I’m honoured to be able to say that I recently discovered I am among the 100 women worldwide to be recognised by the International Alliance for Women as a recipient of their 2011 World of Difference 100 Award under the Corporate (Individual Women) category.
Among the previous winners are some truly courageous human beings who have fought for the empowerment of women where they are oppressed, at great personal risk to themselves, who have helped to alleviate poverty and who have dedicated their lives to advancing other women’s careers.
To be recognised amongst these inspirational people is amazing and completely unexpected.
When Women in Technology began as a simple website back in 2005, I could never have predicted the journey that lay ahead. It was originally intended as just an advisory resource for female technologists, but within days we began receiving requests from businesses to advertise their jobs on the website.
The organisation has since gone from strength to strength and we now have over 7,000 members.
We have organised over 40 successful networking events for women in IT and have also run multiple soft skills development training courses to help our members become well-rounded technology professionals who will succeed in business.
However, there is still serious work to be done within the world of gender politics in the workplace. We still haven’t achieved equal pay and a glass ceiling still exists, despite the numerous determined women who have managed to break through it.
Compared to some of my fellow World of Difference winners, my contribution to the cause may be modest, but I am still determined in my goal that every female professional in the technology industry in the UK should have some contact with us as an organisation – from simply following us on Twitter, through to be a regular attendee at our events or finding a new job through us. There are huge and lucrative opportunities within the sector and nobody should miss out on them because of their gender.
Being involved with Women in Technology has completely transformed my life. I have met so many great people, heard such amazing stories and had the privilege of watching and helping their careers blossom. It is those people who make up the heart and soul of what we are trying to do and I’m extremely grateful to them.
Without such a huge network of phenomenal, tenacious and strong women, we might well have remained just a simple advisory website. For that reason I’d like to thank them for all of their hard work and involvement. There may only be 100 women across the globe who have received this award this year, but to me, there are hundreds, even thousands of you who have made a world of difference to me.