Woman of the Year? What a title!

How often do you read a list of ‘top’ movers and shakers in a given industry and wonder what the point is?

It’s easy to roll your eyes and question the validity of such lists.

I’ve been included on a list of ‘top women in IT’ for several years. This is one group of women I’m proud to be a part of.

And now I have been named Woman of the Year by the people who compile the list!

I have been recognised for my work at the forefront of promoting greater inclusion for women and girls in IT.

So, what’s not to like about that? While it can seem strange to be featured in this way, I applaud anything that highlights an issue I feel so passionately about.

The award comes from PCR, the UK trade magazine for the computer and IT industry which says it aims to make sure “trail-blazing female leaders are recognised for their achievements.” The winners were chosen by a panel of eight experts, based on testimonials from each of the finalist’s colleagues, bosses, or work contacts.

This year their focus was to acknowledge those who have inspired people starting out in the industry.

As a director of the US-based professional body CompTIA, I work with initiatives to attract more women to IT, including the newly-launched campaign called Make Tech her Story.

The tech industry is growing at an amazing rate worldwide yet by the time girls finish school, only 18% are considering a role in our industry. We need to change hearts and minds and show how diverse, fun and inclusive it is to work in tech. That’s why awards like this are so important and why campaigns like CompTIA’s #MakeTechHerStory prove so worthwhile.”

I hopped on the train to London to attend PCR’s Women in IT awards looking forward to celebrating the success of some of my peers in the industry. Little did I think I’d actually win! I am honoured to have been presented with such a prestigious award that helps celebrate women in tech. With so few girls and women choosing tech as a career path we badly need support from organisations like PCR who champion success.

“I’ve worked in tech for 32 years and I still love it. Part of my responsibility is to encourage our next generations of young women to join our industry. I’m delighted to be awarded IT Woman of the Year by PCR. It goes to show an ordinary woman can achieve something extraordinary.”

PCR deputy editor Jonathan Easton said: “It is important for us to recognise and promote the achievements of women in IT and tech. If anyone thinks that we don’t need ceremonies like this then they are either wilfully ignorant or blind.

Well said Jonathan – and thank you for your support!

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