Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie

Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie receive distinguished fellowship from Chartered Institute for IT

Dame Stephanie Shirley & Ray Ozzie

Global IT entrepreneur and workplace revolutionary turned ardent philanthropist, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, and software industry pioneer Ray Ozzie have been awarded Distinguished Fellowships from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The awards are given to individuals whose contribution to computing is seen in terms of major importance to the overall development of computing, with substantial personal recognition through peer review over a substantial and sustained career.

Dame Stephanie arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939. In 1962, she founded an all-woman software company that pioneered remote working, upending the expectations of the time. It was ultimately valued at almost $3 billion and made 70 of her staff millionaires. Since ‘retiring’, her focus has been on philanthropy, and she has given away almost £70m to fund strategic projects in autism and IT. She joined the BCS as a student member on its foundation in 1957 and was its first woman President in 1989-90.

Ray Ozzie was formerly best known for his role in creating Lotus Notes. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1979 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the PLATO system. He began his career at Data General Corporation where he worked for Jonathan Sachs. Ozzie then worked at Software Arts and was later recruited by Sachs and Mitch Kapor to work for Lotus Development to develop what became Lotus Symphony.

After leaving Lotus Development in 1984 he founded Iris Associates to create the product later sold by Lotus as Lotus Notes. Iris Associates was acquired by Lotus in 1994, while Lotus itself was acquired by IBM in 1995. Ozzie continued working there for several years before leaving to form Groove Networks which was acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers and in 2006, he took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates. More recently, in founding Blues Wireless, he has been focusing on creating the infrastructure for digital transformation – connecting billions of commercial products to the cloud.”

Speaking about the award, Dame Stephanie said, “The human aspects of technology are a lifelong passion of mine and it’s a real honour to be awarded a distinguished fellowship by BCS for my contribution.”

Ozzie added, “It is a great honour to receive this award.”

“I have been very fortunate to have worked with and learned from many talented entrepreneurs and leaders over the years.”

“The computing and communications sectors remain ripe for innovation, and I hope that my work might also inspire others.”

They both join the BCS Roll of Distinguished Fellows alongside innovators such as Sophie Wilson, who received the award in recognition of her pioneering work – helping to design the BBC Micro and ARM architecture. Other distinguished fellows include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Wendy Hall, Vint Cerf and Martha Lane-Fox.


Anahita Mahmoudi

TechWomen100: What happened next for Anahita Mahmoudi

Anahita MahmoudiIn this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their fourth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Anahita Mahmoudi, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2019.

Born and raised in Iran, Anahita called England home in 2009. She came to London in her early 20s and embraced her diverse spirit. By her early 30s she was one of the top 100 women in the technology sector, a public speaker, a coach, a peace activist and a yoga instructor with a passion for dancing.

Anahita is an experienced business consultant, professional and life coach, where she dedicates her time to helping individuals and organisations to become educated, ethical, and aware of their full potential to embrace change in the workplace and life. Her focus now lies in leadership and transformational coaching. Her ethos considers connecting to true values of life as they lead us in the transition from the present time to a new future world.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

It was a huge honour to receive an award in recognition of my work. Looking back, I feel this award was not for me, it was for all women; the activists, the doctors and nurses, the mothers and daughters, the teachers and students, who are not only excelling in their roles, but who are  recognising their power and giving something back to our industry and the wider community.

The more we learn about who we are and what we have to bring to our societies and communities, the more we achieve and change. In our present time, there is no job that women have not done and more women are becoming change makers. This for me is the beauty, the magic of our time!

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

Press coverage: I was interviewed by ‘Where Women Work” who aim to inspire and support women career in STEM. Read the full article here

Promotion: I was appointed as a leader of ‘emerging talents’ community in my company to engage, equip and lead classified junior employees to acquire and develop the skills they need to grow within the organisation

Community: I became a Personal Development coach at Code Your Future and currently working with them to empower their students to start their career in the industry

Supported the Future Global Leaders programme (sponsored by Queen Mary University) that aims to build the skills, mindset and cultural agility needed in a future global leader.

Delivered a lightening talk to the students of the school that where I studied, 23 years ago. I am currently working with the headmaster to introduce a series of inspiration talks for their pupils.

Lastly, I am working on introducing an award system for the Women Network Group within the Business Unit where I work.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Look outside of your day job and think about the values that you are bringing to your team and community.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers? 

  • All of us dedicating our lives to get money. Do not let that to strain your ambition in reaching what you truly want.
  • A lot of us lose a lot of time, a lot of resources, working on the old stories of our society.
  • Tap into your potentials, explore new opportunities, work on creating new stories.
  • Lastly, learn more and teach more.

The 2020 TechWomen100 Awards are open for nominations on 03 August 2020. 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.


Classroom Changemaker featured

New £5,000 award for maths and computer science teachers

Classroom Changemakers 1080x1080 square NEW 2-01

Nesta has launched Classroom Changemakers, a new award programme award for teachers and teaching assistants who have come up with bright ideas on how to give young people the opportunity to get creative and solve problems in maths and computer science.

Classroom Changemakers will see 15 winning secondary school teachers receive:

  • £5000 to invest back into their departments
  • An expenses-paid trip to the Classroom Changemakers final awards ceremony in London for themselves and +1's with transport and teaching cover provided for
  • Their ideas collated in a report to be shared more widely with the teaching profession.

Applications are open until Monday 24 February and applicants should only need a maximum of 30 minutes to complete a short application form on their idea, its impact on students and what inspired them to develop it. Find out more here.

What is the aim of Classroom Changemakers?

Through these awards Nesta aims to:

  • Reward and celebrate the great work of 15 teachers and teaching assistants through a prize of £5000 towards the applicant’s department and an awards ceremony in London
  • Better understand how teachers and teaching assistants are giving young people the opportunity to be creative and solve problems in maths and computer science
  • Share this understanding and the bright ideas unearthed by the awards with other educators through a report showcasing the winning ideas

How do teachers and teaching assistants enter?

Submit a short application form answering three main questions about the idea here by 9am on Monday 24th February 2020.

Want to find out more?


Cornelia Boldyreff | University of Greenwich

Professor Cornelia Boldyreff lives in Greenwich and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Greenwich in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. She was previously the Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise) at the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at the University of East London from 2009 - February 2013.

Cornelia gained her PhD in Software Engineering from the University of Durham where she worked from 1992; she was a Reader in the Computer Science Department when she left.

In 2004 she moved to the University of Lincoln to become the first Professor of Software Engineering at the university, where she co-founded and directed the Centre for Research in Open Source Software.

She has over 25 years' experience in software engineering research and has published extensively on her research in the field. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a founding committee member of the BCSWomen Specialist Group and maintainer of their website, a committee member of the BCS e-Learning Specialist Group, and from 2013 to 2017 she has chaired the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and currently serves as Secretary to the group. She has been actively campaigning for more women in STEM throughout her career.

Together with Miriam Joy Morris and Dr Yasmine Arafa, she founded the start-up, ebartex Ltd, and together they are developing a new digital bartering currency, ebarts.


Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones | Barclays Eagle Labs

As the first engineer in Barclays Eagle Labs, I am part of an initiative within the High Street bank focused on providing communities with access to digital fabrication and the digital skills to thrive. After 19 years in primary education, in a range of roles from classteacher through to Head, I was ready for new challenges and to regain my own enthusiasm for learning.

I joined Barclays on a temporary contract. I was immediately taken with the opportunities to learn new things and the digital culture across the global business. Moving into a permanent subject matter expert role, I was able to influence improving processes and became involved in facilitating training for colleagues. Alongside my day job in customer services I became a volunteer Digital Eagle and took my first steps in learning to code, building my first app 9 months later, which was used by 1600 colleagues. This involvement led to a secondment to Strategic Transformation, a small team committed to changing the face of Personal and Corporate Banking. I was responsible for leveraging connections in the community to raise awareness of Eagle Labs, and providing a programme of events to engage potential clients.

The labs network has flourished from the two launched in December 2015 to eighteen sites. Following basic maker training in Fab Lab London, I have grown into a lab engineer; confident in facilitating and supporting individuals and businesses in product development and rapid prototyping. With a commitment to digital empowerment I host maker and innovation workshops with local schools, colleges and youth groups, aiming to inspire our next generation of engineers. The labs offering is constantly evolving and I am relishing the opportunity to influence this. As an established member of the team I am able to offer my expertise to newer sites, sharing best practise and engineering solutions to create everything our clients can imagine.