Leading women in tech lauded as finalists in 2015 FDM everywoman in technology awards announced


A Royal Naval Officer, a pioneer of wearable technology, a cleaning company entrepreneur and three teenagers are among 30 high achievers named today as finalists in the UK’s leading initiative celebrating women in technology. Judged by a panel of senior technology leaders, the criteria assessed career success, potential for future achievements and support for women in the industry. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on the evening of 17th March 2015 in London.

The British tech industry is thriving, predicted to be worth £221bn by 2016*. As a result it is estimated that by 2022 the UK will need at least 1.82 million new engineering, science and technology professionals. Advances in technology have created a huge variety of fascinating new careers from mobile technology to energy requirements. Yet despite this, only one in 20 IT job applicants is female according to half of tech employers. The reasons for this are varied, but unhelpful stereotypes and low take up of STEM subjects in schools are regularly cited as reasons why the industry lacks gender diversity.

The tech industry is crying out for fresh talent with nearly half of all technology firms seeking to hire more staff. Research shows that role models and opportunities to network are key to countering this talent deficit and the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards is the industry’s most influential programme that both celebrates and inspires.

The finalists for 2015 are:

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by ARM Ltd
  • Fiona Bradley-Barlow, Director, AQ4B, from Leicestershire
  • Fiona Hudson-Kelly, CEO, Smart E-Assessor Limited, from Birmingham
  • Patricia O’Hagan MBE, CEO, Core Systems, from Belfast
  • Justine Perry, Managing Director Ltd, Cariad Marketing, from Hertford
Inspiration of the Year – Sponsored by VMware.
  • Ayman Assaf, Head of Strategy & Planning, BP, from London
  • Monique Morrow, CTO-Evangelist-New Frontiers, Cisco Systems, from Zurich
  • Bela Patel, Project Manager, Credit Suisse, from London
  • Jenny Taylor, UK Foundation Manager, IBM UK Ltd, from London
Leader of the Year – sponsored by BP
  • Christine Ashton, SVP Technology, Thomson Reuters, from London
  • Helen Lamb, VP-Head of Managed Infrastructure Services, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, from London
  • Anna Helberg-Hansen, Head of Business Analysis – Group IT Division, Lloyds Banking Group, from Bristol
  • Emer Timmons, President BT Global Services UK, BT Plc from London
Rising Star of the Year – sponsored by American Express
  • Sadia Chuhan, Apprentice IT Project Manager, Thomson Reuters, from London
  • Kerrie Martin, IS Process Change Manager, National Grid, from Warwick
  • Louise Moules, Technical Consultant, IBM UK Ltd, from London
Start-up Founder of the Year – sponsored by Salesforce
  • Lucy Burnford, Founder, Motoriety.co.uk, from London
  • Alexandra Depledge, CEO, Hassle.com, from London
  • Emily Forbes, Co-founder, Seenit, from London
  • Tina Mashaalahi, Co-founder and COO, KweekWeek, from London
Innovator of the Year – sponsored by Equiniti
  • Sinéad Brophy, Founder & CEO, MySupportBroker CIC, from London
  • Tanya Cordrey, Chief Digital Officer, Guardian News & Media, from London
  • Elena Corchero, Founder & Director, Lost Values, from London
  • Lt Cdr Roxane Heaton RN, Synthetics Training Policy Staff Officer, Royal Navy, from Portsmouth
Team Leader of the Year
  • Vicky Davenport, Director & General Manager Sales Operations, Xerox UK Ltd, from London
  • Samantha Smithson-Biggs, Programme Management Director, Aviva, from London
  • Marit Thowsen, Director Technical Delivery, American Express, from Brighton
  • Karianne Gaede, Risk Programme Director, Credit Suisse, from London
The One to Watch – sponsored by EMC
  • Heather Craig, Infrastructure Specialist, IBM UK Ltd aged 19, from Greenock
  • Amy Mather, STEM Ambassador, aged 15, from Manchester
  • Zea Tongeman, student, aged 15, from London
International Leader of the Year – sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions
  • Cheryl Duke, Director, American Express, from Broward, Florida
  • Karen Egan, Sr, Director Technical Support EMEA, VMware International Ltd, from Cork, Ireland
  • Kirti Santene, Head of IT EMEA Branches, Credit Suisse AG, from Zurich
  • Cathrin Stöver, Chief International Relations & Communications Officer, GÉANT, from Alcala de Henares, Spain

Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman comments: “Previous winners have shared with us the impact their award win has had on their business and careers, with many being promoted on the back of the recognition it has brought. Since launching five years ago, these awards have uncovered dozens of role models that will inspire future tech stars. This year’s finalists are all exceptional in their achievements, driving change across international organisations and creating innovative, disruptive companies with the potential to become global brands.”

Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer of title sponsor FDM Group states, “FDM is delighted to continue sponsoring the everywoman in Technology Awards, allowing us to recognise and reward outstanding women and their achievements in the industry. Gender balance in the workplace is vital to the UK’s economy; it improves communication, accelerates productivity and drives innovation. It is inspiring to see more women taking on high powered positions and becoming role models to females at the beginning of their IT careers. At FDM, we are committed to supporting our workforce regardless of gender and recognise the lack of women in the industry as a whole. This is why we launched our global Women in IT campaign, which is already encouraging and supporting more women to enjoy a long-lasting and rewarding career in IT.”

Julian David, CEO, techUK adds: “techUK is delighted to support the 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards and celebrate the winners’ achievements. These women will act as role models for the next generation. The tech sector needs to attract more women to increase diversity and address the skills gap. Through our Women in Technology programme, we’re committed to raising awareness of the career opportunities offered by UK technology companies to attract smart, skilled women who may not have previously considered a career in this sector."

The 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards ceremony and dinner will take place on 17 March 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane preceded by the inaugural everywoman Technology Forum. For further information visit www.everywoman.com/techforum



Inspirational Woman: Kate Russell | TV Presenter | BBC Click

By Adam Leach
By Adam Leach

Kate Russell is a journalist, reporter and author who has been writing about gaming, technology and the Internet since 1995. Best known for weekly appearances on BBC technology programme Click, she is a frequent face on TV, radio and in magazines as a technology expert, with regular columns in National Geographic Traveller and BBC Focus magazines. She is author of two books; Working the Cloud, a business book about the internet and Elite: Mostly Harmless, her debut science fiction novel based in the gaming world of Elite, which achieved over 400% of its funding goal on Kickstarter. In addition, Kate speaks regularly at technology events and conferences and in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. She is also very involved in UK and global policy meetings to help shape the way the internet is governed. For more information visit http://katerussell.co.uk

Also not to be missed!  Watch our Exclusive 60 Seconds With.... video with Kate Russell - view here

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

When I meet people socially and they ask me what I do, I generally describe myself as a writer, as that is core to every aspect of my work and it’s the writing part that really makes me happy. If you asked someone who knows me through my work what I do they would most likely describe me as a TV presenter, as this is by far the most visible part of my career. Like so many freelancers these days though, I have a portfolio career that consists of many things, including TV reporting, magazine column writing, blogging, speaking at conferences and on panels, hosting awards ceremonies, lecturing at schools and universities and I give commentary on radio shows and other random media outlets. I have also now published two books, a business book about the internet and a science fiction novel based on the computer game that first sparked my passion for technology. We travelled a lot when I was growing up - around the UK but also spending time abroad in Kenya and Central America. This was because of my father’s work as an engineer. As far as education goes, I didn’t get on well with the rigid structure of academia back in the 70s and 80s when I was in school, so left at aged 17 and have made my own way through life sucking up as much knowledge as possible about the things that interest me and taking every strange career opportunity that fell in my path which sounded like it could be fun and enough of a challenge to hold my interest.

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

When I was 15 I told the careers officer in school I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. They sent me to a dog kennels for work experience and I spent the entire week mincing and bagging up green tripe to sell in the shop. That was the closest I ever got to actually planning a career. Because I had no qualifications after leaving school I didn’t think there were any real ‘career paths’ open to me. I would change jobs every 6 months to a year because I would get bored of the routine and lack of challenge in the kinds of roles I was going for - estate agency, payroll clerk, waitress, barmaid, cleaner, etc. So my only real career plan was to keep scouring the newspapers for a job that sounded more exciting that the one I was currently doing.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

Life is full of challenges - I’m pretty sure that’s not just the case for me. I love challenges, they make me feel alive and keep me alert and striving to improve, so I deal with them by embracing them. Since going freelance 20 years ago the main challenges have been around managing my finances so that I can ride the quiet periods without getting too stressed, and maintaining my motivation to deliver great content to deadline in spite of the distractions around me at home.

On a typical workday, how does you start your day and how does it end?

There is no such thing as a typical work day! Seriously! But if I am spending the day in my office it starts about 7.30am with coffee and ploughing through emails & social media… by about 9 or 10am I have generally cleared the decks and can get on with whatever contract I am working on that day - it could be research, writing, building a presentation, planning a lecture, developing a talk, writing scripts, recording screenshots, writing blog content, working on my next book, marketing my current books, broadcast streaming… anything really. I am generally working on at least 3 contracts at any one time, so I will do a bit on each depending on my schedule - which is blocked out by the hour in my diary. The day ends when I have crossed the last thing off my list. Then I quickly check my communications channels to make sure everything can wait until the next day before heading to the kitchen to cook dinner!

Tell us a little bit about your role on BBC Click, how did that come about?

I have worked on BBC Click for 10 years now, creating 4 minutes of broadcast content reporting on developments on the web and now in mobile apps. I was brought into that team by Chris Long, who was my producer when I presented a technology show on Sky. Previous to that my first break into TV and journalism came in 1995 when I was selling CD manufacturing to games companies and one of my clients dared me to apply for a job presenting a weekly show on Nickelodeon and ITV about computer games. There is more about that journey in a blog post I wrote a few months ago here.

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world.

What frustrates you from a technology perspective?

I get most frustrated with people who do not understand technology and are therefore afraid of it, blaming it for all the bad things that happen in the world. There are too many of these types of people in so-called ‘advisory roles’ with government and in the education sector and they try to stifle progress and innovation because they falsely believe that limiting technology’s influence on society will magically make everything better.

Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral

There is an apparent shortage of women in technology roles, what do you think could be done to encourage more women to pursue technology careers?

That is a huge question and one I have spent a lot of time pondering. In many ways I wish we could stop thinking and talking about gender in relation to technology, but the cancer of discrimination and bias has been allowed to grow deep roots over the past 3 or 4 decades so that’s not an option. Having said that I think the work being done now in schools and universities will really start to pay off over the next few decades. Girls have equal access to technology and now there are products, games and entertainment platforms that are fully gender neutral that will mean more girls evolve with an interest in technology. I watch my young nieces play with tablets and consoles and they all have smartphones. It’s not considered strange that they are into these pieces of tech like it was when I was a teenager getting into computers in the 80s. It’s up to we adults to make sure girls continue to get equal access to technology, and perhaps most importantly that boys have great role models so that they do not grow up with the same biased impressions of the tech world that our generation did. If we all do this job properly it should never even cross our children’s minds to use gender as a measuring stick for whether or not a person might be able to perform well in a tech environment.

I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated

Have you ever had a mentor or a sponsor or anyone who has helped your career?

I haven’t, no. Not in any formal capacity anyway. I think because of my upbringing I have grown to be fiercely independent and very self-motivated. I am also a perfectionist and find it hard to trust others and let go of control. Having said that though, I have a lot of clients who say lovely things about me and I consider every single person who has contracted me to create content and trusted me to develop creative ideas for them has been a massive help to my career. At the end of the day a freelancer with no clients is simply unemployed! Most recently I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my publisher, Dan Grubb, at Fantastic Books Publishing, who has given me the confidence to really believe in myself as a fiction author. I remember at first he had to keep telling me ‘you ARE a real author,’ and he backed up that supportive attitude with an open mind and incredibly fair treatment. I completely trust him, and at 46 years old this is a fairly new concept for me!

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

The thing I would change is that gender is ever even considered when assessing a person’s ability or worth to a business.

If you were to look back in five years, what would you see in terms of your achievements?

I am now a bona fide fiction author, earning an actual living that can pay the bills out of telling stories. I have had great success with my first published novel, and I have my fans and readers to thank for that. I cannot believe how lucky I am that people want to pay their hard-earned cash to peek inside my imagination. I am also incredibly fortunate that my public profile allows me to raise money for charity just by doing the things I love. This Christmas I raised over £7,000 for a charity called Special Effect, that helps physically disabled people play video games. The charity has recently honoured me with a Vice Presidency, which alongside publishing my books is definitely one of my proudest achievements.

Tell us about your plans for the future?

My next novel is already signed for publishing and due out as soon as I can get it finished - hopefully in a few months. I actually wrote it 10 years ago and am now doing a rewrite applying the knowledge I have learned since then. I don’t have a plan for the future as such, but my dream for myself is that people continue to be interested in what I have to say and the stories that I tell, and that it brings joy and laughter to them and me; and that it continues to pay the mortgage and put food on my table.


60 Seconds with.. are a series of short videos exclusively on WeAreTheCity Careers Club. To see more and find out more about joining Careers Club, click here

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Pavegen and Shell install the world’s first people-powered football pitch

Pavegen are a clean-tech UK company based in London that manufacture and develop flooring technology, converting the wasted energy from your footstep into electricity. We have recently completed our largest installation to date in one of the most deprived areas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Projects like these deliver an engaging experience, particularly for the younger generation, informing and educating the public about a tangible, sustainable alternative that is literally beneath our feet.

In collaboration with Shell, Pavegen helped redevelop a run-down football pitch in Morro da Mineira; a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Pavegen installed 200 tiles beneath the astro-turf, powering the surrounding lights through a combination of solar and kinetic energy harvested for the football players during a game. This first-of-its-kind project was officially launched by Brazilian football legend and Shell Ambassador, Pelé, on the 10th September this year.

football pitch at nightThis innovative technology benefits the whole community at night by providing the residents with an on-going power supply, as well as delivering a source of inspiration to children around the globe.

The tiles work in tangent with solar panels to power 6 floodlights surrounding the pitch in the evening, lighting up the community and making the pitch useable at night. This innovative project is part of Shell’s ‘Make the future’ campaign, demonstrating Shell’s commitment towards STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) careers. The project aims to inspire young innovators to pursue careers in engineering and science to engage a new innovation generation to shape the world’s energy future. CEO and Founder of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook, was a finalist of the Shell LiveWIRE UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 and firmly believes that “entrepreneurs should know no rules and overcome all barriers”. He approved of the collaboration with Shell because “the project emphasises the importance of STEM subjects within sport, encouraging young innovators of the future to make a real difference in their community.”

The Pavegen technology includes a range of features in addition to its energy generation capabilities. Using its wireless Application Programming Interface (API), the tiles can transmit energy to any designated web address, allowing for real-time data analytics and live footfall representation with the potential to incorporate the system into the smart cities of the future. The tiles can collate the daily amount of footsteps and energy produced by each tile and allows for interaction between the football pitch and the community. Increasing the engagement within the favela will help people recognise the opportunities for an innovative off-grid energy technology through the power of sport and encourage the young people to become the game-changing energy experts of the future.

This innovative technology benefits the whole community at night by providing the residents with an on-going power supply, as well as delivering a source of inspiration to children around the globe.

pitchPavegen have had previous installations in a range of sectors; from retail to transport. This year Pavegen have installed 51 tiles in Heathrow, Terminal 3, as well as creating an interactive dance floor for children in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford. Students from various schools competed to generate the most energy, lighting up a totem bar which photographed the event at maximum capacity. The dance floor installation allowed children to learn about science, technology and engineering from an environmental standpoint, as well as how they can make a difference to their energy usage in the future. Similar permanent installations within schools across the UK and US we hope will inspire students to pursue STEM careers. Tiles within Riverdale School, US, for example, power phone-charging stations situated outside the cafeteria. Students can charge their phones using the harnessed footfall energy of passers-by whilst gaining information on a clean-technology innovation at the same time.

Projects like these deliver an engaging experience, particularly for the younger generation, informing and educating the public about a tangible, sustainable alternative that is literally beneath our feet.

Welcome to Women in IT | New focus section

We are proud to launch our new feature section dedicated to women working in IT.

This section contains IT related news, inspirational stories, job opportunities, IT related events and most importantly visibility of organisations who are actively seeking technologists to give back and help future generations.

We are acutely aware that there is still a shortage of women in IT and that young girls in schools are not choosing Technology as a career.  We are also aware that there are not enough female technologists operating a senior or board level, we would like that to change.   Our contribution to that change is by helping to raise the visibility of the individuals, organisations and charities who dedicate themselves to the progression of women in IT everyday.

We hope you enjoy this new feature section and if we have missed anything or if there is anything you would like to see, please let us know – contact [email protected].

We Are The City is working in partnership with Computer Weekly to launch a Women in IT section on its website, which will include job opportunities, IT-related events, and visibility of networks.

This new section is aimed to provide opportunities for tech women to give back to the future of female technologists - Vanessa Vallely MD of WeAreTheCity

Click here to read the full article.

[button color="#COLOR_CODE" background="#COLOR_CODE" size="medium" target="_blank" src="https://www.wearethecity.com/women-in-it/"]ACCESS THE SECTION NOW[/button]

techUK Equal Pay Survey: Have your say!

woman-506322_1280Recent research by the CMI suggests that whilst younger women are paid roughly the same as men, the gender pay gap widens with age with women over 40 earning 34% less than their male counterparts. 

techUK have run an annual survey over the past few years with a view to collating data on the pay and employment practices within the technology industry specifically.  The aim is to build a picture of how the technology industry fares against industry as a whole and to understand what progress is being made in this area. They are running the survey again this year and a link to the survey can be found here.  In order for techUK to gain as comprehensive a data set as possible, they would like as many people to complete the survey as possible.  So please fill it in yourself and forward the link on to other women in technology within your own network.

The deadline for completion of the survey is Friday 7th November.  The data will then be analysed and the findings published before the end of the year.

About techUK

techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow

More than 850 companies are members of techUK. Collectively they employ more than 500,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium sized businesses.

techUK is committed to helping its members and the sector grow. Click here to find out more.


Code Club featured

Get Involved: Code Club


CodeClub-LOGOA nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11

We create projects for our volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs or at non-school venues such as libraries. The projects we make teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Our volunteers go to their local club for an hour a week and teach one project a week.

Each term the students will progress and learn more whilst at the same time using their imaginations and making creative projects. Terms 1 & 2 use Scratch to teach the basics of programming. Term 3 teaches the basics of web development using HTML and CSS. Term 4 teaches Python and so on.

We’d like to put a Code Club in every single primary school in the country. There are over 21,000 primary schools in the UK, it’s a big task but we think we can do it!

Our philosophy

Our goal is to inspire children to build and share their ideas, learning along the way.

We want children to leave Code Club inspired to pursue other digital making activities, whether that’s in their spare time, in school or as a career.

We want them to gain skills that are useful to them - not only learning to program, but also learning about computational thinking, problem solving, planning, designing and collaboration.

To find out more about our values - please read this blog post.

Why should children learn to code?

Learning to code is an important skill now we’re living in a digital age. It’s not just enough for children to know how to use technology. They should know how it works and how to build it too.

Learning to code doesn’t just mean you can become a developer - it strengthens problem solving and logical thinking skills, and is useful for a range of other disciplines, careers and hobbies.

For more information visit: www.codeclub.org.uk