Women in IT

Most influential woman in UK IT 2014: Vote now

Kayleigh Bateman

Computer Weekly's annual search for the most influential woman in UK IT is now in full swing, and your help is required in selecting the 2014 winner. 

Now in its third year, the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK IT awards aim to focus on role models and discuss the vital part that female IT leaders will play in making a difference to the future of IT.

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The winners will be announced at a special event in London on 3 July, featuring talks from some of the female role models that will be so important to the future diversity of the tech community.

A judging panel of employers and IT leaders from across the industry has shortlisted the 25 most influential women in the UK IT community. Now it is down to Computer Weekly readers to vote on who should be recognised as the most influential woman in UK IT.

The names are listed below, in alphabetical order, along with a short biography. Simply click on your choice and then on the "submit" button and your vote will be registered.

Judges will also be selecting names for a Rising Star 2014 list.


Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 13 June.


Angela Morrison, CIO, Direct Line Group

Angela Morrison has been CIO of Direct Line Group (DLG) – formerly known as RBS Insurance – for four years, managing Business Technology Services, which shapes, builds, runs and governs IT for DLG. Insurance was a new sector for Morrison, having previously spent over 18 years in food retail and IT, 10 of which were at director level and included being a member of Sainsbury’s operating board, where she was responsible for the insourcing of the IT function and its subsequent transformation to support the business’s recovery plans. Morrison started her career in a software house and spent seven years in IT/business consulting before joining Asda, where she held a number of director roles, including establishing its home delivery grocery business, being CIO during the transition of systems from Asda to Wal-Mart and latterly as European strategy director for Wal-Mart.

Bindi Karia, vice-president, accelerator, Silicon Valley Bank

Bindi Karia currently leads Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts as vice-president for origination and entrepreneur commercial banking. She has spent much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the venture capital/emerging business lead at Microsoft UK where, for five years, Karia led BizSpark in the UK (now known as Microsoft Ventures). She focused on how Microsoft could drive success for early-stage technology businesses, as well as being responsible for working alongside the UK investor community, including venture capitalists and angels on behalf of Microsoft. She also sits on many industry advisory boards and has been recognised in many industry league tables over the years. Karia has recently been appointed as a trustee for Startup Weekend Europe. She’s also an active mentor and supporter of many of London’s top incubators, including Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, Wayra, Entrepreneur First and Level39.

Catherine Doran, CIO, Royal Mail Group

Joining as the third Royal Mail CIO in less than 18 months, Catherine Doran inherited a controversial IT transformation programme, as well as the splitting off of the Post Office as part of the reorganisation of the UK postal service. She is responsible for devising and delivering the IT strategy to transform the technology estate. She joined Royal Mail from Network Rail where she led a company-wide transformation programme.

Chi Onwurah, shadow Cabinet Office minister for digital government

Chi Onwurah is the shadow Cabinet Office minister for digital government, including cyber security. She is also leading Labour’s pre-election review of digital government policy. Onwurah was elected at the 2010 general election as MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. A chartered engineer and former head of telecoms technology at Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, she became the shadow minister for business, innovation and skills (innovation, science and digital infrastructure) in 2010, and is now shadow minister for cyber security and digital government. She is co-chair of the Parlimentary ICT forum (Pictfor) and is board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Christina Scott, CIO, FT

Christina Scott was appointed chief information officer for the Financial Times in May 2012. She is responsible for technology across the FT Group, working closely in partnership with editorial and commercial areas and reporting to John Ridding, CEO. FT Technology is a 400+ global team based in London, New York, Hong Kong and Manila. It is responsible for building and operating the infrastructure, business applications, data and consumer products across multiple platforms. The team includes an innovation team – FT Labs – which developed the award-winning HTML5 FT web app. Christina has over 20 years' experience across the media, IT and engineering industries, along with a strong track record in designing and delivering commercial and editorial services and innovations. Before joining the Financial Times, she worked in technology across a number of media companies, including the BBC, BT Vision, News International and ITV Digital, and spent several years as a consultant at Accenture.

Christine Ashton, senior vice-president of technology, Thomson Reuters

Christine Ashton is the senior vice-president of Thomson Reuters. She joined the company in July 2013 as global vice-president, MIS centres of delivery. Previously, Ashton was the regional CIO for BG Group, responsible for IT strategies across this global energy company. Prior to joining BG Group in 2010, she was group strategy and technology director at Transport for London. From 2001 to 2008, Ashton held senior IT positions at BP. She is a chartered fellow of the BCS.

Claire Vyvyan, general manager and executive director, large institutions, Dell UK

Claire Vyvyan is general manager and executive director, large institutions, at Dell UK, and recently acted as general manager for Dell’s public sector business. She was previously director and general manager of Dell’s Commercial Business Group in the UK and Netherlands between 2002 and 2009. Prior to rejoining Dell in April 2011, Vyvyan was the global client director for BT Group at Microsoft, where she was responsible for Microsoft’s global business relationship with BT, spanning market partnerships to consumers around TV, music and gaming. She has also held sales management roles in the public sector and commercial businesses for Compaq, as well as several sales and marketing positions at Mars Group, including running Mars Electronics’ Northern European distribution business.

Wendy Hall, professor of computer science, University of Southampton; founder of Web Science Research Initiative

Wendy Hall is founding director – along with Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel J. Weitzner – of the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006 as a long-term research collaboration between the University of Southampton and MIT. She is a fellow of the BCS, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the Royal Society. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year’s Honours list. She was also awarded a CBE in June 2000.

Debbie Forster, Apps for Good UK managing director

Debbie Forster is UK managing director at Apps for Good, an education and technology charity, overseeing business and daily operations. Apps for Good is an innovative course which teaches young people to create apps that change their world. She also serves as CDI Europe's lead expert on education, public sector and policy. Forster has 20 years of educational experience, 13 of which were in leadership roles, including serving as headteacher of a mixed comprehensive school. At e-skills UK, she led on education policy and strategic engagement, working with employers, educators and policy-makers in the technology sector.

Denise McDonagh, CTO, Home Office; former director of G-Cloud programme

Denise McDonagh took up the new role of Home Office CTO in 2013, having previously been programme director for the government’s cloud computing scheme, G-Cloud. The cross-government G-Cloud programme is revolutionising the direction and procurement of IT across the UK public sector, as well as having responsibility for reducing the Home Office IT expenditure by 30%. McDonagh was also previously director of Home Office IT, and represents a new breed of leaders, enabling innovation and focusing on building high-performing teams of predominantly civil servant IT professionals. She has over 25 years’ experience in UK central government, including Defra and the Home Office, delivering high-profile IT programmes with budgets worth hundreds of millions of pounds. She is also the government representative on many of the senior supplier forums. She was awarded a CBE for services to IT in the Queen’s birthday honours list 2013.

Edel McGrath, UK CIO, KPMG

Edel McGrath is the CIO for KPMG (UK) LLP, one of the largest global professional services firms and recognised as one of the "big four" audit firms.  The UK firm is the second largest member firm in the KPMG global network and the largest member firm in the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India region.  KPMG in the UK operates in 22 offices and around 12,000 partners and staff.   As well as her UK CIO role, Edel sits on the Global IT Steering Group and has a key role in the EMA region CIO network.   Having been with the firm for some 20 years, Edel originally joined the firm in an admin role and today is a role model in the KPMG Reach Programme, designed to support female managers in their career progression.  An innate passion and strength for people leadership and people engagement, Edel has worked hard to understand the business issues to support the development of KPMG's IT Strategy and deliver technology to make colleagues’ lives easier and ensure optimum productivity. In her time with KPMG, the changes in technology have been dramatic, and no more so than in the past 12-24 months with the increasing demand for mobile technology.

Emma Mulqueeny, founder of Rewired State

Emma Mulqueeny is the founder of Rewired State and Young Rewired State. She is also a commissioner for the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and a Google fellow. She has recently been included in the 166th annual edition of Who’s Who, voted onto the Wired 100 list, Tech City 100, BIMA Hot 100, and has been voted one of the top 10 women in technology by The Guardian and features in the top 10 Tech Heroes for Good by Nesta. She writes regularly for the British press and on her own blog, speaks on radio and on television, is best known for her campaign "Year 8 is too Late" (encouraging girls into technology subjects) and relentlessly pushing the potential of open data.

Gillian Arnold, chair of BCSWomen, founder of Tectre

Gillian Arnold has 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, 22 of those being with IBM. She has undertaken customer-facing technical, sales, business development, strategic marketing and consultancy roles. She proved her expertise in managing and establishing teams for new products, and building teams with cross-industry and cross-platform experience across Europe and the UK. Arnold has now retired from IBM. She has significant interest in encouraging more women into the science and technology sectors and has chaired a forum for IT trade body Intellect. She now sits on the board of directors for the UKRC for Women in SET and is currently chair for BCSWomen, which is part of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Hannah Dee, lecturer in computer science, Aberystwyth University

Hannah Dee has a BSc in cognitive science (1996), an MA in philosophy (1998) and a PhD in computing (2005), all from the University of Leeds. Her research areas are computer vision for the analysis of human behaviour; the detection of shadows and reasoning about shadows; and student attitudes to the study of computer science. She has held post-doctoral positions in Grenoble (France), Leeds and Kingston upon Thames. She is also a women in computing activist and deputy chair of BCSWomen, the British Computer Society's group for women. She set up the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, the UK's main conference for women undergrads, and has run it for the last 7 years.

Jacqueline de Rojas, non-executive director, Home Retail Group; TechUK board member

Jacqueline de Rojas, is currently the non-executive director for the Home Retail Group and TechUK board member. Previously, de Rojas was the vice-president and general manager, UK & Ireland, at CA Technologies. She is responsible for all aspects of sales, marketing and service throughout this important region. Her 25 years of experience in sales management is helping CA Technologies to grow revenues and extend the provision of IT management software and systens across all IT environments. De Rojas joined CA Technologies in 2012 from McAfee, where her focus on new business in the enterprise and mid-market enabled McAfee UK & Ireland to swing from a business reliant largely on renewals revenues towards more focus on new business. Enabling this transition within just 30 months of her appointment, and other achievements, earned her McAfee’s “vice-president of the year” award. Prior to this, she was managing director, UK & Ireland, at Novell UK. De Rojas has also previously performed leadership roles at Cartesis, Business Objects, Legent and Informix.

Joanna Shields, non-executive director, London Stock Exchange Group; chair of Tech City

Joanna Shields is an American-British executive, currently serving as non-executive director at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). She was previously CEO and chair of Tech City Investment Organisation and the UK government’s business ambassador for digital industries. Since stepping down, Shields has stayed on at Tech City UK as chairman. Prior to this she was vice-president and general manager of Facebook in Europe. Before Facebook, she was president of people networks at AOL, a position she assumed after the acquisition of Bebo by AOL. At Bebo, she served as CEO, and prior to this she was managing director for Google Europe, Russia, Middle East & Africa. In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.

Kathryn Parson, co-founder of Decoded

Kathryn is the co-founder of Decoded which teaches people to code in a day. Having launched this entirely self-funded business in 2011, Kathryn is now overseeing the international expansion and launching new products for 2013. Alumni of Decoded include TalkTalk, Guardian Media Group, Accenture, Google and eBay. 40% of Decoded staff are female.

Lyn Grobler, vice-president and CIO, corporate functions at BP

Lyn Grobler is the vice-president and CIO of IT strategy and corporate functions and alternative energy and shipping businesses at BP. With an extensive career in IT, she has been responsible for projects in banking, trading and energy environments for companies including ICL, Ralph M Parsons, Chase Manhattan Bank and Koch Supply and Trading. Grobler is a member of Women in Technology and leads the Women in IT&S group within BP.

Maggie Philbin, Teen Tech

Maggie Philbin has worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes. She is co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC, an award-winning organisation helping young people, their parents and teachers understand more about the real opportunities in science and technology. In 2012, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in technology from De Montfort University, recognising her “outstanding contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation and region” and for “bringing about a greater understanding of and interest in science and technology”. Currently reporting on science and technology for the BBC’s Bang Goes The Theory, providing analysis and comment on technology for BBC Webwise and a regular reporter on BBC 1’sInside Out, she has a unique resonance with audiences, having grown up with them on much-loved shows such as Swap Shop and Tomorrow’s World.

Nicola Mendelson, managing director, Facebook Europe

Nicola Mendelsohn has been the vice-president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa operations at Facebook since May 2013. Mendelsohn is responsible for growing Facebook's advertising revenue and improving relationships with brands across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. She served as the president of the IPA and WACL. She served as an executive chairman and partner of Karmarama LLP for five years. She started her career in advertising in 1992. She serves as director of The Fragrance Foundation and is a board member of Cosmetic Executive Women. She is chair of the Corporate Board of Women's Aid. Mendelsohn holds a degree in English and drama.

Rebecca George, partner, Deloitte

Rebecca leads Deloitte’s public sector health practice in the UK. She is responsible for all the work Deloitte does with the Department of Health and its ALBs, health regulators and the NHS. In addition, she leads Deloitte’s relationships with the Department of Health and Monitor, with the third parties Deloitte partners with in public sector health and in IT-enabled propositions. George has wide operational and general business management, IT, business process re-engineering and HR experience. She has been involved in a variety of activities to increase the participation of women in the IT industry since the mid-1990s. She chaired the BCS Strategic Women’s Forum and Intellect’s Women in IT Forum, and is currently chair of the policy and public affairs board for the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, where she is a fellow. She chaired the Intellect Shared Services working group, and the skills group for the Egan review of Sustainable Community skills. She is a member of the advisory board for Warwick University Science Faculty.

Stephanie "Steve" Shirley

Stephanie "Steve" Shirley is a British businesswoman and philanthropist. In 1962, Shirley founded the software company F.I. Group (later Xansa, since acquired by Steria). She was concerned with creating work opportunities for women with dependants, and predominantly employed women – only three out of 300-odd programmers were male – until the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 made that illegal. She adopted the name "Steve" to help her in the male-dominated business world. In 1993, she officially retired at the age of 60 and has taken up philanthropy since then. Shirley was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1980 Queen's Birthday Honours, and promoted Dame Commander (DBE) in the New Year Honours 2000. She set up the Shirley Foundation, based in the UK, in 1986 with a substantial gift to establish a charitable trust fund. Its mission is facilitation and support of pioneering projects with strategic impact in the field of autism spectrum disorders, with particular emphasis on medical research.

Sue Black, founder and CEO, Savvify

Sue Black is the CEO of Savvify and a senior research associate in the department of computer science at University College London. Black originally set up Savvify as The <GoTo> Foundation, a non-profit organisation which aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public through projects such as #techmums. She has been widely acclaimed for her role in campaigning to save Bletchley Park, the home of the UK’s secret codebreakers in the Second World War . She founded BCS Women in 2001, which now has more than 1,200 members. 

Susan Cooklin, CIO, Network Rail

Susan Cooklin is CIO at Network Rail. Her career has spanned over 20 years in financial services, leading business, technology and operational teams across global organisations. Last year, she took on the added responsibility for finance and HR shared services at the rail operator, which saw her team expand from 600 to 1,000 people. Cooklin ran a business change programme in the corporate banking division of Barclays, where she worked for seven years before joining Network Rail in 2006 as head of IT delivery.

Ursula Morgenstern, CEO, Atos UK & Ireland

Ursula Morgenstern has been the CEO at Atos UK and Ireland since January 2012, she was also appointed in July 2013 as Global CEO of Canopy, the Atos cloud, and Enterprise Software. The Cloud & Enterprise Software service line was created to support the further development of Cloud activities. With over circa €280 million pro forma in revenue and major clients around the world, Atos is the European leader in enterprise and government Cloud. Together with Canopy, Atos’ Software-as-a-Service solutions, Yunano and blueKiwi, form a strong differentiator. This year Atos won the Forrester Groundswell Award for Excellence in Social Media for its  Zero email program.

 


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