2021 Shortlist

Advocate of the Year

A woman working in tech who is a role model and has gone out of her way to support the cause of getting more women in IT in the last 18 months. As well as examining the women in IT initiatives the candidates have pioneered to inspire women to succeed in technology, judges will also assess their leadership and the initiative’s impact on, and integration with, the business.

Aaratee Rao, Microsoft

Adrienne Shulman, Cornerstone

Ashley Scott, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Deborah Waters, Citi

Elise Kohl-Grant, IMSNY

Katie Toole, BNY Mellon

Kitty Chaney Reed, IBM

Mary N. Chaney, Minorities in Cybersecurity Inc.

Michelle Knedler, Pearson Education  

Swathi Young, Integrity Management Services Inc.

Sponsored by

Board Director of the Year

This award is to highlight for the impactful role of a female board member or senior executive board member of a company or not-for-profit organisation such as an endowment or charitable organisation. Judges will assess their influence on strategy, their leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the organisation/s.

Anna Soo, Illuminet Inc.

Cathy Ross, Fraud.net

Donna Wells, Valencia Ventures

Jay Ganapathy, ITOrizon Inc.

Monica Bajaj, Workday & Women In Localization

CIO of the Year

A female CIO who has demonstrated particular innovation and IT excellence. Judges will look at projects and achievements spanning the current organisation or others if applicable, within the last 18 months. Examples of best practice, leadership, ROI generated and alignment to business goals must be included.

Angelic Gibson, AvidXchange

Elise Kohl-Grant, IMSNY

Kristie Grinnell, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)

Lori Pender, NJ Transit

Melanie Kirkwood Ruiz, ABM Industries

Rashmi Kumar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Sheryl Haislet, Vertiv

Suzi Connor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Tara Wanner, BP

Teri Green, Normandy School Collaborative

CTO of the Year

A chief technology officer or technology director who has demonstrated positive impact on the company’s top line and driven new customer value through the innovative use of technology. Candidates will include examples of strong leadership and how they have employed a technology strategy to enhance product development and improve the service the company provides to customers. Judges will also assess how well ingrained the chief technology officer is in the business and how she has helped put technology at the heart of the business, driving strong commercial results in the process. 

Barbara Bickham, Trailyn Ventures

Angelique “Q” Napoleon, IntellecTechs Inc.

Debra Danielson, Digital Guardian

Helen Johnson, Data Dynamics Inc.

Marta Kosarchyn, Khan Academy

Rachel Clara Smith, SquareOffs

Ravs Kaur, Uplevel

Sara Abiusi, Accenture Federal Services

Teresa Dietrich, Stack Overflow


Sponsored by: 

Data Leader of the Year

A female IT, technology or business leader who has demonstrated successful results in the area of data technology in the last 18 months. This could include demonstrations of successfully deploying data technologies; improving how a company uses or deals with data; delivering effective data strategies; enhancing decision-making with data; or furthering knowledge, awareness and education around data and related technologies.

Ashley Scott, Albert Einstein College of Medicine   

Barbara Nelson, InfluxData

Carly Gottorff, SpeechifAI Inc.

Cathryne Doss, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Gladys Kong, UM

 Julie-VanTrinh  Nguyen, BP

Sahar Arshad, CloudMedx Inc.

Swati Oza, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Sylvia Kang, Quantum Loophole

Toni O’Connor, Rolls-Royce

DEI Initiative of the Year

This award category is open to organisations that have undertaken a specific initiative that has been established to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within their organisation or the wider community. These could involve gender pay gap, paternal leave, greater support for BAME and LGBT+ professionals, greater opportunities for people with disabilities, etc. Judges will assess commitment to the cause, awareness raised, impact on the organisation and/or industry, and ultimate results of the initiative.  Submissions must include the name of the initiative

Unleashing Our Collective Greatness With DEI, Skillsoft

Take Care, Bitwise Industries

The Next CISO, Tiro Security

Salary Overflow, Keysoft LLC

Let There Be Change, Accenture Federal Services



S.T.A.R.T.U.P. Mentorship Program, BNY Mellon

Mellon Women in Tech Chapter, IHS Markit

AbilityFirst, GDIT

Digital Transformation Leader of the Year

A female chief digital officer, digital director or leader of a digital transformation who has led an IT/digital transformation or business change programme driven by technology in the last 18 months. Judges will look at examples of the technology and innovation involved; leadership; best practice; results and return on investment; alignment to business goals; and how culture shifts were managed. 

Alanna Walsh, BNY Mellon

Alexandra Morehouse, Banner Health

Gabriele Bauman, Pearson

Jennifer Taylor, Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

Jessica Barrett Simpson, U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Kari VanderVeen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Kelly Nuckolls, InfoSystems

Laura Macca, EisnerAmper LLC

Rashmi Asati, Verizon

Tammy Hall, Verizon

Sponsored by:  Frank Recruitment Group 


Education and Training Initiative of the Year

This award category is open to organisations that have developed training programmes, upskilling initiatives, and/or undertaken an initiative that has helped women and girls to improve their digital skills over the last 18 months. This could involve virtual onboarding training, training for furloughed staff, upskilling/supporting working staff, etc. Judges will assess commitment to the cause, awareness raised, impact on the organisation and industry, and ultimate results of the initiative. Submissions must include the name of the initiative. 

TechShopz Pandemic Pivot, TechGirlz

Women in Technology New York Chapter, BNY Mellon

The Next CISO, Tiro Security

Generation Giga Girls Program, Moody’s

Remote Ed with Melody


Tech-Moms, RizeNext

Virtual On-Boarding, JAGGAER

Employer of the Year (over 250 employees)

This can be either a technology company that has demonstrated a great effort to attract and retain more women, or a company from any other industry that has demonstrated great efforts to attract and retain more women in its IT and/or digital department. Judges will look at efforts the employer has made to create a more diverse and inclusive working environment.


Cognizant Softvision

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

IHS Markit




Entrepreneur of the Year

A female leader of a technology, digital or e-commerce start-up that has demonstrated excellent growth in the last 18 months, with a coherent and sustainable strategy in achieving it. Judges will look at demonstrations of growth (turnover, profit, employees etc.), standout achievements and customer testimonials. 

Joyce Durst, Growth Acceleration Partners

Lauren Lemieux, Bundlar

Nataliya Anon, Svitla Systems Inc.

Sahar Arshad, CloudMedx Inc.

Sher Downing, Downing EdTech Consulting

Srii Srinivasan, Chargeback Gurus

Stacia Nelson, Pivot Strategies

Susan Ruhl, ICC Inc.

Tiffany Xingyu Wang, Spectrum Labs, Oasis Consortium

Whitney Cathcart, 3DLOOK

Innovator of the Year

A female tech professional who has demonstrated outstanding innovation, customer wins and deployments in the last 18 months. Judges will look at products/services, client testimonials, examples of ROI achieved, success in challenging implementations, post-sales support and service, and tailored customisations in specific enterprise environments. 

Cindy MacFarlane, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Glo Gordon, MATRIXX Software

Kathleen Pierson, HSBC

Nancy Van Delist, Pearson Nicole Raimundo, Town of Cary

Ooshma Malkoti, Verizon

Rocio Belfiore, BairesDev

Ruchi Mahindru, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

Tina Tarquinio, IBM

Whitney Cathcart, 3DLOOK

IT Team of the Year (led by a woman)

An IT team, led by a woman, that has delivered real value – with tangible business results – to a company. Judges will look at projects and achievements, along with examples of best practice, leadership, ROI generated and alignment to business goals. 

Beverly Chamberlain,  Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Helen Johnson, Data Dynamics Inc.

Judy Lai, HSBC

Kimberly Bailey, City of Memphis – Information Technology Division

Marta Kosarchyn, Khan Academy

Padmaja Adusumilli, Pearson

Potoula Chresomales, Skillsoft

Soumya Seetharam, Intel Corportation

Sara Nixon, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Tina Traquinio, IBM

Male Ally of the Year

A senior male figure who has gone out of his way to improve the diversity levels of women in IT, within the organisation and/or in the wider community. Successful nominations must provide case studies or examples of how the candidate has gone of their way, or strategically prioritised, getting more women into IT and/or supporting them in their careers. 

Dave Carlisle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Jake Soberal, Bitwise Industries

Joshua Lawlor, BNY Mellon

Kevin Gallagher, BNY Mellon

Paul Rebeles, Equinix

Ray Meiring, QorusDocs

Reginal Bryant, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Roger Blumberg, JAGGAER

Next Generation Leader of the Year

A woman under the age of 35, or who turns 35 in 2021, who has progressed rapidly though their career and demonstrated business value and innovation through the use of technology. This could include demonstrations of successfully deploying technologies; improving how a company approaches technology; delivering effective IT or technology strategies; enhancing decision-making with technology; creating business value, efficiencies and cost savings, or improving services, through the use of technology; driving new innovation in the industry; or furthering knowledge, awareness and education around technology.

Abigail Franco, T-Mobile

Amanda Clevey Brown, Accenture

Aparna Dhinakaran, Arize AI

Irina Soriano, Seismic

Judith Olson, ColdQuanta

Kyra-Lee Harry, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Melanie Dauber, IBM

Rocio Belfiore, BairesDev

Tiffany Xingyu Wang, Spectrum Labs, Oasis Consortium

Zarmeena Waseem, National Cyber Security Alliance


Outstanding Contribution of the Year

Nominations can be submitted for this category and candidates will be selected from across the current nominees as well as the judging panel’s knowledge of key industry individuals. It is to recognise the achievements over a long period of time which has made an important contribution to the general standing of the technology industry.

Barbara Hewitt, Texas State University

Casey Jones, Buckle

Chitra Balasubramanian, CircleCl

Diem Le, GE Aviation

Elka Krupka, HSBC

Karen Mazer, Deloitte

Laura Hermann, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Rhonda Collins, Vocera Communications

Shano Jacob, Verizon

Shilpa Maram, HSBC

Security Leader of the Year

A female CSO, CISO or any other senior IT security function (including cyber security and data management), within a US organisation who has delivered outstanding work. Judges will assess the candidates’ innovative approaches to security and the impact of their policies, procedures and projects on the business.

Angelique “Q” Napoleon, IntellecTechs Inc.

Christine Purpura, SmartBear

Dana Simberkoff, AvePoint

Heather Paunet, Untangle

Jennifer Pace, Lincoln Financial Group

Katie Ledoux, Starburst

Lama Abu-Amara, Grainger

Mary N. Chaney, Minorities in Cybersecurity Inc.

Valerie Moreno, Clark College

Vibhuti Garg, Cisco

Sponsored by: 

Tech for Good Award of the Year

This award honours an organisation using technology to improve the lives of others and the world around us. It recognises corporate social responsibility, charity work or green and sustainability initiatives that are driven or implemented using pioneering digital techniques. Entries will be judged on their effectiveness, innovation and overall commitment to doing good. 

Nabila Salem, Revolent

Carly Gottorff, SpeechifAI Inc.

Charlotte Dales, Inclusively


Mercy Manning, Aligned

Neeti Mehta Shukla, Automation Anywhere

Nicole Raimundo, Town of Cary

Sarah Walker, Ribbon

Sylvia Kang, Quantum Loophole

Whitney Cathcart, 3DLOOK


Sponsored by: 

Woman of the Year

A woman who has demonstrated the highest degree of IT excellence, innovation and leadership in the last year, and shone a light on the great things women in IT can achieve. Candidates should have not only have demonstrated outstanding business- and/or technology-focused achievements, but also give examples on how they have actively sought to bring more diversity into the technology industry. 

Britta Meyer Rock, Claris International Inc.

Charlotte Dales, Inclusively

Dawn Andre, JAGGAER

Gina Murphy, Navisite

Irma Olguin Jr., Bitwise Industries   

Jess Iandiorio, Starburst

Joyce Gottbetter, Microsoft

Kristy Friedrichs, New Relic

Rashim Mogha, Skillsoft

Valerie Moreno, Clark College