The winners of the 10th annual FDM everywoman in Technology Awards, in association with The Tech She Can Charter, have been announced.
The awards celebrate the most inspiring and talented individuals who are raising the bar and shaping the future of the technology industry in the UK and beyond. Winners include an international inspiration who addresses social and economic inequality faced by under-served communities when starting a business and an innovator who has created a live AI-powered subtitle-generation tool is helping users watch anything online in any language.
Research shows that increasing the number of women working in IT could generate an extra £2.6 billion a year for the UK’s economy, however only 5% of leadership roles are currently held by women. This demonstrates the important role the awards play in championing the technology industry as a whole alongside showcasing the success stories of women within the sector.
The overall Woman of the Year award was presented to Prof. Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, President and Chief Executive of NMITE from Hereford. Bringing 25 years of experience in engineering, she leads NMITE – an engineering higher education institution challenging conventional education. As an openly female LGBT engineer, Prof. Elena has also championed an international campaign #ILookLikeAnLGBTEngineer to highlight the lack of diversity in engineering.
The 2020 FDM everywoman in Technology winners are:
Academic Award - sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group
Marcelle McManus, Professor of Energy & Environmental Engineering, Co-director of the centre of sustainable and circular technology, University of Bath. She is a world-leading authority on bioenergy, carbon accounting, capture and renewable energy production.
One to Watch Award - sponsored by Computacenter
Aoibheann Mangan, Student, Mount St. Michael Claremorris, from Claremorris. Aoibheann runs a code club at her school where there is no coding or computer science classes. She mentors over 50 children weekly with 60% of them being girls in a coder dojo.
Avye Couloute, Student, Surbiton High School, from London who has helped create opportunities for young people especially girls to access and consider STEM activities, education and careers. Avye leads a monthly coding and physical computing workshop and was also involved in a panel discussion at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, highlighting her work to encourage female participation in STEM.
Apprentice Award - SPONSORED BY VMWARE
Hannah Hargreaves, Customer Experience Manager, Openreach, from Blackburn who uses her social platform to talk about her personal journey from a call centre worker to Field Engineering and breaks down barriers for women in the industry with her insights.
Rising Star Award - sponsored by T-Systems
Ekaterini Tasiopoulou, Business Development, Europe, IBM UK Ltd, from London who just two years after graduating started working for IBM X-Force IRIS, a team of experts specialising in Incident Response and Intelligence Services across EMEA.
Digital Star - sponsored by CGI
Rachelle Mills, CEO & Co-Founder, Karelnn, from London. Under Rachelle’s leadership, KareInn has developed innovative software technology that can give real-time insights to help reduce preventable risks, resolve escalated issues and coordinate better care options to improve the quality of resident care.
Software Engineer Award - sponsored by NatWest
Adele Churchill, Software Engineer Lead, Capgemini, from Wirral. Adele's primary role is technical capability creation and industrialisation, specifically tools that allow analysts anywhere in the world to gather, analyse and visualise digital data.. One of the capabilities she created has helped the business save £600K a year.
Team Leader Award - SPONSORED BY ACCENTURE
Myra Fulton, Director of Engineering, Skyscanner, from Glasgow. Myra has been instrumental in leading and inspiring teams across the business to deliver step changes in IT support, tools, workplaces and overall employee enablement. Myra has instilled a continual learning mindset within the EE team with the focus on “ people remember how you made them feel not what you did”.
Entrepreneur Award - sponsored by Hyperion
Jo Wimble-Groves, Co-founder & Business Director, Active Digital, from Lamberhurst. Jo established her mobile tech company when she was twenty years old with her brother with just £800. It now has over 30 employees and a turnover of £5 million pa.
Innovator Award – sponsored by American Express
Sepideh Chakaveh, CEO & Founder, Pixsellar, from Ascot. She led Pixsellar, an accumulation of all Sepideh’s web streaming and AI research, compressed into a handful of technologies which span from adtech to emotional recognition engines.
Leader Award - sponsored by BP
Wendy Warham, VP Digital Transformation & Innovation, UK&I, Fujitsu, from London. She has gained board-level sponsorship and implemented key programmes for developing Fujitsu’s women.
International Inspiration Award - sponsored by SUSE Software Solutions
Izzy Obeng, Founding Director, Foundervine, from Ghana. She founded an international training consultancy specialising in digital start-up and scale-up acceleration programmes with a focus on removing the social barriers to entrepreneurship.
Male Agent of Change Award
Duncan Greenwood, VP & General Manager, NEMEA, VMware, from Staines - Upon – Thames. He has championed and driven a growth mindset within the organisation and has ensured the company is more representative of the diverse society we live in.
Speaking about the winners, Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman says: “With this year being the 10th anniversary of the awards, we are proud to showcase exceptional talent within the technology industry. A shortage of female role models has been cited as one of the main reasons why young women aren’t drawn to careers in technology, which is why we believe the success stories of our winners will play a vital role in encouraging change and diversity within the industry.”
Rod Flavell, CEO, FDM Group, says: “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s FDM everywoman in Technology Awards. This incredible event recognises the talent, hard work and dedication of women in the industry. As a company founded with a mission to drive diversity and create opportunity in the technology sector, we were thrilled to continue our support for these awards, which provide a platform for the best and brightest entrepreneurs, innovators and role models for the next generation.”
Sheridan Ash, Founder of The Tech She Can Charter commented: “The Tech She Can Charter is delighted to support the everywoman tech awards. Tech She Can is a commitment across industries to improve gender diversity in technology careers with a focus on developing the pipeline at school level. We are making progress, but it is essential we highlight more female role models, the incredible work they do in technology and how it is benefiting and shaping our world and the society we live in. These awards are so important as they recognise these role models who can inspire the younger generation. Congratulations and we are looking forward to celebrating with all the finalists".
Inspired by this year's winners? Know someone who should be nominated for next year's awards? CLICK HERE to be notified when nominations open for next year.