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WeAreTechWomen are proud to announce 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.

Given the circumstances, the team at WeAreTechWomen are having to do things a little differently with our awards this year. We will be holding a virtual awards evening for all winners, sponsors and judges on the evening of 08 December 2020.

Over the course of the award’s ceremony, our attendees will be congratulated by our sponsors and special guests and hear from inspirational speakers and entertainers, who will all be endeavouring to create a truly magically experience. We will also include Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President, techUK; Debbie Forster MBE, CEO, Tech Talent Charter, Professor Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, UK Government Strategic Advisor, and June Angelides MBE, VC at Samos Investments, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Speaker, Writer.

Whilst we cannot give our winners the true physical experience of one of our award ceremonies, what we have planned will be an evening to remember!

Find out more about our special guests below:

Dame Stephanie ShirleyDame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley CH, age 87, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist.

Her life story begins with her 1939 arrival in Britain as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee. In 1962, she started a software house, Freelance Programmers, that pioneered new work practices and changed the position of professional women, especially in hi-tech. She went on to create a global business and a personal fortune shared with her colleagues; she made 70 of her staff millionaires at no cost to anyone, but herself.

Since retiring in 1993, her focus has been increasingly on philanthropy based on her strong belief in giving back to society. In 2009/10 she served as the UK’s first ever national Ambassador for Philanthropy. Her charitable Shirley Foundation has initiated and funded a number of projects that are pioneering by nature and strategic in impact, totally £67m to date. The focus is on IT and her late son’s disorder of autism.

Her memoir Let It Go was published in 2012. It has sold 30,000 copies and Penguin re-published in April 2019 with a view to distributing it worldwide – the first translated version launched in Germany in October 2020. A big screen film is also in the making by The Artists Partnership, with Producer Damian Jones and Director Haifaa al-Mansour. The shortlist for an actress to play Dame Stephanie includes Claire Foy and Emily Blunt. Filming is currently on hold due to Covid-19.

During Lockdown 2020, Dame Stephanie produced her second book, So To Speak, a collection of 30 of her speeches given over the last 40 years. The book was launched on 1st November 2020.

Dame Stephanie has been much honoured. In 2013, she was named by Woman’s Hour as one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain. In 2014, the Science Council listed her as one of the Top 100 practising scientists in the UK. In 2015, Dame Stephanie was given the Women of the Year Special Award. Her TED Talk in 2015 was to a standing ovation from more than a thousand of the world’s most recognised technical entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators and doers. It has received 2.1m views. In 2017, Dame Stephanie received a Companion of Honour, one of only 65 people worldwide to receive such a recognition.

Avye CoulouteAvye Couloute

Avye is a maker, coder, Tech Advocate, workshop leader and Social Entrepreneur.

She began attending coding & physical computing workshops at 7. Nowadays she is very active in the tech & maker community, dedicating a lot of her spare time to exploring & learning about coding & technology.

Among other activities, Avye leads regular coding & physical computing workshops for Coder Dojo at Kingston University & the University of West London and have entered and won competitions with the robots which she designs and makes.

Avye is enthusiastic about sharing her skills & experiences with others and she is an Arm ambassador, part of the GenArm2Z program which enables young people to talk to tech leaders about how technology is being used & shaped for the future.

Aware of female under-representation in STEM education & careers, Avye was motivated to found Girls Into Coding to encourage more girl involvement in tech, to offer them the opportunity to develop their digital and making skills. She has received the Diana Award, the Diana Legacy Award and the FDM EveryWoman Tech Award in the “One To Watch” category for her work to create opportunities for girls to engage with tech and for fundraising to provide girls with microcontrollers, physical computing kits & STEM themed books.

Julia Streets

The incredible Julia Streets will be hosting this year’s TechWomen100 Award’s Ceremony. Julia Streets is a champion of fintech entrepreneurship, innovation and diversity.

In 2007, Julia founded Streets Consulting, the business development, marketing and communications consultancy. She helped launch the Chi-X brand of international alternative stock exchanges, including Chi-X Australia. Since then she and her team have advised a wide range of firms in the world of capital markets, B2B and payments, and offering specialist technology including blockchain, artificial intelligence, cyber and more.

Wary that diversity and inclusion is fast becoming the latest corporate marketing jargon, last year Julia launched a podcast series, ‘DiverCity Podcast’. On each episode, industry luminaries shine a light on progress, call out areas requiring further focus and offer insights and best practice to help listeners drive change.

The Vocal JewelsThe Vocal Jewels

Cartier and Gemma are professional Musical Theatre performers with credits between them including Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hair, Best of Wham, Buddy The Musical and HMS Pinafore. With vast experience singing at live events, launching The Vocal Jewels was a very exciting natural progression for them.

Cartier and Gemma have been best friends and singing together since they were 11 years old! They love performing together and are so excited to be singing for WeAreTechWomen for the amazing TechWomen100 awards and are delighted to offer our congratulations to all the amazing winners!

In November, WeAreTechWomen announced the winners of our 2020 TechWomen100 Awards.

The winners of these awards showcase remarkable women within the technology and STEM sector including 13-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, Barclays, NatWest, Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Trainline, Visa, Deloitte, Microsoft, Bank of England and Monzo Bank, amongst many more.

The awards received over 700 nominations from across the UK and Ireland and the nominees received over 35,000 votes of support from across the globe.

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.





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