Awards to recognise ‘trailblazing’ women in Scottish tech sector

Graeme Smith of Amazon with Elyssa Ross, winner of Rising Star in 2017. Picture: Contributed
Graeme Smith of Amazon with Elyssa Ross, winner of Rising Star in 2017. Picture: Contributed
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Scotland Women in Technology has today launched its second national awards scheme with internet giant Amazon revealed as the programme’s headline sponsor.

Organisers are seeking nominations of “trailblazing” women across the technology sector – from budding programmers to senior technologists and software engineers.

It is expected that competition will be fierce with talented women from across the nation being celebrated at an awards ceremony in October.

Last year’s awards saw in excess of 100 nominations being received from across the rapidly growing technology sector in Scotland. More than 300 guests, including industry high flyers and Scottish Government ministers were in attendance at the 2017 ceremony.

The initiative – the first of its kind in Scotland – aims to shine a light on the outstanding women in technology while inspiring the next generation of females to pursue a career in the industry.

There are ten categories for this year’s awards, which The Scotsman is partnering with, including rising star, inspirational woman of the year, gender diversity champion of the year and lifetime achievement award.

Lynsey Campbell, chair of Scotland Women in Technology, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success but this year will be even bigger and better.

“We want to champion the talented women working in technology and those supporting the gender equality in technology agenda. I hope these awards inspire girls to pursue technology as a career and act as a reminder the sector is home to many talented and trailblazing women.

“We are delighted with the response we have had from the sector, particularly Amazon who are our headline supporters, and we look forward to receiving hundreds of nominations.”

Amazon, which last year was a gold sponsor, has agreed to take on the headline sponsor role.

Graeme Smith, managing director of Amazon’s development centre in Edinburgh, said: “Championing diversity and gender equality in the technology sector, both now and for future generations, is a key priority for us at Amazon.

“That’s why we’re supporting the SWIT awards for a second year. We want to help shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s most inspirational female technology leaders and encourage more young women to pursue a career in technology and innovation.”

Nominations are open until 24 August. Winners will be announced at the second annual Scottish Women in Technology Awards ceremony, which will take place in Glasgow. Full details on how to enter or nominate someone you know are available at: www.scotwomenintech.com.

Last year’s winner of CEO of the year, Jeanette Forbes, said: “Being named CEO of the year at the inaugural Scottish Women in Technology Awards was a huge milestone in my career.

“With so many outstanding candidates for this award, I never expected to win, and I was humbled that I had been chosen.

“Being recognised for making a difference in a sector that is predominantly male is so important for women. We make an immense contribution to our industry.”