Winners announced in 2012 Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards in the UK

On Thursday, renowned figures from the business and IT sector celebrated as the UK’s most talented women working within the technology sector were recognised at the 2012 Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards, held at The Savoy Hotel in London.

These inspirational women have been chosen by a panel of esteemed judges (including our own founder Simone Brummelhuis of The Next Women) from the industry for demonstrating excellence within their field and acting as role models to future generations.

According to UK Trade & Investment, the IT sector in the UK is the largest in Europe and employs over a million people who contribute 10% of GDP. However, the misconception still exists that senior roles are an exclusively male domain. everywoman, the UK’s largest female business community, set up the everywoman in Technology Awards in 2011 to shine a light on the women excelling in IT and demonstrate to others the breadth and variety the sector offers.

Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by Orga Systems

This award goes to an owner / operator of a technology business, with the entrepreneurial vision and talent to inspire others to start their own technology related venture. The finalists in this category were:

Nathalie Gaveau, CEO, Shopcade (click here to read our 2011 interview with Nathalie)
As founder and CEO, Natalie is responsible for the strategic decisions that make Shopcade an innovative and unique shopping experience for the Facebook generation, allowing retailers to monetise their social media efforts. With over 40 million products from over 20,000 brands from the US and UK, Natalie is aiming to make it a leading global player in the future.

Olga Kubassova, Founder and CEO, Image Analysis Ltd
Founded in 2007, Image Analyis allows clinicians a vital window of opportunity to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases in its early stages by turning the abstract concept of algorithms into innovative software. At just 27 years old, Olga has turned a start up into a team of 25 with a turnover of £1m.

Vin Murria, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Computer Software Group plc
Vin has over 20 years’ experience of publicly listed companies and private equity experience focusing on the software sector. She launched Advanced Computer Software Group in 2008 which is now a leading provider of patient management software solutions. Vin is a partner at Elderstreet Capital and a non-executive director of Greenco plc.

Olga Kubassova, Founder and CEO, Image Analysis Ltd was named winner.

The other winners in the 2012 Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards are:

Woman of the Year – Sponsored by Cisco Systems Ltd
Vin Murria, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Computer Software Group plc

(See profile under Entrepreneur of the Year category above).

Rising Star of the Year – Sponsored by BP

Laura Earle, Executive Communications Manager, Services, EMEAR, Cisco

Laura is responsible for the development and execution of the communication strategy for the global team across Europe and Emerging Markets at Cisco. Driving engagement across a workforce in 121 countries, successful projects include a ‘Reverse Mentoring’ programme, production of the first ever CSR report to engage 4,500 employees in giving back activities and the creation of the first I&D blog.

Team Leader of the Year in an SME (with under 500 employees) - Sponsored by BCS –The Chartered Institute for IT

Kirstin Duffield, CEO, Morning Data Limited

Since taking the reins at Morning Data, Kirstin has tripled turnover and client base. She is responsible for overseeing the company in all strategic and financial aspects but still provides innovative technical expertise when required. Kirstin invested 3% of the company turnover into an improved working environment and external training for every member of the team.

Leader of the Year in a corporate organisation (with over 500 employees) – Sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group

After a variety of diverse roles, Sheila joined FDM in 1998 as UK Sales Manager, progressing to Marketing Director and Global Services Director. She became COO following a lead role in the management buyout of the company and now oversees Recruitment, Marketing, HR and Academy operations worldwide whilst focusing on new market penetration.

Innovator of the Year – Sponsored by

Mandy Chessell, IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, Chief Architect for InfoSphere Solutions, IBM

Joining IBM in 1987, Mandy has strived to use innovation to tackle the challenges that the business faces working across different roles from transaction processing to business process modeling. She is currently spearheading an initiative to create a software design pattern language for information integration. Mandy is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Recent The NextWomen interviewee and entrepreneur Polly Gowers, Founder and CEO, Everyclick Ltd was a finalist in the Innovator of the Year category. Polly launched Everyclick in 2005 as a fundraising technology company enabling people to donate to any UK charity through everyday online activity. With over 1,500 leading retailers engaged and £2m raised to date, expansion plans into the US are already in the pipeline. Polly has pioneered philanthropic technologies and has
been credited for user-friendly interfaces and design.

Inspiration of the Year – Sponsored by eBay

Gillian Arnold, Director, Tectre

Gillian worked at IBM for over 20 years before setting up Tectre, an IT services and staffing consultancy in 2010. She is passionate about supporting and encouraging women in technology, has created a Women’s Network, chaired the Women in IT Forum for Intellect and sits on the board of BCS Women. A regular on the speaker circuit, she is also a keen mentor.

Commenting on the Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards, Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman says:

“The amazing women taking home awards today really highlight the diversity of opportunities that are available in the IT sector – whether within corporate organisations, charities or through setting up their own tech start-ups.

As many women are re-evaluating their career choices, today’s inspirational winners show that anything is possible and that technology is an industry that embraces its female talent. We congratulate them on their achievements, and hope their success will encourage others into the sector.”

Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK and Ireland states “Cisco is delighted to be title partner of the 2012 everywoman in Technology Awards. These Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women who are at the forefront of implementing and applying innovative technologies in their respective industries”.

Maggie Berry, Managing Director of Women in Technology added “Women currently only make up less than 20% of the UK's IT workforce so we are delighted to be working with everywoman again to uncover some of the hidden female talent in the UK's technology profession through the 2012 awards programme. We want to actively champion the women who are already doing great work in this sector and who, through these awards, will become inspirational role models for a future generation of female technologists.”

Congratulations to all the winners. This is a clear proof of women empowerment not only in UK but in any part of the globe. Let us give us give Cisco a credit for organizing suh wonderful event. Cheers to all!

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