2021 Categories

All nominees must now complete a questionnaire for each of the categories they have been nominated in, using the entry criteria below. It is free to submit all questionnaires.


CIO of the Year

Which female CIO has made the biggest difference in the last 12 months? You may work at one of the largest firms, or sit at the top of IT at a not-for-profit organisation that's making a huge difference. The important thing is you're working at the forefront of IT doing incredible things, inspiring your organisation and standing out.


Digital Leader of the Year

Digital transformation is a trend which has been sweeping across many organisations in the last year. This award will go to the woman who leads a digital team, project or department within her organisation. Entrants should demonstrate the impact of their leadership, and of digital project or team on the wider business.


Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year

This award will go to the organisation which has launched the best diversity and inclusion initiative over the last 12 months. Judges will be looking to see the results of the initiative and its impact on the wider business. The initiative can cover any type of diversity and is not limited purely to gender, though we'd expect that to play a part.


Diversity Employer of the Year

The diversity employer of the year will be doing industry-leading work in building an atmosphere in which a diverse workforce can thrive and prosper. This being the Women in IT Awards, the emphasis of this success will be on building an environment that promotes the talents of women.


Entrepreneur of the Year

Entrepreneur in this sense isn't necessarily a business founder, it could mean someone who has created a new business unit or other group within a larger organisation. This award will be given to the woman who best demonstrates the success, both current and potential, of her idea.


Graduate of the Year

Awarded to the graduate working in technology who most impresses the judging panel with her success in the earliest stages of her career. This success could be entirely personal, perhaps by initiative and driving through a solo project, or a significant contribution to a team. Entrants must have graduated from a tertiary education course within the previous 24 months.


Hero of the Year

This award will go to the woman who has demonstrated excellence in her support of others, or in going beyond the call of duty to achieve a business goal. This could be championing a person or idea, rescuing a failing project, or going the extra mile to help others.


Innovator of the Year

Many senior technology roles today are also responsible for product development and ownership. This award will go to the woman who can demonstrate innovation and new thinking, either in terms of an organisation's products, or in terms of strategy, or operations. It could be a new process, or a new way of working - the emphasis is on the word new.


IT Leader of the Year

This will be awarded to the female IT leader who best demonstrates excellence in leadership, communication and strategic vision. The award is not restricted purely to CIOs, though the position should be senior (director level and above) with at least partial responsibility for IT.


Outstanding Returner Award

There's no perfect time' to return to work after starting - or expanding - a family. The returning process will always represent numerous obstacles in a career path. For this category, the judges will be looking for a returner who can provide an inspirational example of returning successfully to a career, highlighting both personal commitment and drive as well as dedication and support by the organisation. This award is for women who have returned to work at any point over the last 18 months.


Outstanding Transformation

The business transformation referenced in this award could relate to a project, product, process, department or entire organisation. The award will go to the woman responsible for leading or driving this transformation. Entrants should explain why the transformation was needed, their role in its success, and the results seen since its completion.


Rising Star of the Year

The Rising Star Award is for 2020's most trailblazing young woman in IT. You may be a graduate scheme employee who has made an exceptionally strong impact in a short time, or a young manager or executive who is making waves through the business. Whoever you are, we want to hear your story, both to celebrate your success and as an inspiration for other women starting out in the IT industry.


Role Model of the Year

With the IT industry desperately short of female workers, especially at more senior levels, role models are essential. This award will go to the woman who most inspires her colleagues, and leads by example.


Security Leader of the Year

Security remains the fasting-growing and potentially - if ill-managed - harmful area of the IT industry. We are looking for the industry's most stand-out woman in IT security, with a demonstrable effect on the constant mission to keep networks, stakeholders and end users safe from malicious outside or inside actors. Be it a sterling overall career record or work on a specific security project that's overhauled an organisation's ability to stay safe, our judges want to find the most impressive woman in cyber security.


Software Engineer of the Year

The winning submission will demonstrate excellence in the field of software engineering. This could be the result of personal effort or as part of a team, but the entrant must demonstrate how her contribution made a significant impact, and why it goes above and beyond the usual expectations of her role. Any technical contribution to the development, operation or maintenance of software will be considered relevant to this award.


Team Leader of the Year

This will be awarded to the person who best demonstrates how her leadership inspired a team, and directly contributed to their success. Entrants can be at any level within a firm, but must have some elements of leadership of others within their role. Submissions should describe how their leadership impacted the team, and what challenges they met both personally, and as part of the team.


Transformation Leader

The winning entrant will demonstrate how her leadership contributed the successful transformation of a project, product or business within the last 12 months. This does not necessarily have to be a broad change across an entire enterprise, it could be a single department, team or process. However, the transformation must be substantial, and its overall impact on the wider business should be clear.


Woman of the Year

This award will go the woman most deserving of recognition for her achievements in the IT industry this year. Her successes won't necessarily fit neatly into any of the other categories, and could even span several of them. She will be inspiring to others, and will have brought about significant success and change in her organisation.



New: Lockdown Legend of the Year

In a year that has been challenging in so many ways, this award aims to recognise an individual who has been a source of inspiration or support for their team or business over the past year, or an individual who has creatively adapted their technology initiatives over the past year to help their business or the wider community. We are looking for a pragmatic and strategic individual who has gone the extra mile during lockdown and has understood the importance of good relationships and communications to deliver excellent tech output, or extraordinary team cohesion during challenging times.