Scotland Women in Technology Awards return with inspiring shortlist of finalists

05/10/2023
Silka Patel, Founder and Chair of Scotland Women in Technology
  • Scotland Women in Technology Awards (SWiT) has announced the shortlist for its 2023 awards following a three-year hiatus.
  • 25 individuals and 13 organisations have been named as finalists in this year’s awards which are set to take place in Glasgow on 2nd November.
  • Finalists for Leader of the Year include Karen Meechan, CEO – ScotlandIS, Gillian McLennan, Managing Director – JP Morgan, Jane Poojari, Software Development Manager – Amazon and Jacqui McDonald, CIO for Group Finance – Barclays.

THE founder of Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT) has hailed entries to the SWiT awards as “inspiring” following a surge in nominations to the ceremony after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

More than 160 submissions were received from across Scotland, with 25 individuals and 13 organisations shortlisted across 10 categories. Finalists in the much-coveted Leader of the Year category include Karen Meechan, CEO at ScotlandIS, Gillian McLennan, Managing Director at JP Morgan, Jane Poojari, Software Development Manager at Amazon and Jacqui McDonald, CIO for Group Finance at Barclays.

The shortlist was announced at the sold out SWiT Awards Shortlist Conference hosted by headline sponsor Morgan Stanley today (5th October) in Glasgow. At the event, SWiT Founder and Chair, Silka Patel, acknowledged the calibre of the entries and applauded the push from Scotland’s tech sector to champion women working in technology-focused roles.

The shortlist includes figures from large corporates and SMEs across the public, private and third sectors who are championing diversity, equality, and inclusion within the Scottish tech sector. New award categories for 2023 include Young Tech Champion of the Year and Gender Diversity Ally of the Year.

Commenting on the shortlist, Silka Patel, Founder and Chair of Scotland Women in Technology, said: “The pandemic impacted women across all sectors – including the tech sector. Caring responsibilities alongside homeschooling and furlough put a pause on the tech careers of many women. Encouragingly, we are now seeing more women than ever enter computing-based courses which will provide a huge boost to the industry in the coming years.

“While the awards have been on hiatus, I have seen first-hand how more people and organisations have made a concerted effort to drive equality not only in the workplace but across the technology sector. I am heartened by these proactive steps to champion the profile and professional development of women in technical and leadership roles across Scotland. It was a challenge to whittle our list of entrants down to the final shortlist – and it has been inspiring to see so many new faces put themselves forward for the awards. The judges now have a very tricky job on their hands ahead of our ceremony next month.”

The shortlist will now be reviewed by SWiT awards judging panel, which includes:

  • Claire El-Ezebbi, Head of Cyber Resilience at the Scottish Government
  • Alison McLaughlin, Member of the ScotlandIS board
  • Dilraj Sokhi-Watson, Director, Equate Scotland
  • Craig Steele, Director, Digital Skills Education
  • Graeme Gordon, CEO, IFB
  • Ailish Jamieson, Senior HR Partner for EMEA, SAS Ltd
  • Ray Bugg, Founder, DIGIT
  • Polly Purvis OBE, Non-executive director
  • Maggie Titmuss, National Cyber Resilience Advisory Board board member
  • Steven Grier, Director of Devolved Government, Microsoft
  • Samantha Bedford, COO, Gen+
  • Enoch Adeyemi, Co-Founder, Black Professionals Scotland

The full list of individuals and organisations shortlisted for the SWiT Awards 2023 includes:

Award CategoryShortlist
Young Tech Champion of the Year Sponsored by JP MorganLauren Lawson, Software Engineer – Leidos Hannah Fairlie, AVP Full Stack Developer – Barclays Rohini Syed, Graduate Software Engineer – Barclays Maria Elizabeth Hughes, Data Security Engineer – Morgan Stanley
Technology Rising Star Sponsored by Lloyds Banking GroupKinga Juhasz, Software Engineer – JP Morgan Debbie Kerr, Data Scientist – M&G Abbie McCallum, Software Engineer – NatWest Carla Chiodi, Senior Engineer – 2i Testing
Technology Champion in Education Sponsored by CodebaseToni Scullion, Founder – dressCode Christine Lester, Associate Software Engineer – JP Morgan Sam Blyth, Head of School for Computing – Edinburgh College Anthony Harkins, Head of Computing – St Aloysius College
SME Employer of the Year Sponsored by Harvey NashStellar Omada 2i Testing Nucleus Financial
Leader of the Year Sponsored by i-confidentialKaren Meechan, CEO – ScotlandIS Gillian McLennan, Managing Director – JP Morgan Jane Poojari, Software Development Manager – Amazon Jacqui McDonald, CIO for Group Finance – Barclays
Large Employer of the Year Sponsored by Nine TwentyxDesign Leidos M&G
Inspirational Woman of the Year Sponsored by FANDUELHillary Prather, Software Developer – Amazon Sam Rhynas, Director and Chief Operating Officer – Effini Margret Thorsteinsdottir, Technology Associate – Morgan Stanley
Inclusive Recruiter of the Year Sponsored by Hymans RobertsonHarvey Nash Leidos i-confidential
Gender Diversity Ally of the Year Sponsored by ModernaIain McNiven, Head of Talent Management – Morgan Stanley Mark White, EMEA Client Technical Support Senior Director and Dell Technologies Scotland Site Lead – Dell Technologies Will Mahood, EMEA Technology Campus Recruiter – JPMChase
Diversity Initiative of the Year Sponsored by BarclaysHarvey Nash NextGen Dell STEMAspire Morgan Stanley Glasgow WIT Network Empowering you

More information on the awards, which will take place in Glasgow on Thursday 2nd November, is available on the SWiT website here.

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