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Winners of the 2020 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards have been announced, after an event in London designed to showcase women in the technology industry.
The annual awards, sponsored by professional services provider FDM Group and run in partnership with the Tech She Can Charter, aim to raise awareness of the achievements of women in the technology sector.
Emphasising that the lack of visible and accessible female role models is one of the reasons young women don’t choose a career in tech, everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson said sharing stories about women already in the technology industry is extremely important.
“With this year being the 10th anniversary of the awards, we are proud to showcase exceptional talent in the technology industry,” she said. “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 in the industry.”
Research has found many women still feel there is a “glass ceiling” in the technology sector, and while more women are expected to go into tech in 2020, the number of women in core technical roles has remained stagnant at around 16% over the past decade.
Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, president and chief executive of NMiTE, who was named Woman of the Year at the everywoman awards, has 25 years of experience in engineering and is proudly part of the LGBT community, makes a point of highlighting the lack of diversity in the engineering space through her #ILookLikeAnLGBTEngineer campaign.
During her acceptance speech, she said the small proportion of women in engineering, at around 12%, is “not acceptable”.
2020 FDM everywoman in Technology Award winners
Academic Award: Marcelle McManus, professor of energy and environmental engineering, and co-director of the centre of sustainable and circular technology, University of Bath. McManus uses systems analysis to help reduce the carbon and environmental impact of technology and systems, and is a member of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub. During her acceptance speech, she said tech needs to “change the way [it] include[s] people”, and that without role models things won’t change fast enough.
One to Watch Award: There were two winners for the One to Watch category. Aoibheann Mangan, a student at Mount St Michael Claremorris, who runs a code club at her school and mentors over 50 children, and Avye Couloute, a student at Surbiton High School, who leads a monthly coding and computing workshop, encouraging girls and young people to consider STEM careers.
Apprentice Award: Hannah Hargreaves, customer experience manager, Openreach. Hargreaves often talks about her career progression from a call centre worker at Openreach to her current role, and has an online following of 27k people, which she uses to share her experience.
Rising Star Award: Ekaterini Tasiopoulou, business development for Europe, IBM UK. Tasiopoulou works in a team specialising in incident response and intelligence services across EMEA, and trains clients in cyber security. Her aspiration is to become the youngest CISO in corporate history.
Digital Star: Rachelle Mills, CEO and co-founder, Karelnn. Mills uses her network to bring together experts in AI and machine learning to discuss and develop ways to improve social care.
Software Engineer Award: Adele Churchill, software engineer lead, Capgemini. Churchill helps develop tools to allow analysts to gather, analyse and visualise data.
Team Leader Award: Myra Fulton, director of engineering, Skyscanner. As well as heading up engineering at Skyscanner, Fulton acts as a business mentor and coach to other engineers. She developed a #techbar service in the organisation to make internal IT support easier for employees.
Entrepreneur Award: Jo Wimble-Groves, co-founder and business director, Active Digital. Wimble-Groves set up Active Digital with her brother when she was 20-years-old. The company now has more than 30 employees and an annual turnover of £5m.
Innovator Award: Sepideh Chakaveh, CEO and founder, Pixsellar. As well as founding Pixsellar, which helps with the analytics of video content, Chakaveh developed an interactive facial emotional analytics system to help with Pixsellar’s work. She’s also a senior associate tutor and departmental lecturer in data science and AI at the University of Oxford.
Leader Award: Wendy Warham, vice-president of digital transformation and innovation for UK and Ireland, Fujitsu. Warham is accountable for 800 people across Fujitsu, and is also an executive sponsor for Fujitsu’s Women in Business Network.
International Inspiration Award: Izzy Obeng, founding director, Foundervine. Obeng heads up Foundervine, an agency which offers international training, mentoring and funding opportunities for founders of startups and scaleups.
Male Agent of Change Award: Duncan Greenwood, vice-president and general manager for NEMEA, VMware. In his role as EMEA vice-president and responsible for diversity and inclusion, Greenwood has worked to improve hiring processes, and is a sponsor of unconscious bias training and reverse mentoring.