On Thursday, the inaugural Women in IT Awards was held in London. My colleague and I were nominated for our work on a large IT Transformation Project at Spire Healthcare. This is a photo of us before we were served dinner. It was a glamorous evening at Grosvenor House Park Lane.
After a champagne reception Ben Rossi, editor of Information Age, opened evening.
He stated that only 16% were women in IT, which is half of the number it was just a few years back. Only 39% of women feel supported by their industry, while 61% of men feel the same. There aren’t enough people like yourself.”
He stated that the awards showed the importance of women in the changing world of technology. He stated, “Nothing will be changed unless there is strong accountability.”
Salesforce Chairman Steve Garrett also gave a brief address. He stated that only 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. “Women have been more able to get degrees over the past 15 year than men, but the IT employment rates for women are still low.”
He stated, “When women have the skills to succeed in technology, it creates conditions for others to be inspired.” He also spoke out about how the industry needs all of the innovators and professionals it can get to stay on top of economic and business trends. He concluded by saying that “We don’t dare rely upon or exclude any group.”
Maggie Philbin hosted the event, and introduced the finalists and award presenters. These are the winners
Advocate of the Year: Network Rail is a company that supports women in IT via initiatives – Network Rail
e-Skills Initiative of The year: A program that encourages girls and women to learn digital skills, and to consider a career in ICT. Royal Bank of Scotland
Innovator of the Year: A company where a woman played an important role in the success or a program for corporate innovation.
Helen Lamb, Fujitsu Business Leaders of the Year
Public Sector Deployment Award for the Year – London Borough Camden, but Exeter College received the most enthusiastic cheers while we were at their table!
Private Sector Deployment for Year – Tesco
Future CIO of the Year – Colette Müller at BT
IT Transformation of the Year: A company that has undergone significant IT transformations in which a woman played an integral part. We were nominated for this award but were defeated by Royal Mail.
CIO of the Year – Anna Barsby from Halfords Group
Editor’s choice: FDM Group has done amazing things to encourage women in tech.
Emer Timmons, BT Global Services, Salesforce Woman of the Year A woman who has demonstrated IT excellence and innovation, shining light on the possibilities of technology.
Standing ovation for Betty Webb, codebreaker in WWII. She briefly spoke about the 30 year period when her work was kept secret and wondered if it would still be possible today. She said that they had no choice but to do so. We wouldn’t be able to sit here in comfort if we didn’t have to. Read more about the incredible work of women in IT, secret projects and other fields here. Cath Goulding, from Nominet, was awarded the award.
Even though I didn’t win the award, it was a great evening. It was inspiring to hear stories about women who have had incredible careers and IT projects. If you have the chance, you should apply for professional awards. Being a finalist is an incredible experience.