Celebrating trailblazers at the Women in IT Asia Awards 2023

Neha Malhotra, Shui-Min Tan, Manisha Banthia, and Vanessa Sorenson among the inspiring winners

The stage was set, and the anticipation was high as the Women in IT Asia Awards 2023 unfolded at the Shangri la Singapore.

The gala dinner, hosted by Able, brought together luminaries from the tech industry to celebrate and honour the outstanding achievements of women in various IT roles.

The event, organised by DiversityQ and Information Age, showcased exceptional leaders who have championed diversity, embraced innovation, and made significant contributions to the tech industry and beyond.

The evening commenced with Able’s warm welcome, setting the tone for an extraordinary celebration. “Good evening, everyone! On behalf of DiversityQ and Information Age, I would like to welcome you to this very special evening,” Able greeted the audience, eliciting excitement and applause.

Tania Ferreira, Director of Events, Stubben Edge, followed with a brief welcome, expressing gratitude to the attendees and emphasising the importance of growth and sustainability in the tech sector. “Growth is what we all aim for, personally and professionally,” Tania stated. “We are always looking for ways to grow the community, offer more opportunities, and be more sustainable. Tonight, we celebrate those who are making a difference.”

Before the winners were announced, special recognition was given to previous award recipients who joined the event in person. The room erupted in applause as alums who, due to COVID-19, did not get their in-person stage time stood to acknowledge their past victories. Their presence added an extra layer of significance to the evening’s celebration.

The Awards’ judges, who meticulously reviewed the shortlisted submissions, were applauded for their dedication and contribution to the selection process. Their enthusiasm and optimism for the tech industry’s future were palpable as they expressed their excitement for the incredible ideas, technology, and initiatives presented.

The sponsors of the Women in IT Asia Awards were also recognised for their invaluable support. HSBC, the premium sponsor, and bp, the category sponsor, were applauded for their commitment to an equitable workforce. The event’s media partners, including AI Club Asia, Asia Cloud Computing Association, Business Focus Magazine, ET HRWorld, and Femtech Association, were commended for amplifying the celebration and promoting initiatives to their global communities.

The audience, consisting of supportive allies to the finalists, was acknowledged for their ongoing dedication to creating an inclusive workforce. Tania took a moment to express her gratitude, stating, “By being here tonight and showing up every day, you are part of the solution. This is a multi-stakeholder effort, and we appreciate you!”

With the stage set, the atmosphere filled with anticipation as Able introduced the winners. The Woman of the Year award went to Neha Malhotra from the Singapore Computer Society – Cybersecurity Chapter.  

Neha’s commitment to gender diversity, her tangible impact on policy change, her passion for her field and her community service and outreach made her a true champion of diversity.

Shui-Min Tan, from NUS Information Technology, was recognised as the Chief Information Technology Officer of the Year. Her visionary leadership and continuity plans have revolutionised her organisation’s technology landscape. Shui-Min’s ability to support her team to deliver high-quality, impactful changes within a very short timeline stood out to the judges.

Manisha Banthia from Fiserv India was named the Data Leader of the Year for having the results to back up every action she’s taken. She has driven impressive data-centric solutions and monetisation strategies for her business, and through the implementation of new architecture, she achieved a 90% reduction in data load.

Vanessa Sorenson from Microsoft New Zealand was named Diversity Lead of the Year. Through her leadership and adoption of multiple DE&I policies, Vanessa has driven change in policy and culture – backed up by overwhelmingly positive employee feedback.

The judges felt her focus on intersectionality, championing the importance of a safe environment for LGBTQ+ and indigenous employees, and her commitment to designing and implementing policies that provide tangible support to multiple under-serves demographics was fantastic.

Here is the full list of winners of the Women in IT Awards Asia 2023:

  • Advocate OTY – Jeanene Williams, IT Vision Australia
  • Ally OTY – Richard Lord, HSBC Hong Kong
  • CI/TO OTY – Shui-Min Tan, NUS Information Technology
  • Data Leader OTY – Manisha Banthia, Fiserv India Pvt Ltd
  • DEI Initiative OTY – SoftwareAGain, Software AG Bangalore Technologies
  • Digital Transformation Leader OTY – Meera Shenoy, Youth4Jobs Foundation
  • Diversity Lead OTY – Vanessa Sorenson, Microsoft New Zealand
  • Entrepreneur OTY – Jennifer Lauretta Leong Bee Yoong, 360 Smart Home
  • IT Team OTY – Gayanika Gunasekera, SriLankan Airlines
  • Lifetime Achievement Award OTY – Sandra De Zoysa, Dialog Axiata Plc.
  • Next Generation Leader OTY – Zain Masri, Google
  • Security Leader OTY – Carol Lee, Hang Lung Group
  • Social Impact Project OTY – Ladies Who Tech, Ladies Who Tech
  • Tech Start-Up OTY  – Natalia Mykhayloa, WeavAir
  • Woman OTYNeha Malhotra, Singapore Computer Society – Cybersecurity Chapter

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