The achievements of women working in technology in Scotland have been honoured at a prestigious ceremony last night.
The second Scotland Women in Technology (SWIT) Awards took place in Glasgow, with more than 400 guests from across education, government and the private sector, including some of the best-known and most influential names in tech. A record number of nominations was received – exceeding 160 – across nine categories.
The awards, sponsored by Amazon, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, were set to be presented by STV news presenter Halla Moheideen.
The winners included Elaine Muir at JP Morgan for Gender Aware Recruiter of The Year; JP Morgan as Employer of The Year; Tayyaba Nafees of CyberShell as Rising Star; Carole Logan of Ladies of Code securing the Inspirational Woman of the Year award; and Sheryl Newman, Appetite for Business, named Leader of the Year.
Those behind the awards said that with just under a quarter of the technology workforce in Scotland female, the events look to celebrate and encourage women to progress in their careers and act as role models.
Lynsey Campbell, chair of SWIT, hailed the increased scale of this year’s awards, with the winners “all incredibly inspiring and illustrate the vast talent across the growing technology sector in Scotland”.
She added: “We hope these awards inspire more women to pursue a career in technology and I hope we can inspire the next generation to be the innovators and creative minds we need to make Scotland a global leader in technology.”
ScotlandIS boss Polly Purvis, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, said she was “very honoured” by the accolade. “There is still a long way to go to ensure gender balance right across and up and down our industry but all the people engaged with Scottish Women in Technology are making a palpable difference and with continued effort from everyone, we can make a real difference and change the technology industries for the better.”
Graeme Smith, MD of Amazon’s Development Centre in Edinburgh, said: “The winners show that diversity of talent fosters greater diversity of ideas and innovation, and I hope their success and recognition inspires more women to study and pursue technology careers in Scotland.”
Stephen Flaherty from JP Morgan highlighted the company’s enthusiasm for creating a robust culture of inclusion, viewing SWIT as a “tremendous beacon” for such progress. “Winning employer of the year is a recognition of our progress but we, along with the broader industry, have more work to do… these awards do nothing but help with this.”
Eve Wallace, chief operating officer, Glasgow Technology, at Morgan Stanley, highlighted the positive impact of workplace diversity. “Technology provides fantastic opportunities that we want to see more women benefit from, and complex challenges that need engagement from the broadest possible cross-section of society. We proudly sponsored the 2018 Scotland Women in Technology Awards and look forward to our continued engagement with SWIT.”