Vin Murria, the CEO of Advanced Computer Software Group, has been celebrated as 'woman of the year' at this year's Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards.
The awards, which aim to celebrate female talent in the technology industry, recognised women for their achievements in a range of categories, including entrepreneurs, innovators, rising stars and leaders.
Murria, who studied computer science at university, set up Advanced Computer Software Group, which supplies patient management software solutions, in 2008. She has more than 20 years' experience in the software industry, as former COO at Kewill Systems and CEO of Computer Software Group, which merged with IRIS Software Group in 2007.
She is also a partner at venture capital firm Elderstreet Capital, which specialises in early stage and development investment in the software and computer services industry.
In accepting her award, Murria said: "At 22 I was interviewed by a gentleman who has been my mentor for 26 years. It is not just women, it's both parties."
She added: "There are always people who tell you you can't do something. But there is nothing to stop you."
Other technologists celebrated at the awards included Mandy Chessell, IBM distinguished engineer, master inventor and chief architect for InfoSphere solutions at IBM, who won the innovator of the year award.
Gillian Arnold, director of Tectre, an IT services and staffing consultancy, was another winning IBM alumni, who won the award for inspiration of the year.
Entrepreneur of the year was Olga Kubassova, founder and CEO of Image Analysis, which provides biomedical visualisation software. Kubassova was rewarded for her ability to turn a start-up into a team of 25 people with a turnover of £1 million.
Kirstin Duffield, CEO of insurance and reinsurance software provider Morning Data, was another computer scientist who was recognised as SME team leader of the year.
Other winners without a technical background included Laura Earle, executive communications manager at Cisco and Sheila Flavell, COO at IT training and services provider FDM Group, who won the awards for rising star of the year and corporate leader of the year, respectively.