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FDM Everywoman in Tech: 2017 winners announced

Women’s network Everywoman announces the winners of its 2017 Everywoman in Technology awards, sponsored by FDM

Everywoman has announced the winners of the 2017 FDM Everywoman in Technology awards, which showcases the great women working in the technology industry.

Sponsored by FDM, Everywoman runs the awards every year to celebrate the achievements of women in the science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) industries.

Everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson claimed the awards help to remind the country and the tech industry that women play a “vital role” in the growth and success of both the UK and its tech sector.

“With research telling us that gender-balanced teams provide better outcomes, there has never been a better time to applaud women’s success and demonstrate their impact, thereby encouraging younger generations to embrace the opportunities offered by a Stem career,” she said.

Many claim a lack of role models in the industry is the reason girls do not choose Stem careers, as they are unaware of the jobs available in the industry and cannot see anyone like themselves in these roles to encourage them to work towards these careers.

Everywoman uses its women in technology awards to make great women in the technology industry more visible and accessible as role models for others looking to join the industry.

Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer from event sponsor FDM Group, said it was increasingly important that role models showcased in the awards are seen by younger women.

Read more about women in the tech sector

  • This special report from CEB offers some practical proven solutions to help IT leaders recruit and retain a better balance of employees.
  • The Mortimer Spinks and Computer Weekly Women in Technology Survey 2016 represents the views of more than 4,000 technology professionals.

“This year’s FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards showcase the outstanding women who work in technology today,” she said. “They are role models for all of us, demonstrating that IT is a great career option for young women today. It’s particularly important that we get this message across to young women to create a gender-balanced workforce and build the pipeline for future talent.”

The 2017 FDM Everywoman in technology award winners: 

  • Rising Star: Sponsored by T-Systems, this year’s Rising Star was Gabrielle Corria, resource and recruitment lead at CGI. After beginning her career at 17, she now works to help increase the number of applications made for entry-level technology roles.
  • Team Leader: Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Team Leader award was won by Silke Eggert, global head of opportunity programme management and demand management for Vodafone Group Services. Eggert was responsible for building and launching “Single Front Door”, an organisation inside Vodafone designed to help improve customer experience.
  • Software Engineer: Sponsored by American Express, the Software Engineer award went to Maxine Glennerster, senior developer for Deloitte Digital. Glennerster introduced a “money management” application to the bank, which has led to an increase in the number of customers the bank gains and retains.
  • One to Watch: Sponsored by CA Technologies, the One to Watch award was won by Wick High School student Ellora James. James is 16, and teaches other students HTML and CSS coding skills through her “Apps for Good Course” mentoring programme.
  • Leader: Sponsored by BP, this year’s Leader award went to Vicky Higgin, head of corporate information services at National Grid. By implementing lean principals in her teams, Higgin has increased the firm’s customer engagement and saved the company nearly £6m.
  • Academic: Sponsored by Dell, the Academic award went to Semali Perera, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Bath. Perera leads research in novel-structured materials and has developed sustained drug release depots for ovarian cancer treatment.
  • Startup Founder of the Year: Sponsored by Barclays, the Startup Founder of the Year was awarded to Sophie Deen, founder and CEO of Bright Little Labs. Deen is responsible for the creation of children’s book Detective Dot, which is focused on encouraging girls and ethnic minorities to take an interest in technology and coding.
  • Innovator: Sponsored by Equiniti, the Innovator award went to Kate Newhouse, CEO of Doctor Care Anywhere. Newhouse created a digital healthcare service to help people manage their health. The service is now used by 1.2 million customers and 700 corporates.
  • Entrepreneur: Sponsored by ARM Holdings, the Entrepreneur award went to Dressipi co-founders Sarah McVittie and Donna North. Dressipi allows shoppers to create a digital “fashion fingerprint” which can be used to browse retailer websites for products relevant to them.
  • Digital Star: Sponsored by CGI, this year’s Digital Star was Chi Igboaka, the global head of performance marketing for Travelex. Igboaka was promoted within nine months of joining Travelex, and has been developing a “digital marketing centre of excellence” to shift the firm’s performance marketing focus.
  • Inspiration: Sponsored by VMware, the award for Inspiration was given to Sophie Newton, COO of Brainlabs. Newton grew her search and analytics company from seven people to a team of 75 in the space of three years, and has won contracts with a number of large companies and brands.
  • Woman of the Year: The 2017 Woman of the Year is Emily Brooke, CEO and founder of Blaze. Brooke developed the “Laserlight” detachable torches used on 13,000 Santander cycles across London to project an image in front of a cyclist on the road to alert vehicles to their presence.  

Research has found that 74% of young girls are interested in Stem subjects at school, but just 18% choose these subjects in higher education.

With the skills gap in the UK meaning there is not enough technology talent to fill vacant roles, Julian David, CEO of TechUK, which supported the event, claimed the industry cannot afford to miss the opportunity to attract so many more young people into the industry.

“The digital skills gap is one of the most urgent policy challenges facing the UK – without enough talented workers, the UK will fall short of its potential in supercharging its already successful digital industry,” he said. “In particular, we need to encourage women to enter and thrive in the tech industry at all levels. That way, we become more robust, more competitive and more innovative. Through targeted action, techUK is committed to facilitate the attraction and retention of talent from as broad a demographic as possible to increase diversity in the tech sector.”

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