Female tech experts working at BP, American Express and Deutsche Bank have been crowned winners in the 2014 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards.
At a ceremony in London yesterday, American Express VP Katrina Roberts, Deutsche Bank strategist Anne-Marie Imafidon and BP enterprise systems lead Diana Kennedy were revealed as winners in their categories at the event, which aims to highlight successful women in the industry and to promote role models to encourage more girls into the sector.
Kennedy, head of strategy and architecture, enterprise systems, at energy company BP, won the award for team leader of the year. In her role, she leads a team of 30 enterprise and functional architects who are responsible for the design and governance of BP’s SAP architecture.
Her background includes senior roles at British Gas owner Centrica and consultancy PwC.
American Express’s Roberts is vice president of global network and international consumer technologies Europe and is on the UK executive committee. She won the leader of the year in a corporate organisation award for her role managing a team of 150 delivering technology solutions across all European markets for the global network division.
She joined the credit card company on its graduate programme, and, through things like mentoring, has helped to increase female representation within the business to 30 percent.
Imafidon, meanwhile, won the rising star of the year award, for her role as enterprise collaboration strategist at Deutsche Bank and founder of Stemettes.
She showed promise at an early age, passing GCSE maths and ICT at the age of 10, and went on to study a degree, becoming the youngest ever masters degree graduate at the age of 20, from Oxford University. She founded Stemettes to inspire the next generation of women into STEM industries.
In addition, the lifetime achievement award was presented to Professor Dame Wendy Hall, the first female professor of engineering at the University of Southampton in 1994. She did a post-graduate degree in mathematics and was member of the computer science group at university, with highlights including the invention and patenting of the Microcosm hypermedia system, which pre-dated the web.
She has helped champion women in technology in a number of roles, including president of the Association of Computing Machinery, senior vice-president of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science Technology.
In her acceptance speech, Hall put a call out to industry representative body techUK to help her get her a role on a company board.
She revealed that despite her background, boards of FTSE companies refused to accept her, “because she did not have enough experience”.
Maxine Benson, co-founder of everywoman, said: “With 44 percent of technology CEOs expected to increase headcount in contrast to 23 percent across all industries, it is imperative that more women enter the sector.
“The organisations involved in today’s awards are the forward-thinking companies that are already committed to that and the women we are celebrating are role models whose stories and achievements will open the eyes of more young girls to realise that studying STEM subjects can lead to an exciting, rewarding career.”
One of the awards supporters is techUK, formerly Intellect. Julian David, CEO of the body, said: “We need a greater representation of the working population to join UK tech companies and help support the continued growth of the sector.
“TechUK will remain focused on attracting great women to the sector, retaining them and helping them to flourish and succeed.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
Woman of the Year – sponsored by FDM Group
Torie Chilcott, Founder, CEO Content, Rockabox, from London
Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent
Alicia Navarro, CEO and Co-founder, Skimlinks, from London
Innovator of the Year – Sponsored by Ocado
Vicky Brock, CEO, Clear Returns, from Glasgow
Inspiration of the Year – sponsored by VMware
Dr Sue Black, Founder & CEO, Savvify from London
Leader of the Year in a corporate organisation – sponsored by BP
Katrina Roberts, Vice President – Global Network and International Consumer Technologies Europe, American Express, from Brighton
Rising Star of the Year – Sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions
Anne-Marie Imafidon, Enterprise Collaboration Strategist & Head Stemette, Deutsche Bank & Stemettes, from London
Start-up Founder of the Year – Sponsored by salesforce.com
Elizabeth Clark, CEO, Dream Agility, from Manchester
Team Leader of the Year – Sponsored by Vodafone
Diana Kennedy, Head of Strategy & Architecture, Enterprise Systems, BP Plc, from London