Winners of the 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards announced

Winners announced during ceremony at London Hilton, Park Lane.

The winners of the 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards have been revealed in an awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

In an event attended by 500 professionals, the awards aim to champion the advancement of women in technology and science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) careers.

Despite girls achieving higher grades than boys in IT-related subjects, females only fill 16% of IT and telecoms roles.

The FDM everywoman in Technology Awards aim to shine a spotlight on success stories and role models to encourage more girls to consider a career in IT.


The 2015 winners

Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by ARM: Patricia O’Hagan, CEO of Core Systems

O’Hagan’s company focuses on technology for high-security facilities and offenders.  

Inspiration of the Year, sponsored by VMware: Ayman Assaf, head of strategy and planning at BP

Assaf was recognised for his efforts in promoting the role of women in IT in the company, which included adapting job descriptions and driving initiatives to ensure gender balance in candidate pools.

Leader of the Year, sponsored by BP: Helen Lamb, vice-president head of managed infrastructure services at Fujitsu UK and Ireland

Lamb was credited for making improvements to revenue, profit and customer satisfaction at Fujitsu, and bringing in new clients including RBS, Boots and Balfour Beatty.

Rising Star of the Year, sponsored by American Express: Sadia Chuhan, apprentice IT project manager at Thomson Reuters

At the age of 20, Chuhan has been recognised for her "positive attitude" which led to the expansion of the apprentice scheme at Thomson Reuters.  

Startup Founder of the Year, sponsored by Salesforce: Alexandra Depledge, CEO of Hassle.com

Depledge set up an online marketplace which matches professionals with trusted domestic cleaners in 2012. Hassle.com is now operational in six countries and has received $6m in funding from a venture capital firm.

Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Equiniti: Sinéad Brophy, founder and CEO of MySupportBroker CIC

Brophy’s company connects people with expertise in support and care for those with long-term illnesses, disability and mental health.

Team Leader of the Year, sponsored by T Systems: Marit Thowsen, director technical delivery of American Express

Thowsen was credited for implementing a reporting system which is saving thousands of pounds in efficiencies. She has also founded the Technology School Program for girls.

The One to Watch, sponsored by EMC: Zea Tongeman

Tongeman, aged 15, has already presented a TED (technology, entertainment, design) talk after she created the idea for the Jazzy Recyclers app. The app promotes recycling to young people, and was created as part of the Apps for Good programme.

International Leader of the Year, sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions: Karen Egan, senior director technical support EMEA at VMware International

Egan is the main sponsor of VMware’s Work Placement Program which supports unemployed people into IT. She is also a champion of the all-girl CoderDojo community group for primary school girls.

The 2015 Woman of the Year went to Roxane Heaton, synthetics training policy staff officer, Royal Navy, from Portsmouth. 

Heaton jumped ship from a successful career in banking to join the armed forces and has since been heralded for her passion to embed innovative processes to spread digital change across the naval service and defence.


Vince Cable, secretary of state for business innovation and skills, said: “Congratulations to all of the winners. As role models and ambassadors you are instrumental in inspiring women to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in technology.

Read more about everywoman

“It is vital that we challenge the perception of the technology industry as being for men only, and make sure that all sectors in our economy attract the best talent, regardless of gender.”

Maxine Benson, co-founder of everywoman, said: “The UK’s technology sector is booming, but there is still an imbalance in terms of the gender make-up of its workforce. These incredible winners are demonstrative of the huge opportunity there is for future generations to make their mark and achieve success.

“We hope that by raising awareness of their achievements, in future years there will be greater gender equality and appreciation of the diversity within the tech sector.”

Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer of FDM Group, said: “FDM is delighted to be the headline sponsor of the everywoman in technology awards for the third consecutive year. Congratulations to all the fantastic winners for 2015. Showcasing the incredible level of tech talent and celebrating these achievements is vital to achieving gender equality in IT.

“At FDM, we aim to practice what we preach and are proud to say that 25% of our global workforce is female. We not only advocate the merits of a career in technology, but support the growth and development of all female employees. As ever, there is more to be done, but inspirational women continue to pave the way and will encourage more women to not only consider IT but forge a career in it.”

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