TechWomen100 Award's Ceremony

TechWomen100 Award’s Ceremony 2020: In Words

TechWomen100 Award's Ceremony

WeAreTechWomen celebrated the winners of the 2020 TechWomen100 Awards last night (Tuesday 8th December) via a virtual award's ceremony.

Given the circumstances, the team at WeAreTechWomen had to do things a little differently with our awards this year.

Over the course of the night, our attendees were congratulated by our sponsors and special guests and we heard from inspirational speakers and entertainers, who all endeavoured to create a truly magically experience.

The event was attended by winners, judges, sponsors and special guests and our winners had the opportunity to network with each other in our interactive breakout rooms. Each winner received a goodie box with their award, complete with champagne, chocolates, books and other treats.

The virtual award's ceremony was hosted by Julia Streets, CEO, Streets Consulting. Throughout the evening, we were joined by our special guests, IT entrepreneur and philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley CH; maker, coder, tech advocate and TechWomen100 winner, Avye Couloute; and live vocal duo, The Vocal Jewels, as our special guests for the 2020 TechWomen100 Award’s Ceremony.

Speaking about the awards, Vanessa Vallely OBE, Founder of WeAreTechWomen, said, “At WeAreTechWomen we have made it our personal mission to shine a spotlight on women working in tech.”

“Our strategic aim is to highlight 1,000 female future leaders in technology by 2025.”

“The response to this year’s awards has been fantastic and the calibre of entries has been outstanding!”

“I am so proud to see so many women in tech recognised for their achievements.”

In November, WeAreTechWomen, powered by BAE Systems, announced the winners of the 2020 TechWomen100 Awards.

The awards were entered by over 700 individuals and were judged by a panel of 14 independent judges. The 2020 awards are kindly powered by BAE Systems and sponsored by Accenture, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Oliver Wyman and OpenFin.
The winners of these awards showcase remarkable women within the technology and STEM sector including 12-year-old Avye Couloute, who, aware of female under-representation in STEM education and careers, founded Girls Into Coding to encourage more female involvement in tech; Susan Jason, a Principal Systems Engineer and Head of Outreach at In-Space Missions, who led the final test phases of the Faraday-1 commercial rideshare nanosatellite; and Heather Black, who founded Supermums, which helps upskill mums (and dads) back into flexible work in the Salesforce ecosystem.

The winners include individuals from leading firms such as the BBC, NatWest, Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Trainline, Visa, Deloitte, Microsoft, Bank of England and Monzo Bank, amongst many more.

The winners of each category for the TechWomen100 Awards can be found in alphabetical order below. Full details of each winner can be found here.

Alina Timofeeva – KPMG

Amelia Hayward – BBC

Amy Khalfay – IBM

Ananya Gupta – J.P. Morgan

Anasol Pena-Rios – BT

Anastasia Perysinakis – Jaguar Land Rover

Avye Couloute – Girls Into Coding

Becky Hartley – PwC

Beverley O’Neill – NatWest

Breda Forrest – Nomura

Carly Morris – International Airlines Group Cargo

Carmel Britto – LPF Kiddies Club

Carolyn Ngiam – Barclays

Charlene Hunter – Coding Black Females

Cheryl Hung – Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Chloe Crutchlow – Jaguar Land Rover

Christina King – Tribosonics Ltd

Claire Venners – Telefonica UK

Cristina Munteanu – Silverbird

Danielle Calabrese – Baringa Partners

Danielle Stewart – National Grid

Daphne Coates – IBM

Elissa Webb – NatWest

Emily Beeney – Morgan Stanley

Emma Martin – BT

Faye Skinner – Adobe

Gabriela Adamczyk – Sensor City

Gill Cooke – Three UK

Gillian Lamela – Barclays

Heather Black – Supermums

Helen Needham – Capco

Ivana Skerlikova – Atos

Jennifer Opal – BT

Jessica Leigh Jones – iungo solutions limited

Kajol Patel – Deloitte

Kari Lawler – Youth4AI

Katherine Ramo – CMS

Katie Severn – University of Nottingham

Kayla Lawrie – PwC

Kayleigh Ridd – Zone Digital

Kaysee Sahni – Atos

Kelly Gardner – CodeBase Stirling

Khaleelah Jones – Careful Feet Digital

Kim Diep – Trainline

Laura Marulanda-Carter – Institute of Technology, Milton Keynes College

Laura Price – O2/Telefonica

Lavinia Osbourne – Women in Blockchain Talks

Lesley Jonas-Nartey – IBM

Lucy Futcher - Visa

Lucy Marshall – Deloitte

Lucy Woodhead – GSK

Mansha Rajani – IBM

Mari-Ann Ganson – Envirocache Ltd

Marlene Spensley – Hitachi Vantara

Monica Menniti – MySense

Mumuksha Singh – CMS

Nerissa Arviana Prawiro – Goldman Sachs

Oishi Deb – Imperial College London

Olivia Nicklin – EY

Padmasini Dayananda – Cognizant Worldwide Ltd

Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer – School of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Healthcare Technologies, University of Birmingham

Rachel Pattinson – Newcastle University

Rahel Tesfai – FroHub

Rashada Harry – AWS

Rituja Rao – Sparta Global

Rupinder Sandhu – BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Sahydi Garcia – Morgan Stanley

Sandie Small – Bank of England

Sarah Croxford – Microsoft

Sema Yuce – Truth ISC Technology and Security Consultancy

Sepideh Bazazi – Oliver Wyman

Shara Gibbons – Barclays

Simran Mohnani – Deloitte

Sinead Byrne – BNY Mellon

Siobhan Tierney – Telefonica UK

Snezhana Ilieva – PwC

Snigdha Satti – News UK

Sophie Jane Wilson – Raytheon UK

Srishti Issrani – Deloitte

Sukhi Jutla – MarketOrders

Susan Jason – In-Space Missions Ltd

Suzanne Lord – BBC News

Suze Shardlow – Self-Employed

Swati Toshniwal – Mphasis

Tabby Davies – Zynga/Natural Motion

Tanya Knowles – Oil and Gas Authority

Temi Nelson – PwC

Tereza Litsa – Lightful

Tracy Higgs – Kainos

Tulsi Parida – Visa

Valeria Cortez Vaca Diez – Monzo Bank

Vibhusha Raval – BT

Victoria Repa – BetterMe

Victoria Forrest – VIKA Books

Vittoria Millan – Fondy

Vivian Galinari – BBC

Wincey Tang – Oliver Wyman

Yasmin Curren – Creative Asembly

Yasmin Desai - Impala

Yasmin Johal – CMS


Rav Bumbra – Structur3dpeople

Global Award for Achievement

Amanda Obidike – STEMi Makers Africa

Network of the Year

The Shuri Network

Company of the Year

Atos IT Services Ltd

Editor’s Choice

June Angelides MBE – Samos Investments

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

Women in Tech Awards - TechWomen100 Awards 2020

One week to go until nominations open | TechWomen100 Awards 2020

TechWomen100 Awards 2020

Just one week to go until nominations open for the TechWomen100 Awards 2020.

It is no secret that the technology industry lacks female representation at all levels. Women make up just 17 per cent of the industry. There are some fantastic awards for women working in tech, however, most of these focus on senior women.

Whilst we feel it is extremely necessary to highlight senior and influential women, we also believe the pipeline of female technologists need a platform to shine.

This is why the TechWomen100 Awards were created. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

New for this year, we are also excited to introduce a new “Global Award for Achievement” category to our awards to expand our search for global talent. This category is a female individual who works within the tech industry outside of the UK, whose current position is below director level.

Through the awards, we would also like to recognise a number of senior individuals who are championing up-and-coming women, as well as any organisations that have designed and implemented successful initiatives and programmes in order to attract, retain and develop the female tech talent.

Finally, we applaud the often-voluntary efforts of the women in tech networks that operate across the UK, and again would like to formerly recognise these within our awards.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way.

The 2020 awards are kindly powered by BAE Systems and sponsored by Accenture, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Oliver Wyman.


Nominations open online on 03 August via WeAreTechWomen. Nominations will close after a six-week period on 11 September.

A shortlist of 200 women from a range of technology disciplines will be chosen in October by an esteemed panel of judges. There will also be a shortlist of three Champions, Global Award of Achievement, Companies and Networks.

The shortlist will then be published and we will also open the TechWomen100 individual category for public votes of support.

Winners will be announced in November and celebrated at a virtual award's ceremony on 08 December. There will be 100 winners of the TechWomen100, a Champion of the Year, a Global Award of Achievement, a Company of the Year and a Network of the Year.

Who should nominate?

  • Self-nominations are encouraged
  • Organisations looking to recognise their emerging talent pool
  • Organisation wishing to obtain recognition for their initiatives
  • Individuals who would like to recognise their efforts of their champions/role models
  • Individuals/colleagues/friends/clients/mentors/sponsors of the nominee

Award's timeline

  • Nominations open – 03 August 2020
  • Nominations close – 11 September 2020
  • Shortlist announced & public vote opens – 26 October 2020
  • Voting closes – 13 November 2020
  • Winners announced – 16 November 2020
  • Winner's celebration event – 08 December 2020



TechWomen100 Sponsor Bubble LATEST

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference

Win a ticket to WeAreTechWomen's first virtual women in tech conference

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference

WeAreTechWomen have ten tickets to give away for our first virtual women in tech conference on 26 June.

Disrupt. Innovate. Lead won’t be like any other virtual event you may have experienced in the past. We are using a state of the art platform to bring you four stages of inspiring content from LIVE keynotes, webinars, recorded content, Q&A panels as well as the opportunity to meet some of our speakers and sponsors in our virtual exhibition hall. Yes, we will have a virtual exhibition hall!

Hear from our amazing line-up of speakers

We are proud to introduce our virtual tech conference's incredible speakers and thought leaders, including Martha Lane Fox CBE, Entrepreneur & Co-Founder, & Founder, Dot Everything; Anne Boden MBE, CEO, Starling Bank; Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, Group CEO, BenevolentAI; Sharmadein Reid, Founder, WAH Nails & BeautyStack; Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, IT Entrepreneur & Philanthropist; Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Founder, Stemettes; and many, many more.

Discover all of our speakers here.

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference speakers

There's something for everyone

WeAreTechWomen's conferences and summits have a five year history of providing innovative and interactive learning and networking opportunities for female technologist. This year is no different - all of our speakers are leaders in their sectors, experts in their fields and have a detailed understanding of how the tech industry is evolving.

We will be sharing insights and covering everything from Tech trends, Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, Data, Ethics, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Drones, GreenTech, HealthTech, Payments, Cloud, Agile, DevOps, Fintech, 5G, Entrepreneurship and Block Chain.

View the agenda here.

Everything recovery

We have heaps of panels that discuss the impact of the pandemic on the world of tech and how companies pivoted their businesses, worked collaboratively and rose the challenge of super speed engineering.

Shape your own learning

There will be ample opportunities to engage via our Q&A's and network through our virtual coffee rooms. Throughout the day our delegates can shape their own learning as well as revisiting sessions they may have missed - up to 30 days after the conference concludes.

Join us for a learning experience like no other!

This competition is now closed.




Debbie Forster featured

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference Speaker Spotlight: Debbie Forster MBE | CEO, Tech Talent Charter

WeAreTechWomen speaks to Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter about her career.

Debbie is also one of our speakers at our upcoming virtual tech conference, Disrupt. Innovate. Lead. on 26 June. Debbie is holding a session on why we must all work together to foster diversity in tech.

Debbie Forster is a recognised figure in the areas of diversity, tech, innovation and education, first as the UK CEO of Apps for Good and now as CEO for the Tech Talent Charter, an industry collective which aims to deliver greater gender diversity in the UK tech workforce.

Signatories of the charter make several pledges in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention. Debbie was awarded an MBE in January 2017 for “Services to Digital Technology and Tech Development” and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) named her Woman of the Year for 2016, describing her as “an exceptional and inspirational woman… an extraordinary role model.” She has also been named on Computer Weekly’s list of “25 Most Inspirational Women in UK IT” in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity is excited to introduce its first ever global virtual conference, Disrupt. Innovate. Lead. This unique learning experience is aimed at individuals working in technology who would like broaden their industry knowledge, learn new skills and benefit from the thought leadership of some of the brightest minds in the tech industry.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

I’m originally from the US but lived in the UK for 30 years.  I have worked in education, public, private and third sector—so I’m a professional foreigner or newcomer and thrive in working across different contexts and finding how they can fit, work and thrive together.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not even remotely; what’s taken me from job to job and sector to sector is seeing a great idea I want to make work or a great problem I want to help fix.  Like many people, I now see my career as a series of connected chapters rather than 1 focused career plan.

What inspired you to get involved with motivational speaking?

My first talk in front of a large audience (about 800 people) was when I was 18. I was terrified then but loved the buzz and connection with people and I suppose I’ve been hooked ever since.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

I now do a lot of coaching and mentoring as part of my portfolio of work. I absolutely love being on the journey with women and watching them make real breakthroughs in their confidence, their choices, in their place in the world.  It’s a privilege and so energising for my wider work.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

Big issues like diversity and inclusion are things we believe in but are so big, it is hard to think what we can do to make a difference. I’ll try to leave everyone with a sense of how they can be a part of an exciting whole.

What are your top 3 tips for success?

  • Work to silence (or at least turn down the volume) of your imposter syndrome—it doesn’t just rob you of opportunity, it is sucking the joy from your successes.
  • Know you will make mistakes and that’s a good thing.
  • Don’t wait to feel brave enough to do something. Do it while you are terrified, that is where all the fun is.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

Learning to ignore the imposter syndrome.

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

You know, I’ve stopped listing the amazing famous women for this question.  To be inspired means “fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something”  and I get that from the women I coach, them women I call friends and my 22 year old daughter.  Knowing their inner fears and how they face them keeps me filled with the urge to do something.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women at work and how can it be overcome?

We are often internally waiting for “permission” to do things, to be things, to ask for things and we are too often afraid of getting it wrong. We need to walk through that uncertainty, find and draw on mentors, and allies and champions from the women and men around us.  And we need to offer that same support to those around us.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Cementing the current breakthroughs on virtual and remote working and then pressing for the growth of meaningful part time work for all.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Relax, you can do this and remember this is a marathon, not a spring.



FemTech Forum

Win a ticket to FemTech Forum 2020 - the first global virtual conference about FemTech


WeAreTechWomen have ten tickets to giveaway for the FemTech Forum 2020 on 25th June.

The FemTech Forum - the first global virtual conference about FemTech - is a celebration of innovation in women’s health, spotlighting tech-powered solutions and products that are disrupting the market and changing our everyday lives for the better.

Investors are starting to recognise the value of the FemTech space, which is estimated to be worth $50 billion by 2025, according to Frost & Sullivan. Women in the workforce spend 29 per cent more per capita on healthcare than their male peers and they’re 75 per cent more likely to use digital tools to track their health.

Organised by Women of Wearables (WoW), a global community for women in emerging technologies that has grown to become a network of more than 20,000 members, is hosting the virtual conference on FemTech on June 25th.

The one-day forum, which will be held on Zoom, will address topics like fertility, sexual wellness, the gender gap in medical research and more.

FemTech Forum - All speakers

The A-list panel of speakers includes: Eirini Rapti, Founder and CEO of Inne; Sophia Bendz, Partner at Atomico; Louise Samet, Partner at Blossom Capital; Gian Seehra, Investor at Octopus Ventures; Michelle Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Peanut; Valentina Milanova, Founder and CEO of Daye; Elina Berglund Scherwitzl, Co-Founder and CEO of Natural Cycles; Lea von Bidder, Co-Founder and CEO of Ava; Billie Quinlan, Founder and CEO of Ferly; Katherine Ryder, Founder and CEO of Maven Clinic; Afton Vechery, Co-Founder and CEO of Modern Fertility and Kat Mañalac, Partner at Y Combinator.

This competition is now closed.





Nancy Doyle featured

WeAreTechWomen Virtual Conference Speaker Spotlight: Dr Nancy Doyle | Occupational Psychologist & CEO, Genius Within

Nancy Doyle headshotWeAreTechWomen speaks to Dr Nancy Doyle, Occupational Psychologist & CEO, Genius Within about her career.

Nancy is also one of our speakers at our upcoming virtual tech conference, Disrupt. Innovate. Lead. on 26 June. Nancy is holding a session on neurodiversity in tech, which will look at the full range of talents associated with neurodiversity and how considering competencies could open up untapped talent within an organisation.

Dr Nancy Doyle is a Registered Occupational Psychologist and the CEO of Genius Within CIC, a non-profit who specialize in neurodiversity inclusion at work. Genius Within works with thousands of businesses each year, many in tech and finance, exploring inclusion at the individual and company wide levels, advising on the legal, human and relational aspects of inclusion. Nancy was the driving force and lead presenter for Employable Me/The Employables, a now worldwide documentary on the BBC/A&E exploring the hidden talents of individuals with autism, Tourette Syndrome and a wide range of disabilities. Nancy undertakes many voluntary advisory committee roles, including with the British Psychological Society, UK government bodies and international labor events and is a leading researcher in neurodiversity, a Fellow of the University of London (Birkbeck).

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity is excited to introduce its first ever global virtual conference, Disrupt. Innovate. Lead. This unique learning experience is aimed at individuals working in technology who would like broaden their industry knowledge, learn new skills and benefit from the thought leadership of some of the brightest minds in the tech industry.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

I am a Registered Occupational Psychology, PhD specialising in neurodiversity at work.  I’ve worked in social inclusion all my life – disability support, unemployment – I’ve always been a geek about people working at their best, how we all have abilities and value, and that when we are in the right context, when it ‘fits’ you get ‘flow’.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, but I’ve always thought it was important to do due diligence to your craft. Many early personal and professional experiences led me to question traditional psychology approaches, but in order to understand how to fix the problem I studied psychology. I can now advocate for the talent aspects of neurodiversity competently and from a position of expertise as opposed to shouting from the sidelines. The science of neurodiversity is changing and evolving, I am happy to be part of that within a well-regulated profession, developing the right evidence based and applying rigor and integrity to this niche field.

What inspired you to get involved with motivational speaking?

I’m not really interested in motivational speaking, I’m interest in engaging people into my area of interest and my passion! Our society has become inefficient and is missing the opportunity to benefit from neurodiverse thinking, as a result too many people are cast aside and are devalued. Its annoying and we are changing it. Giving talks is one part of that process.

Do you have a favourite experience from your career?

Passing my PhD Viva with no corrections from my examiners. It’s up there with becoming a parent and marrying the love of my life. It was the culmination of so much hard work and energy, the icing on the cake, the validation of what I had spent 20 years experiencing, exploring, researching. It felt like getting to the top of the mountain and discovering a bright sunny day where I could see the whole landscape, and just breathing the fresh air.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

Hopefully some ideas about how to move forward with the neurodiversity paradigm. Neurodiversity has become a buzzword, a token, a compelling idea that people want to understand more about. We’re seeing pilot projects here and there but we’re yet to see systematic changes to the way we incorporate neurodiversity, and we’re missing a lot of “how to” information. There’s a lot of amateurism in the field, which is legally risky as neurominority individuals are eligible for disability protection in most advanced economies. I’d like people to come away feeling inspired to embrace a more diverse talent pool, understanding the intersectional implications and the professional expertise required to make the shiny ideas into serious organizational strategies.

What are your top 3 tips for success?

  • Always meet your deadlines and when you occasionally err, apologize profusely – no matter who you are engaging with (customers, boss, staff).
  • Follow what engages your heart but lead with training your mind – if your next career move is worth it, then having the right qualifications, supervision and expertise will edify you.
  • Never discount the worth of any job, no matter how seemingly irrelevant. Working as a personal care worker for adults with physical and learning disabilities may not seem grand in the context of my career, but it was pivotal to inspiring my drive for systemic inclusion and I have spent 20 years learning how to improve workplaces such that a wider range of humans can take part in our economy.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

Learning to self-reference and chose my advisors. Many women are inculcated into people pleasing stereotypes, we often need the approval of others to make decisions and feel confident. This is not the same as seeking consensus which is a strength, it’s more toxic than that, and involves being submissive to rejection or disagreement, and not being able to hold a line. This can be compounded by intersectional experiences of disability, race, sexuality. My journey to CEO was accidental – my business was originally an extension of private consultative practice – so being continually overpromoted as it grew was a steep learning curve. I had to learn the hard way that not everyone is authentic and that you can give your power away by capitulating to people who are projecting their failures onto you. Confidence grows by seeing solid results, as well as choosing wise counsel and steady mentors who are not engaged for their own egos.

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

Debbie Harry, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Clinton, Dr Virginia Schein, Professor Denise Rousseau, Professor Almuth McDowall. Bold women who believe that ambition is not a dirty word.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women at work and how can it be overcome?

Pseudoscientific quackery about female and male brains. Read Prof. Gina Rippon’s book the Gendered Brain. As long as we are believing ourselves to be passengers in a brain that will dampen ambition, courage, boldness, directness or assign these traits to “behaving like men” we will lessen our trajectories. Compassion doesn’t have to be the expense of strength, you can be decisive at the same time as empathetic. There’s no such thing as ‘male leadership’ or ‘female leadership’, there’s just the skills required for the job and a whole bunch of gendered cheese about women who self-advocate and men who would prefer to be present at their kids’ bedtime.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

So many things! Too hard to stick to one! I guess in a work context I would encourage male parents to be visible, talk about their kids, role model leaving work on time and being vocal about that to inspire each other.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

You are more right than you give yourself credit for, but you are wise to diligently keep challenging and checking your assumptions. Choose your advisors for their deeds and track records, not their flattery and words.



Christian Edelmann

HeForShe: Christian Edelmann | Managing Director, Europe, Oliver Wyman; Executive Sponsor of Oliver Wyman’s Women’s Network; & Co-Founder of Men4Change

Christian Edelmann

Christian Edelmann is Managing Director, Europe at Oliver Wyman.

He is also the Executive Sponsor of Oliver Wyman’s Women’s Network and a co-founder of Men4Change, a network to create and support male allies and advocates for gender equality in the workplace. To find out more about Men4Change and get involved, contact [email protected]

Why I became an advocate for gender diversity

My wife first introduced me to the challenges women can face in the workplace when they are in the minority. She opened my eyes to the lack of gender diversity in most businesses.

I work in the financial services sector, where this is a particular problem. At Oliver Wyman, we’ve been examining the representation of women in senior roles in financial services since 2014. Back then, we found that on average 13 percent of executive committees were women, a number which grew to 20 percent in 2019.

While this is change in the right direction, the pace is too slow: at this rate, it would be 2035 before we achieve gender balance on executive committees at financial services companies. This is, quite simply, not good enough.

Men must support gender equality in the workplace

I’ve been serving as the executive sponsor of Oliver Wyman’s women’s network, WOW, for nearly four years. As a team we are clear about what needs to be done next to accelerate gender equalisation, and it’s not just more activities for women. It’s greater engagement from men.

This makes sense because men still make up most of the world’s biggest companies, especially at the executive level. We must get involved if the whole business is to benefit from inclusion and diversity.

In management consulting, we are addressing some of the toughest problems businesses face. From digitalisation to Brexit to climate change, solutions come from having creative teams. This creativity comes from having a diversity of ideas and perspectives, and an environment of inclusion where people feel able to share their ideas.

Engaging other men in conversations on gender equality

I’ve always felt very welcomed to conversations around gender equality at Oliver Wyman, in part because I am not afraid to raise the subject and ask questions. When I don’t understand something my network of female colleagues have always been willing to invest their time to educate me, for example by sharing their experiences.

Our women’s network has always been open to all genders, but to increase the engagement of men they’ve helped establish Men4Change. This is a forum where men can start to better understand the challenges facing women, get involved with the debate, have their questions answered, and find out tangible steps they can take to make a difference.

When engaging with men, we make it clear that we are not assigning blame. The purpose is to create empowered champions of inclusion, not to reprimand men for the problem. This approach is helping Men4Change expand its reach beyond those who are already interested in diversity. However, encouraging participation from disinterested or passive individuals remains a huge challenge.

The role I play in career development

For most of my time at Oliver Wyman, I have mentored equal numbers of men and women. Now, I actively mentor two female colleagues and am lightly involved advising another half dozen.

I’ve read in the media that some women are less likely than men to put themselves forward for jobs that are very senior or out of their comfort zones. I hope that my efforts in mentoring individuals and sponsoring our women’s network have helped create an environment where everyone feels heard, valued, and able to take up new challenges.

Additionally, we’re looking at supporting career development through sponsorship. Sponsors not only ensure that women are pushing themselves forward, but also use their seniority to actively help them advance.

The future of gender equality in the workplace

Looking ahead, we’re seeing gender-based targets within businesses become more granular: they are no longer looking at senior leadership alone, but increasingly every step of the career ladder. Nurturing the talent pipeline in this way will accelerate the journey towards equality, but, as men are most often at the top of businesses, they need to lead it.

Beyond counting the number of women at each level of the business, executive teams are starting to want to better measure firm culture, as this strongly determines women will stay within the firm in the long term. I expect we’ll see more efforts to track in real-time behaviours and attitudes and identify the drivers behind them. Armed with this information, companies can re-shape their workplace cultures to be more welcoming and inclusive of everyone.

WeAreVirtual - Rafe Pilling - Webinar

PLAYBACK: WeAreVirtual: Understanding, preparing for and mitigating cyber threats with Rafe Pilling & Marcelle Lee

WeAreVirtual - Rafe Pilling - Webinar

Sadly, COVID-19 themed campaigns to conduct phishing attacks and deliver malware are being executed by hostile state actors and opportunistic cybercriminals alike.

The Secureworks Counter Threat Unit™ have observed criminal actors making cynical use of the current crisis to promote misinformation and products with intent to harm organisations and individuals. However, by following good cybersecurity hygiene best practices, organisations can protect themselves and their employees against these attacks.



Rafe PillingAbout Rafe

Rafe is a Sr. Security Researcher working in the SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit™ (CTU), Cyber Intelligence Cell. Rafe performs focused cyber threat intelligence research, delivering technical analysis for both targeted and commodity cyber threats. Rafe has an interest in studying cyber attacks from hostile state actors and emerging offensive cyber capabilities against Industrial Control Systems.

With over 13 years active experience in the cyber security industry, Rafe is recognised as a subject matter expert in the field and regularly asked to advise C-suite executives, comment on emerging cyber security news stories, speak at industry events and provide guest lectures to Academia.

Rafe holds a BSc(Hons) Computer Science and Management Science from the University of Edinburgh and PgDip(Merit) Advanced Networking and Web Technologies from Edinburgh Napier University.

Marcelle LeeAbout Marcelle

Marcelle Lee is a Senior Security Researcher in the SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit™ (CTU), Cyber Intelligence Cell, and is the lead for emerging threats research. She specializes in network traffic analysis, malware analysis, and threat intelligence, and is an adjunct professor in digital forensics and network security. She is involved with many industry organizations, working groups, and boards, including the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, the NIST Cyber Competitions Working Group, and the Cybersecurity Association of Maryland Advisory Council.

Marcelle has earned the CISSP, CSX-P, GCFA, GCIA, GCIH, GPEN, GISF, GSEC, GCCC, C|EH, CCNA, PenTest+, Security+, Network+, and ACE industry certifications.  She holds four degrees, including a master’s degree in cybersecurity. She has received the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council Women in Tech (WIT) Award and the Volunteer of the Year award from the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. Marcelle frequently presents at conferences and training events, and is an active volunteer in the cybersecurity community.



Joud Hadaie

In Her Shoes: Joud Hadaie | Associate and Product Owner, Oliver Wyman Digital

Joud Hadaie

Joud is the product owner for a technical solution used by retailers across Europe.

After moving her university studies from Syria to Lebanon, she now lives and works in London, managing a global team of software developers and designers.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

Having graduated with a degree in Engineering, I wanted to gain business and consultancy skills, so I joined Oliver Wyman in 2016. After a year, I combined my technical and consulting skills by moving to Oliver Wyman Digital, where I create innovative, robust, scalable software solutions for our clients.

How does a typical workday for you begin and end?

My teams practice agile development, so we like to start the day with a video conference with everyone to discuss progress, priorities, blockers and achievements.

Although the meetings follow the same format every day, no two days are ever the same due to the nature of my job and the project.

I aspire to creating a good work-life balance for myself, so by the end of the day I always aim to be offline from work emails and spending quality time with my husband and hobbies.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I always wanted a career that involved both technology and business, but I didn’t know exactly what that would look like. The digital and technology sector is changing so rapidly even now I don’t know what the future holds for me! But so long as I continue to learn, grow, and face new challenges I will be happy with my career.

What do you love about working for Oliver Wyman?

I’m proud to work somewhere with a culture that helps people flourish. The business puts a great degree of trust in those it hires, and myself and my peers had the opportunity to work directly with senior clients from the very beginning of our time here.

I also love working among super-intelligent colleagues who combine amazing critical thinking skills with a practical approach to problem solving. It’s a collaborative environment where we all learn from each other.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you overcome these challenges?

I had never stepped foot in England before joining Oliver Wyman. Coming to London made me face a few cultural differences. I had a different working style to everyone else but benefited from continuous guidance, mentoring, and support from my career advisors to help me find ways to adjust to the new environment while staying true to myself.

Have you benefited from coaching, mentoring, or the sponsorship of others?

I am very lucky to have participated in several mentoring programmes such as MissionINCLUDE and the 30% Club. I’d recommend them both very highly: they helped me take on new challenges and choose courage over comfort.

Do you believe in the power of networking? If so, where do you network?

Networking can help open doors you didn’t even know were there. I network at the conferences I attend, and in smaller, more focussed settings. I’m keen to meet people with similar values and career interests, and of course connect with and learn from people who inspire me.

What advice would you give to those who aspire to a career in tech?

I would definitely say that it is never too late to start a career in tech. You don't have to know coding and programming to have a career in the sector. There are a lot of transferrable skills that you can bring to the table. If you are passionate about a topic then try to be courageous to step into the unknown.

What does the future hold for you?

No-one knows what tomorrow holds, however, I am determined to keep developing myself as a manager and as a person. I want to continue to be inspired by amazing people, especially amazing women. My hope is that one day, having put all my heart and energy in what I do, younger women could look up to me and call me inspiring.



WeAreVirtual, WeAreTechWomen, Dell Technologies webinars 1

WeAreTechWomen & WeAreVirtual, in partnership with DELL Technologies, introduce FREE tech webinars

WeAreVirtual, WeAreTechWomen, Dell Technologies webinars

WeAreTechWomen & WeAreVirtual, in partnership with Dell Technologies, introduce FREE tech webinars

WeAreTechWomen and WeAreVirtual, in partnership with Dell Technologies, are proud to introduce a series of tech webinars for FREE.

WeAreVirtual is WeAreTechWomen’s new initiative to pay it forward and support the ongoing development of our community. Together with our sponsors and supporters, we will want to bolster your learning by providing more content through our websites and social channels, as well as opportunities to learn and engage online.

With the support of Dell Technologies, we will be bringing you webinars focused on how technology can help you to navigate these uncertain times. Held every three weeks via Zoom, each session will be 45 minutes of educational tips and tricks and will include a Q&A.

Topics will include:

  1. Recovering from a cyber-attack – Lessons learnt and looking towards the future
  2. Building business resilience in times of change – Insights from Business Leaders
  3. Understanding, preparing for and mitigating cyber threats
  4. Augmented working and the future of work in this new reality
  5. Making the most of cloud technologies in a multi-cloud era
  6. Making sustainable technology choices

Dayne TurbittSpeaking about the partnership, Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dell Technologies UK, said, “We share a goal to increase diversity and female representation, from our engineering teams through to our fields sales team.”

“Diversity, inclusion and belonging are core to our values and we are proud to support WeAreTechWomen.

“We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of creating, nurturing and empowering talented females in technology.”

Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTechWomen added, “We are incredibly excited to be working with DELL Technologies and to be bringing our members this fantastic webinar series.”

“In these challenging times, we have to adapt and change and these webinars are a perfect example of such. We hope our technology community will use this new initiative to support their ongoing development and learning.”

You will be able to register for the DELL webinars via the WeAreTechWomen website. Stay tuned for more information.