The awards, now in their fifth year, are organised by software firm Axios Systems. They are part of an initiative to redress the industry's gender imbalance. Just over 20% of computing professionals in the UK are women.
Rebecca George, director of UK government business at IBM UK, said, "IBM is endeavouring to make itself relevant to girls at all stages of their development. Programmes such as the Axios A Star Awards help increase the number of women entering the industry and we are delighted to be backing them once more."
The Axios A Star Awards are based on GCSE and A-level results, with top performers from across the UK qualifying for a tie-break final held over the internet. Prizes include cash and laptop computers. The results will be announced towards the end of the year.
"Girls generally do better than boys in computing exams at school or college. They clearly have a good aptitude for the subject, yet not nearly enough of them are moving into an industry which badly needs their talents," said awards founder Ailsa Symeonides.