Congratulations to Wincie Wong, Hazel Savage, Beth Foster, the Employee Network of Networks and DWP, who were just a few winners of the prestigious Women in IT UK Awards, 2023.
Now in their ninth year, these coveted awards have recognised and celebrated over 1,000 women, allies, and organisations across the UK for their outstanding contributions to the technology industry.
In total, 20 winners were revealed (complete list below) at a glamorous in-person ceremony hosted by technologist, sound designer, inventor and NASA Datanaut LJ Rich on Thursday, 23 February 2023, at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London. The event was sponsored by bp; Frank Recruitment Group; Google Cloud; and J.P. Morgan.
Woman of the year
Wincie Wong, Head of Services Workforce Technical Capability, NatWest Group, won Women of the Year for her engineering transformation initiatives to drive diversity, equity and inclusion and reskilling opportunities that will positively impact the industry.
Woman of the Year was a tough category to judge. The judges commented on Wincie: “This year’s Woman of the Year has demonstrated innovative leadership, passion and an impressive vision that has had incredible impacts.
“From teaching over 2,000 women to code, to how she has impacted over 10,000 students due to her Tech We Can work, through to reskilling and permanently employing 42 women into male-dominated software and data engineering roles.
“Wincie has developed a solution which broke away from traditional recruiting methods to remove subconscious bias and give an equal opportunity to everyone at the interview stage. She also created a more continuous pipeline of permanent women engineering talent to bring in more diversity through introductory coding classes and nano degrees for women.
“Not only is she building a workforce that promotes inclusivity and positively impacts her organisation as a whole, but she is also setting a new precedence for her industry sector.”
Women in IT Awards UK 2023 wise words
On accepting her award, Wincie said: “This award is not for me. It’s for every woman who changed their life by taking that first step to learning how to code. Every child now watching the lesson plan and then deciding to go into a career in tech and change their future.
“It’s for every apprentice we’ve taken who has decided to start a professional career. And it is for those female founders out there who have worked so hard, giving up their lives going against every cultural barrier, going against their families, to actually start businesses that they feel passionate about and have people believe in them in the best way which is by giving them funding to make their dreams a reality.
“And most of all, this is for the smart young girl out there who looked out and decided that instead of changing themselves to try to be more white, more manly, more what they thought someone successful shouldn’t be and decided that they should just be themselves.”
Entrepreneur of the year
Hazel Savage was crowned Entrepreneur of the Year for her “inspirational leadership, resilience, ambition and fearlessness. Hazel co-founded Musiio by SoundCloud, valued at $10m in July 2021 and acquired in less than a year with 70 repeat customers in 11 countries.
Since 2019, Musiio has used AI to tag over 200 million tracks. It’s growing its innovative use of technology, and it’s a great story. The judges said: “The evidence of sustainable and impactful growth is evident with her company’s acquisition.
“Importantly, Hazel has maintained the principles behind her business, enabling equity for all content creators and is amplifying opportunities for other music entrepreneurs.”
Beth Foster, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead at Google Cloud EMEA, won Diversity Lead of the Year. Beth is acting as Chief of Staff of the Black Googler Network EMEA, co-founded Google London’s Allyship network Steerco and externally is co-leading Google’s response to the Grenfell disaster.
The Judges said: “Beth is a leader and a driver in and outside her company. She is an active ally to the community, whether it is by accompanying the company’s PRIDE network to the British LGBT+ Awards, funding Disability inclusion research in Poland, driving an Africa inclusion plan in Cloud, connecting internal employee resource groups and allies with opportunities to build more inclusive products, or by building and offering training to stakeholders on biased and coded language.
“She is a fantastic example of an impactful diversity leader. The scale and impact of her organisational change – the #ItUpToMe programme – is highly commended.
“As this is a global organisation, she has left no stone unturned and has ensured that the approaches are inclusive and tailored to each country’s needs.
“Over 5,000 managers globally now have trackable measures to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Many heartfelt congratulations to this year’s winners who are working to advance diversity and women in the UK’s tech sector, and a big well done to all those who were shortlisted; your impact matters.
Women in IT UK Awards 2023 winners
|Data Leader OTY
|DEI Initiative OTY
|DEI Tech Platform OTY
|Global Equality Collective App – Nicole Ponsford
|Global Equality Collective
|Digital Transformation Leader OTY
|Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
|Diversity Lead OTY
|DWP Digital – Emma Crawford
|Musiio by SoundCloud
|IT Team OTY (Public sector)
|IT Team OTY (Private sector)
|Ann Summers Ltd
|Next Generation Leader OTY
|Apple / OpenUK
|Outstanding Diversity Network OTY
|Employee Network of Networks – Ieva Jankelaityte
|Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
|Security Leader OTY
|Civil Aviation Authority
|Social Impact Project OTY
|Giving To Services Leanne Holder
|Giving To Services
|Tech Start-Up OTY
|Dr. Andrea Cullen
Along with this year’s headline sponsors bp; Google Cloud; Frank Recruitment Group; and J.P. Morgan, the event was supported by category sponsors Tata Consultancy Services; the event supporters were Centrica; Ciklum, CGI; and NatWest Group. This year the National Autistic Society was chosen as the charity partner for the wonderful work they do to help people with autism in the UK and their families. The Media Partners were Business Focus Magazine and Together in Tech.
Click here to join us at our Women in IT UK Summit on 18 May in London or to learn more about the global Women in IT Summits and Awards series.