, which delivers free lessons on coding to children and teenagers.
Leader Award – sponsored by BP: Debbie Vavangas, iX Executive Partner, IBM, from London, who is now an executive partner in an environment where the ratio is 5:1 in favour of men. Debbie joined IBM as a graduate in 1997 and has since set the example for others, innovating and blazing a trail in ideation, experience and technology. In a single year, her team has built 15 new products, 16 clickable prototypes and scaled 3 products globally.
Male Agent of Change Award – sponsored by VMware: Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates, from London. Tech London Advocates is now an unrivalled community of over 5,000 leaders, united to form the most influential group in tech. Russ affects change through working groups, which tackle topics of the industry such as immigration, women in tech and LGBT concerns. He is part of the recently launched Digital Skills Partnership, championing a stronger female talent pipeline and development opportunities.
International Inspiration Award – sponsored by Aviva: Gayathri Mohan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sopra Steria, from Chennai, India. Gayathri is Managing Trustee of Sopra Steria India Foundation which now supports over 75,000 children a year, predominantly from poor backgrounds with limited IT education options. Her Sopra Steria India Foundation Graduate Scholarship Scheme has seen 463 students graduate including 193 engineers and three doctors.
Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman comments: “This year, we have unveiled an immense range of hidden talent. Tackling the gender imbalance in the UK’s tech industry requires everyone to take action. Therefore, it is important to not only showcase the high-profile role models in the sector but also the male allies, young game-changers and those supporting from across the globe. Our 2018 winners are exceptional, successful role models and we couldn’t be prouder to make them lifelong everywoman ambassadors.”
Julian David, CEO of techUK adds: “techUK is proud to support the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards again this year. It is no secret that the tech sector has a gender parity issue, and we are working hard with our members to address this problem. The awards are a great opportunity to champion role models all across the sector and celebrate women who are pioneering a path for others in the industry. We look forward to celebrating leading tech talent.”