Finalists announced in 2012 everywoman in Technology Awards

These awards, now in their second year (winners from last year pictured above), highlight the achievements of women excelling in this industry, in order to encourage more to see it as a rewarding career choice.

Despite increases in the number of women entering the workforce over the past few decades, recent figures show that the number employed within the IT and telecoms sector has decreased. Although 47 per cent of the UK workforce is female, only 18per cent of IT & Telecoms professionals are female, down from 22 per cent in 2001.

As the government calls for an overhaul in the education of information and communications technology within schools in order to ensure that the UK’s economic prospects are not damaged in the future, it is essential that the industry itself celebrates its success stories.

The everywoman in Technology Awards, in association with, were created in 2011 to showcase the diverse range of careers offered by the sector and profile the women who are leading the way. They also celebrate the businesses that are investing in their female talent pool.

The finalists in the 2012 everywoman in Technology Awards are:

Rising Star of the Year – Sponsored by BP
Orla Baker, NTP Head Office Data Programme Manager, Accenture from London
Kim Cooper, Senior IT Consultant – Business Analyst, IBM from London
Laura Earle, Executive Communications Manager, Services, EMEA & Russia, Cisco from London
Maria Navrotskaya, Information & Decision Solutions Manager, EMEA Financial Projects, Procter & Gamble UK from Newcastle Upon Tyne

Team Leader of the Year in an SME (with under 500 employees)
Kirstin Duffield, CEO, Morning Data Limited from Dorchester
Jules Howard-Wright, Broadcast Project Director, Digital UK from London
Poonam Joshi, Head of Advertising Operations, from London
Pam Maynard, General Manager, UK & Ireland, Avanade from London

Leader of the Year in a corporate organisation (with over 500 employees)
Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group from Brighton
Tracey Foster, Manufacturing Director- Peterlee, PepsiCo UK & Ireland from Peterlee
Alix Pryde, Director of Distribution, BBC from London
Emer Timmons, President, BT Global Services, UK, BT, from London

Innovator of the Year – Sponsored by Cisco
Mandy Chessell, IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, Chief Architect for InfoSphere Solutions, IBM from Hampshire
Polly Gowers, Founder and CEO, Everyclick Ltd, Worcestershire
Cyndi Mitchell, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks from London
Jo Reid , Creative Director, Calvium Ltd from Bristol

Entrepreneur of the Year
Nathalie Gaveau, CEO, Shopcade, from London
Olga Kubassova, Founder and CEO, Image Analysis Ltd from Leeds
Vin Murria, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Computer Software Group plc from London

Inspiration of the Year
Gillian Arnold, Director, Tectre from Huddersfield
Hazel Moore, Chairman and Co-founder, FirstCapital Corporation Ltd, from London
Sheryl Newman, Operations Director, Appetite for Learning, from Aberdeen
Pat Ryan, CEO, Information Technology for Children in Hospital from Bletchley

Commenting on the everywoman in Technology Awards, Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder of everywoman says: “These women are shining examples of the diverse and rewarding opportunities that are available within the information technology sector.

It is a common misconception that senior roles within technology are an exclusively male domain, but these hugely enthusiastic and energetic women dispel this myth, showing how talent can take you to the top.

Despite the current challenges facing the UK economy, technology is a growth area, and encouraging more inspirational women like these to pursue a career within the industry can only aid this positive growth potential.”

Maggie Berry, Managing Director of Women in Technology added: “Women currently only make up less than 20 per cent 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.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 29 March 2012 at The Savoy in London.