‘Inspiring’ women tech leaders, engineers and rising stars will lead the charge at this year’s annual Scotland Women in Technology Awards next month.

Twenty-five individuals and 13 organisations spanning 10 categories have been named as finalists in a glittering ceremony which is set to take place in Glasgow on November 2.

Finalists in the much-coveted Leader of the Year category include Karen Meechan, CEO at ScotlandIS, Gillian McLennan, managing director at JP Morgan, Jane Poojari, software development manager at Amazon and Jacqui McDonald, CIO for group finance at Barclays.

The shortlist was announced at the sold-out SWiT Awards Shortlist Conference hosted by headline sponsor Morgan Stanley on October 5 in Glasgow. At the event, SWiT founder and chair, Silka Patel, acknowledged the calibre of the entries and applauded the push from Scotland’s tech sector to champion women working in technology-focused roles.

She said: “The pandemic impacted women across all sectors – including the tech sector. Caring responsibilities alongside homeschooling and furlough put a pause on the tech careers of many women. Encouragingly, we are now seeing more women than ever enter computing-based courses which will provide a huge boost to the industry in the coming years. 

“While the awards have been on hiatus, I have seen first-hand how more people and organisations have made a concerted effort to drive equality not only in the workplace but across the technology sector.

“I am heartened by these proactive steps to champion the profile and professional development of women in technical and leadership roles across Scotland. It was a challenge to whittle our list of entrants down to the final shortlist – and it has been inspiring to see so many new faces put themselves forward for the awards. The judges now have a very tricky job on their hands ahead of our ceremony next month.”

The shortlist includes figures from large corporates and SMEs across the public, private and third sectors who are championing diversity, equality, and inclusion within the Scottish tech sector. New award categories for 2023 include Young Tech Champion of the Year and Gender Diversity Ally of the Year. 

Visit: https://www.scotwomenintech.com/awards-categories

Award Category
Young Tech Champion of the YearSponsored by JP MorganLauren Lawson, Software Engineer – Leidos Hannah Fairlie, AVP Full Stack Developer – Barclays Rohini Syed, Graduate Software Engineer – Barclays Maria Elizabeth Hughes, Data Security Engineer – Morgan Stanley 
Technology Rising StarSponsored by Lloyds Banking GroupKinga Juhasz, Software Engineer – JP Morgan Debbie Kerr, Data Scientist – M&G Abbie McCallum, Software Engineer – NatWest Carla Chiodi, Senior Engineer – 2i Testing 
Technology Champion in EducationSponsored by CodebaseToni Scullion, Founder – dressCode Christine Lester, Associate Software Engineer – JP Morgan Sam Blyth, Head of School for Computing – Edinburgh College Anthony Harkins, Head of Computing – St Aloysius College 
SME Employer of the YearSponsored by Harvey NashStellar Omada 2i Testing Nucleus Financial 
Leader of the YearSponsored by i-confidentialKaren Meechan, CEO – ScotlandIS Gillian McLennan, Managing Director – JP Morgan Jane Poojari, Software Development Manager – Amazon Jacqui McDonald, CIO for Group Finance – Barclays 
Large Employer of the YearSponsored by Nine TwentyxDesign Leidos M&G 
Inspirational Woman of the YearSponsored by FANDUELHillary Prather, Software Developer – Amazon Sam Rhynas, Director and Chief Operating Officer – Effini Margret Thorsteinsdottir, Technology Associate – Morgan Stanley 
Inclusive Recruiter of the YearSponsored by Hymans RobertsonHarvey Nash Leidos i-confidential 
Gender Diversity Ally of the YearSponsored by ModernaIain McNiven, Head of Talent Management – Morgan Stanley Mark White, EMEA Client Technical Support Senior Director and Dell Technologies Scotland Site Lead – Dell TechnologiesWill Mahood, EMEA Technology Campus Recruiter – JPMChase 
Diversity Initiative of the YearSponsored by BarclaysHarvey Nash NextGen Dell STEMAspire Morgan Stanley Glasgow WIT Network Empowering you 

The shortlist will now be reviewed by SWiT awards judging panel, which includes:

  • Claire El-Ezebbi, Head of Cyber Resilience at the Scottish Government
  • Alison McLaughlin, Member of the ScotlandIS board
  • Dilraj Sokhi-Watson, Director, Equate Scotland
  • Craig Steele, Director, Digital Skills Education
  • Graeme Gordon, CEO, IFB
  • Ailish Jamieson, Senior HR Partner for EMEA, SAS Ltd
  • Ray Bugg, Founder, DIGIT
  • Polly Purvis OBE, Non-executive director 
  • Maggie Titmuss, National Cyber Resilience Advisory Board board member
  • Steven Grier, Director of Devolved Government, Microsoft
  • Samantha Bedford, COO, Gen+
  • Enoch Adeyemi, Co-Founder, Black Professionals Scotland