2023 Judges

Chapter Lead - Data Science and Ethical AI
Lloyds Banking Group

Alice is a Chapter Lead in the central Data Science team at Lloyds Banking Group. She leads 3 large programmes of work including: the group’s data science lifecycle, the group’s model inventory & risk management tool & the ethical ai library. Her background is in consulting & data mining/statistics (with an MSc in Marketing & Business Analysis from the University of Edinburgh) with 10 years’ experience, including 4 at Lloyds. Outside her day to day role, she is involved in a number of activities close to her heart: she is a leading member of the Women in Data LBG working group, a contributor to the Women ConnecTech network, and a leading member of the Inclusion & Diversity pillar. She is also organising Lloyds Banking Group's first ever Data Science festival. This is Alice's 3rd year of being a judge for these awards, having herself won an award in 2020

Principal (Associate Partner)
Oliver Wyman

Alina Timofeeva is a multi-awarded Associate Partner, TEDx speaker and Mentor. She helps Fortune100 companies to leverage Technology Dexterity so that they increase their value for customers and shareholders.  As a first-generation immigrant from Russia who, despite the odds, achieved ultra-fast growth in a male-dominated technology industry, she actively gives back to the community through helping colleagues from underprivileged background & immigrant communities who face challenges similar to those she experienced. Her personal mission is to inspire 50 000 000 people globally to see failure as an opportunity to grow.

DEI Community Leader, Inclusive Leadership Network
The Channel Company

Cass Cooper, MHR is laser focused on bringing equity and inclusion to the IT Channel and Tech by building inclusive cultures and removing bias from institutional processes. As the DEI Community Leader at The Channel Company, Cooper assists organizations as they create cultures that thrive in business because of their inclusivity. She’s an expert chaos whisperer, assisting leaders as they make sense of the cultural complexities of bias and exclusion. She builds on what teams do well, while filling in the gaps of what’s unknown to streamline processes to create healthy corporate cultures and increase a sense of belonging. Cooper knows that data-driven change management is the key to inclusion, because when organizations know better, they do better. Cooper received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University, Chicago, and a Master of Human Relations, Inclusive Leadership, from the University of Oklahoma. Her 20 years as an award-winning sales, events, and hospitality professional has fueled her passion for people, processes, and organizational culture. Her superpower is making sense of what may feel like chaos while developing business practices that put people at the center. The future of successful businesses hinges on their organizational ability to maintain a space where their members are seen, valued, respected, and protected. Cooper is an avid reader, podcast consumer, and mom to one tiny human and many plants.

Technical Product Owner and Manager
With a background in Physics, Cat has spent her career tackling hard problems through innovative solutions. She started her career as a solutions architect where she first discovered coding and developed a new way to cluster servers to be migrated, by liking them to neurons in the brain. Her next big challenge was to digitise the np-hard fixture scheduling problem for the Premier League, a problem that has more solutions than atoms in the universe. Intrigued by this unique problem she found a connection between fixture scheduling and board games, which eventually lead to the algorithm including aspects from Google's Alpha-Go paper and reducing schedule creation from 3 months to a matter of minutes.
Cat has always been a supporter of change and innovation, which allowed her to discover, bid for and then lead a public sector project to utilise ML to improve the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable people. Reducing the time it takes these people get the support they require dramatically. This project gained so much attention because of the transformation it presented that she ended up demonstrating it to the Cabinet Office. More recently Cat has just finished leading a build of a hydrogen digital twin prototype, one of the first created in the world to support the next generation of renewable energy. 
Aside from this Cat is the youngest female to ever join the Atos Scientific Community, a select group which produces the thought leadership for Global Atos. She is a recruitment driver for the most recent female graduate cohort and has maintained a 100% success rate for those offered roles into Atos. She delivered multiple talks to inspire the next wave of software enthusiasts, including CodeFirstGirls, Women in Engineering lunches and global leadership events. Cat also forms a key members of the self-run Atos talent programme FUEL, identified as one of the top 40 talents across the Globe.
Data Science Director and London Digital Hub Lead

Catarina is a people leader and award winning Machine Learning software engineer. As core values, Catarina is a true believer that excellence and high quality software is only possible with teamwork and great focus on people, divertisity, transparency and collaboration. As a track record and proof of the success of this strategy, she has been holding several leadership positions and leading several successful multimillion software platforms in companies such as, Llloyds Banking Group, Deloitte and Square Enix. Catarina was previously the executive director in JP Morgan Chase & Co, leading the data space in Global Research Technology and is a Be the Business advisor board member, where she volunteered to help small businesses in the UK.

Manager - Clients and Markets

I'm a Manager supporting PwC UK’s Head of Clients and Markets, Marco Amitrano, and his team with their portfolio of work. I also continue my involvement with the NW Tech Ecosystem work supporting PwC UK Head of Technology & Investments, Ben Higgin, to drive a consortium of 12 organisations in Greater Manchester. We're collectively coming together to address the tech talent gap, creating programmes, events, campaigns and networks to encourage young people, career switchers and returners into Technology careers in the North West. Before this, I spent 4.5 years in our Customer Led Transformation practice, leading programme teams across the UK, Poland & India to deliver Digital Transformations enabled by Salesforce, predominantly for the Public Sector. I'm proud to have won the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2022 for Woman of the Year (Consultancies & Integrators) & Role Model of the Year, as well as being Highly Commended in the Hero of the Year category.

Chief Product and Technology Officer

Christina Scott joined OVO at the end of 2021 as OVO Energy’s Chief Product and Technology officer. She leads OVO’s Tech and Product teams to provide intelligent energy technology solutions to support the decarbonisation of UK homes. Christina has more than 25 years experience in technology and 20 years in the media industry, having previously worked at News UK, BBC, FT and ITV Digital, specialising in digital transformation and leading high performing teams. Christina has been recognised within a number of industry awards including the CIO of the Year awards and the Women in IT awards and has worked throughout her career on diversity initiatives within technology.

ETL and Visualisation Developer
Gateshed Health NHS Foundation Trust

As a developer of digital solutions in the NHS, I have the pleasure of working with incredible women every day, and I am honoured that the work we do improves patient care and saves lives.

North East and Yorkshire Community Fundraiser
Diabetes UK

As a Community Fundraiser across the North East and Yorkshire my role is to increase the contributions of individuals, groups and companies by developing and maintaining relationships with existing supporters. Through increased donations Diabetes UK aims to prevent Type 2 diabetes, campaign for and support everyone affected by diabetes, and fund research that will one day lead us to a cure.

Network Operations Planning Manager and Workplace Bereavement Consultant
Virgin Media O2

My name is Harley Cunningham, and I have extensive sales and marketing experience in some of the world's leading companies, including IBM, Experian, and Virgin Media O2, spanning over 15 years. Throughout my career, I have been deeply committed to enhancing businesses' profitability by focusing on customer experience and churn reduction. Recently, I have ventured into change management and strategy, spurred by my current company's merger with Virgin Media O2, as well as a desire to expand my career horizons. Additionally, I have been pursuing a personal mission to improve employee well-being in the face of bereavement since the loss of my two-year-old twin son. As a bereavement workplace consultant and industry speaker, I have been working tirelessly alongside my day job to develop a three-pronged approach. Firstly, I strive to improve bereavement policies and advocate for full-pay leave to support employees during their time of need. Secondly, I have created toolkits for both employees and managers, enabling them to engage in better bereavement conversations and training. Lastly, I am working towards creating a workplace culture that fosters openness and provides practical top-down support, such as my "Hug in a Box" initiative that offers food vouchers to employees experiencing one of the toughest times of their lives. In recognition of my efforts, I was honored to receive the Best Returner award at the WIT Awards last year. I am proud to have made a positive impact on the lives of others and look forward to continuing my work in improving employee well-being and promoting a more compassionate workplace culture.

Founder and CEO
Winning CIO

James started his executive career aged 26 and has delivered tech and digital investments that enabled transformational change as part of executive teams at Northern Rail, Northumbrian Water Group and Drax.

He has also some significant sovreighn wealth and private equity achievements as part of M&A growth and divesture exec teams, delivering hugely productive greenfield tech and digital environments for Dutch Railways, ArrowXL and Royal Mail Parcelforce.

James founded WinningCIO in 2018 to support CIO's, CTO's, tech and digital leaders in the board room. Helping to close the gap bewteen tech and digital programmes and business operations.

WinningCIO helps leaders to achieve this in two key ways:

1) By improve productivity in tech and digitial projects through fractional consulting. WinningCIO's associates support organisations in architecting and sourcing their digital programmes.  Clients include: Jacobs, NCFE, South Eastern Railway, LNER, Quadient, Currency Fair and Zai.

2) WinnigCIO's marketing and events team support tech vendors to better understand their markets without resorting to cold calls or low value sales pipeline meetings with guest speakers tackling topics such as Global Macro-economics, Rebel Ideas, Rapid Innovation, AI for non exec's and Sustainability whilst helping tech vendors better understand their markets without resorting to cold calls or low value sales pipeline meetings. Clients include: Expleo Group, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Blueprism, Pyramid Analytics, Reltio and Post Tag.

Senior Technical Consultant

After just one year at IBM, Jude was described as a ‘trail blazer’ within her company who has an evident passion for Technology and bridging the gender gap in Technology to ensure that women empower one another to become leaders in the industry. Jude is a Senior Technical Consultant at IBM. She has expertise in Automation and is recognised for transforming business requirements into technical solutions and thereby bridging the gap between business and technical teams. She has managed large automation programmes across numerous industries to ensure that her clients can realise the utmost value in the technology implemented. Before joining IBM, Jude graduated with a first-class honour’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool, where her passion for Machine Learning and using it to help others began. Outside of her work, Jude is conducting research and writing a paper alongside a professor at her previous university on the ‘Prediction of Blood Glucose Levels using Machine Learning’. This is Jude’s second year as a judge after winning ‘Graduate of the Year’ in 2021.

Head of Security Operations

As the Head of SecOps for the largest greenfield technology transformation project in Europe, Lianne is building a leading edge security team from scratch to meet the needs of a modern retail organisation while empowering her team to think innovatively to create new standards in best practices. Lianne has delivered talks across the globe to share her vision for a new type of security function. Drawing upon her expertise as a cyber-anthropologist (through her consultancy, The Anthrosecurist), her practical experience as a security-focused software developer and as a security practitioner; Lianne combines the human and the technical aspects of security to evangelise a cultural security transformation. She is on the advisory board for two community enterprises aimed at encouraging diversity in tech, is a published author, podcast regular, and recently won Computing.com’s Security Specialist of the Year for her work on human-centric approaches to security. In 2021 she won two other awards for Security Leaders of the Year 2021 and Woman of the Year in the Enterprise category and Cyber New Magazines top 40 under 40.

Chief Commercial Officer

Lizz - Transformation Leader of the year 2022 following the success of her then-newly introduced and innovative Business Transformation team within Daisy Corporate Services. In the year since, her continued success saw her achieve further promotion and now she holds responsibility for leading commercial operations, solutions and strategy. Her deep understanding of the commercial landscape and her ability to drive growth and innovation contribute significantly to her success. She is committed to and passionate about developing and empowering people thus driving further success on larger scale. By critically reviewing the status quo and providing creative new approaches both enabling people to grow and the business to improve. She is relied upon for her strategic thinking, dedication, leadership and ingenuity. This is embodied in her recently implemented sales graduate scheme, which has already produced several high performing colleagues in various areas of the business.

Leumi UK

Louise Mccarthy. Currently INED for Leumi UK and Board Advisor for a number of companies. Louise is also working on charitable activities in Indonesia teaching female empowerment at a girls school. Louise also supports as a CXO advisor for a number of innovative tech companies. Louise has lead a number complex organisation creating their strategy for Global Digital IT transformation. Louise is an outstanding, award winning and dynamic inspirational CIO transformational and business change leader with over 35 years’ experience in some large private and public sector organisations including HMRC, Aviva, HSBC, and EBRD. She is highly respected in the technology, digital industry as a passionate, energized and transformational leader who achieves amazing results. She is valued at board level for design of complex technology and digital transformational visions, and strategy. The ability to take complex organisations with the need for transformation and align to business objectives . A background in finance and commercial giving the ability to see the wider picture and achieved commercial creativity. Louise is also a role model for females in technology.

Programme Director

I am a Programme Director for GfK, overseeing the end-to-end delivery of transformation projects across Operations and Technology. My role involves managing backlogs, roadmaps, and budgets to ensure the successful implementation of our programme strategy. I joined GfK four years ago with an undergraduate degree in History. During my time with the company, I have continuously advanced from my initial role as a Team Administrator to taking on more challenging technical roles as a Business Analyst and Programme Manager. Now, I am excited by the opportunity to lead complex projects and contribute to GfK's continued success. My passion for diversity has been a driving force throughout my career at GfK. I previously co-led a UK DE&I network called 'Fast Forward,' now I set on the council as the Champion for Gender. I also helped set up and steer a new tech council in 2021 to address industry-specific DE&I challenges, such as the underrepresentation of women in tech roles and STEM fields. I'm honored to have been recognized as a finalist in the 2021 and 2022 Women in Tech Excellence Awards and to have received the Role Model of the Year award in November 2022. This external recognition reaffirms my sense of belonging in the industry and motivates me to continue striving for progress and positive change.

Start Up Culture Code

Mandy has over 20 years’ experience as a corporate Technology leader in Service Management as well as being a qualified coach and Culture Consultant. She speaks on leadership, Operations, Culture enablement, Wellbeing and Emotional Intelligence as a bedrock of any successful business. Mandy is determined to galvanise businesses to depart from the norm and improve diversity and inclusion as a way of promoting great places to work and a people centred strategy for the technology industry. Mandy has been featured in Women of the City Magazine and listed as “Women to Watch 2020” and nominated for the Black British Business Awards 2021. She is also a University MBA Mentor and Coach as well as a judge for the Princess Royal Training Awards 2021,Growing Business Awards 2022 and UK Culture Awards 2023.

Head of IT Service Delivery & Cyber Security
Admiral Group Plc

Nerissa is a multi-award winning, optimistic, dynamic and charismatic IT Leader, with over 15 years' experience in tech. She has a strong track record of transforming and maturing the performance and delivery of IT Support, Service & Technology Operations. A persuasive and confident leader, Nerissa 'partners’ with businesses from a people, process & technology perspective to drive positive changes forward to help businesses flourish, grow and succeed. Being altruistic, in her spare time, Nerissa founded a UK Registered Charity, Foxes Help for the Homeless whose mission it is to provide services to those who are currently homeless or who are at risk of homelessness.

CEO and Founder
Niyo Group

Oyinkansola runs Niyo, a group of multi-award-winning companies that specialise in using technology to economically empower black women to be builders in the tech industry

Director - Portfolio Delivery
Pearson UK

Pallavi is a Technology leader with 2 decades of digital industry experience. She has held many Technology roles across different companies. Have experience working for different clients across USA, Singapore, India and UK. Currently working as Director-Portfolio Delivery at Pearson London, UK. She is the winner of "Digital Leader of the Year - Enterprise" at Women in Tech Excellence awards 2022. She has received many recognitions for her work in the Technology teams for successful delivery and exceeding client expectations. She is known for building high performing teams, bringing in transparency and collaboration at work. She is certified AWS Cloud Architect Associate, AWS Cloud Practitioner and Microsoft certified professional. Advocates Agile ways of working in the teams and builds the Communities of practice. Apart from her day job she actively contributes to Women in Technology (WIT) community at Pearson for various initiatives to help non-tech women to learn tech skills. Leads Social impact program in the UK to help under privileged students to get view of technology world and get insights to role models in tech.

Workday Consultant

Sam joined IBM’s graduate scheme as an Associate Consultant in 2021 after completing her BSc Management degree at Bayes Business School. She has worked on delivering ERP solutions such as Workday and SAP S/4HANA for large clients and on complex programmes. Sam was the winner for the Women in Tech 2022 “Rising Star of the Year – Tech” category which recognised her contribution to complex client work, and for giving back to the wider IBM community. Sam had no exposure to the tech industry throughout childhood and further education and is therefore a passionate advocate for delivering inclusive tech education, to inspire our leaders of the future.

Head of Product and Architecture
Lloyds Banking Group

Sarah’s role as Head of Core Platform & Migration Services, focuses on building and transforming the platforms of the future and migrating products and services from legacy platforms to where they can offer best value and service to the customer. Her role also looks at the way technology change is introduced and new technology services, redesigning for automation and data-driven decision making to make the route to live simpler and more resilient. Sarah’s strong background in both finance and technology enables her to easily navigate the everchanging business and technology landscape and having a passion for change, she has completed digital and cloud transformations across various sectors. Sarah was a winner of the 2022 HPE Future CIO 100 and was named ‘Hero of the Year’ at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2020, both of which recognises UK tech's most dynamic and influential leaders. Sarah is now a regular on the judging panel for the WiT awards.

Microsoft Public Sector Industry Go To Market Lead

Sarah leads the Go to Market Strategy for Industry Cloud for Healthcare at Microsoft UK. She enjoys building strong collaborative multi-disciplinary teams focused on enabling customers and partners to achieve more through technology. Previously Sarah was Regional Vice President at Salesforce for the NHS and has worked in the IT and Telco industry for the last 25 years including previous 14 years with Microsoft and leadership roles with ZyXEL and Siemens Communications both on a local and global level. Sarah is a strong advocate for mental health and has recently become a Mental Health First Aider. As a strong mentor and coach for early in careers and returners she is passionate about supporting women in IT. She has a passion for technology and innovation within digital accessibility and inclusion, based on experiences with autism and ADHD. Sarah is a Women in Tech Excellence Award Winner in 2021, TechWomen100 winner in 2020, Fellow of the Institute of Sales Professionals, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Board Trustee for Parenting Special Children.

Contributor & PR Director
Retail Connections

Sarah spearheads the PR team at Fieldworks, a specialist retail technology PR and content agency, and connects innovators and technology providers – from enterprise tech to disruptive start-ups – with retail businesses and organisations operating in the consumer industries. Highly networked, Sarah is a passionate advocate of technology’s role in transforming business capabilities and building-out competitive advantage. An avid supporter of women in technology, Sarah connects, promotes and drives influence for women in the tech and digital arenas.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Agam International Limited

Shabnam Wazed is an award-winning entrepreneur with a mission to revolutionise lending using AI driven technology and behavioural insights. Shabnam is the Founder and CEO of AGAM International, a UK based Fintech that provides an intelligent and never-seen-before alternative credit scoring system for lenders to assess credit worthiness of its customers rapidly and accurately. AGAM promotes financial inclusion by providing a passport to digital finance to empower individuals to gain immediate access to finance without the need for prior credit history. AGAM’s dynamic credit scoring system III™ provides a credit score based on character, commitment and capability. In addition, AGAM's app includes financial education modules to help customers learn how to improve their own credit score. By accessing creditworthiness through character other than collateral, AGAM improves the odds of credit access in underserved communities, promoting financial inclusion and better futures. Shabnam won the Women in Tech Excellence Award 2022 and has also been a finalist in the Women in Finance Awards 2022 and a finalist in FDM Every Woman in Tech Awards 2023. Shabnam is a visionary shaping the industry through an AI led solution to the problem of financial inclusion in her home nation of Bangladesh and beyond. Shabnam is an inspiration to women in the Fintech sector and to the women of her community.

Lead Agile Coach
Hargreaves Lansdown

Shalini Thirunilathil is an award-winning technology leader, transformation specialist, blogger, and a TEDx speaker. Shalini operates dual roles at Hargreaves Lansdown - as a Lead Agile Coach and a Brand and Outreach Lead. She has extensive experience in coaching, mentoring, and enabling enterprise-level agility alongside developing organisational talents. Her career has included a diverse range of roles, including Software Developer, Software Tester, Test Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach. Shalini has spoken at numerous meetup events and panel discussions, including the 'Agile20Reflect Mini Festival,' an international meetup event, and the 'Enterprise Agility world conference.' As a TEDx speaker, Shalini recently gave a talk at the TEDxHultLondon about Agile Leadership. In 2021, Shalini won 'Team Leader of the Year' (SME) at the Women in Tech Excellence awards. On International Women's Day 2021, the Synapse QA community recognised her as an Inspirational Leader. In 2022, she received an honorary recognition from the Rotary Club for her career achievements in the Tech Industry. Beyond her professional career, Shalini enjoys music, travel, and cooking. She is also a trained Indian classical and Bollywood dancer and has performed across the UK.

Senior Manager Collegeaue Experience including DEI and Wellbeing
Nationwide Building Society

Siân is an authentic, committed, and diplomatic servant leader with an impressive 20-years’ experience in Banking and Financial Services, with roles combining Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), leadership, employee experience, employee lifecycle, operations and practice management, business architecture and analysis. She is enthusiastic about wellbeing in addition to EDI. She introduced Mental Health First Aiders to Nationwide launched Minds Matter, an award-winning employee network group prioritising colleague mental health and wellbeing. Siân also co-founded Comfort U Bags, a multi-award-winning, registered charity providing filled backpacks to brave children and teenagers hoping to find a place fit to call home through fostering and adoption. She won the Women in Tech Excellence Award for ‘Hero of the Year’ in 2022 and is on the current InsideOut Leaderboard.

Head of Data - UK, Europe and MENAT

Sophia Steiger is a senior female with a hybrid career covering both Technology and Finance with a proven change orientation. Having been a Partner with Deloitte, a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and HSBC and a Board member she brings a diverse experience to the judging panel. She has a personal passion for delivering real value to organisations, connecting Technology and the business to improve the customer experience and the bottom line. She mentors internally and externally, with a personal focus on those (male and female) making the return to work transition.

Information Governance Manager
Westminster City Council

More ‘I’ than ‘T’, Tanya originally fell into a Data Protection role, which turned out to be a lucky break as it has led to a career in the evolving field of information governance/management, becoming ever more relevant as the art of the possible in technology becomes even greater. As a result she is a specialist in legislation such as Data Protection UK/GDPR, Freedom of Information and Regulation of Investigatory Powers, working in the public sector, for nearly twenty years. Tanya won the Returner of the Year award 2022 in recognition of a number of achievements made following a return to work from maternity leave within a relatively short space of time, whilst still a new mother. Tanya believes in working to inspire her child as they grow and make decisions about their own path in life, and in supporting women to both recognise their potential and to celebrate their achievements (such as by way of these awards). Tanya has since been developing her personal leadership skills, including coaching and mentoring, gaining a distinction for a CMI apprenticeship in Leadership.