2024 Bupa everywoman in Technology Awards winners

15th March 2024
Sheryl Miles

The 2024 Bupa everywoman in Technology Awards have unveiled their winners, honouring the most inspirational women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Marking its 14th anniversary, the awards have become a pivotal platform for recognising exceptional talent across all career stages, from apprenticeships to C-suite positions, within the UK and internationally.

Despite the technology sector being known for its pioneering, innovative, and exciting developments, women constitute only 26% of its workforce. The lack of visible female leaders and role models is a significant barrier in attracting, developing, retaining, and advancing female talent within the industry.

A joint study conducted by the everywoman in Tech community and Bupa reveals that 39% of women in technology identify the imposter phenomenon and a deficit of female role models as their primary obstacles to career progression. This shortage of role models is felt uniformly, from entry-level positions to the C-suite, highlighting a pervasive issue across the sector. The everywoman awards programme plays a crucial role in addressing this industry-wide need by showcasing a diverse range of talent annually.

Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founder of everywoman, stated: “As everywoman celebrates its 25th anniversary we are reminded that the impact role models have remains as powerful today as when we started. Role models serve not just as beacons of achievement, but also as tangible proof that success is attainable, providing a roadmap that others can use to navigate their career progression. We congratulate this year’s winners, who are a powerful group of role models that embody what women in tech want to see more of and our male allies who have a critical role to play in changing the landscape of technology.”

The prestigious 2024 Bupa everywoman Woman of the Year Award was bestowed upon Asia Sharif, a Software Engineer, Public Speaker, and Engineering Mentor at NatWest, based in Manchester.

Asia is a multi-award-winning software engineer and an advocate for diversity & inclusion within the tech industry. Transitioning from a non-tech role to becoming a software engineer at NatWest Bank, she is a trailblazing mentor guiding over 70 women on their tech journeys, that extends beyond technical advice, focusing on building confidence, fostering growth mindsets, and opening doors for others. As Co-Lead of the Women in Tech Committee, she tirelessly advocates for gender diversity, amplifies women's voices, and organises initiatives for equality.

One of her pioneering endeavours is the ChainVerse initiative, that aims to offer secure, simple, and affordable communication for prisoners and their loved ones. This showcases her technical expertise and her dedication to leveraging tech for social good. Despite battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma, she continues to make a significant impact in tech, showcasing her resilience and unwavering commitment to her goals.

The 2024 category winners are

AI Champion award was presented to Nicola Martin, Head of Quality Engineering at Adarga, from London

Having worked in tech for over two decades, Nicola is a prominent developer of AI software for Defence and National Security in the UK. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion in software engineering, holding roles as BCS Council and Committee Member and Chair of the Special Interest Group in Software Testing. Her volunteering extends to mentoring, speaking, and panel events discussing topics such as AI and bias, quality, software testing, and diversity in tech. This year, she was nominated in the UKTech50 long list, and previously in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK Tech List (Top 50), Diverse in Change Maker List 2023 and won the Women in Tech Excellence - Role Model in Tech (Highly Commended) Award.

Apprentice award – sponsored by SSE – was presented to Roisin Goodman, QA Engineer at Kainos, from Belfast

Roisin joined Kainos as an Apprentice Software Engineer in 2018, fresh from completing her A-Levels. In a remarkably short space of time, she has displayed outstanding proficiency and evolved into a test engineer, contributing to the quality of code in the SMART product, and spearheading the development of a cutting-edge website for Beltech. Beyond this, Roisin actively nurtures young talent in the industry, with a particular focus on empowering young women, by organizing workshops, mentoring initiatives, and summer code camps. She is now responsible for recruiting internal mentors for newcomers within Kainos.

CTO/CIO of the Year award – sponsored by Accenture – awarded to Sarah Cunningham, CIO at ARM, from Cambridge

Starting her career on a help-desk and working her way up to one of Arm’s top female executives, Sarah is dedicated to empowering women to advance in the tech. Throughout her tenure at Arm, she has spearheaded the formation of a significantly more diverse IT leadership team, achieving a 60/40 gender ratio (female to male). While 19.3% of Arm’s workforce identifies as female, a figure Sarah views as progress, albeit insufficient – she is committed to fostering greater gender diversity within the company. She has experience in international assignments and supporting journalists in war zones, natural disasters, and events such as the Olympics and Oscars. Sarah is also dyslexic which she believes has positively contributed to her success.

Cyber Security award – sponsored by BAE Systems – awarded to Lisa Ventura MBE, Founder of Cyber Security Unity, from Worcester

Lisa is an award-winning cyber security specialist, writer, and speaker. She is the Founder of Cyber Security Unity, a global community organisation that is dedicated to bringing individuals and organisations together who actively work in cyber security to help combat the growing cyber threat. Lisa is also a mindset and mental health coach and offers help and support to those affected by stress, burnout, bullying/abuse, and mental health issues in cyber security and Infosec.

Digital Star award – awarded to Rose Ulldemolins, Embark Tech School Lead at Lloyds Banking Group, from Edinburgh

Since being reskilled Rose has done a variety of tech roles, from a full-stack Engineer to Engineering Community Lead and now to Tech School Lead. With a passion for I&D, she Co-Chairs a 1,700 strong network ‘Women ConnecTech’, whose aim is to improve gender diversity in the industry. This included running a programme to upskill over 100 colleagues to be able to code. Following its success, she is now re-running this for over 250 people. Rose is relentless in her pursuit of gender equality, and fearlessly shares her vulnerabilities to establish safe and supportive environments where women can share their experiences and strive for excellence.

Digital Transformation Leader award – sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group – awarded to Jo Tanner, Business Consultant at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, from London

Jo is known for her inspirational leadership style, engaging with colleagues and peers to offer insightful and constructive support and guidance, and has always been passionate about unlocking women’s potential and helping them succeed. She has worked in various industries, including finance, pharmaceuticals, and the public sector. Jo established the first regional Women’s Development Association at a global bank and drove changes through a “Women in Leadership” programme. She is also developing a school programme to prepare future generations for careers in cyber security.

Entrepreneur award – sponsored by Howden – awarded to Victoria Johnson, CEO at VetCT, from Cambridge

Victoria is a successful tech entrepreneur behind VetCT, offering vet-to-specialist teleconsulting, teleradiology services, and innovative educational approaches for veterinary medicine. With a team of more than 280 people in 23 countries, they are striving to enhance the veterinary world by providing trusted knowledge, support, and reassurance at the point of need. Her commitment to patient care and supporting her team and fellow women in the field stands out, especially in a predominantly male-led industry.

Innovator award – sponsored by American Express – awarded to Katie King, CEO at BioOrbit Ltd, from London/Bristol

BioOrbit is a ground-breaking space company on a mission to establish a pharmaceutical factory in microgravity, bridging the health and space sectors. This innovative venture aims to transform cancer drug manufacturing, allowing patients to self-administer medication at home, similar to insulin injections for diabetics, rather than being hospitalized. This improves patient’s quality of life, reduces drug administration costs by 90% and extends drug patents by up to 10 years. Katie is also passionate about encouraging more women and young girls into STEM careers, working with Tech She Can throughout her PhD and continues to do so five years on – teaching children throughout Covid and voicing animations ‘Katie and Tex’.

Leader award – sponsored HSBC – awarded to Kate Bohn, CIO at, from London

With 10-years in the world of Arts and Academia, followed by over 22 years in well-known Financial Services (FS) institutions, Kate is a self-confessed ‘accidental’ leader, strategist, and innovator for FinTech, with several FS Industry awards under her belt. In recent years, she worked extensively with start-ups and scale-ups on known and emerging FS challenges, having a broad range of contacts and knowledge in the innovation and transformation space. She is a champion of workplace diversity and psychological safety and is Global Head of Private Markets Tech and EMEA CIO at Macquarie Asset Management.

One to Watch award – sponsored by Computacenter – awarded to Jiya Mehta, Student at Watford Grammar School for Girls, from London

Jiya is a Year 12 student who, in 2021 during lockdown, founded STEM Medley an award-winning initiative that aims to encourage today’s youth into STEM and bridge the gender gap in the industry. STEM Medley has hosted numerous international hackathons and competitions, and with over 2,000 Instagram followers, she aims to expand to TikTok to reach a younger audience, believing it could have a significant impact. Jiya also serves as a regional consultant for the Stemettes youth board and is present on the Girlguiding advocate panel, utilizing these roles to enhance the lives of girls and young women nationwide.

Male Agent of Change award – sponsored by Centrica – awarded to Ian Black, Head of Technology Change & Digital Practices at The Coventry Building, from Coventry

With over 30 years’ experience in senior leadership roles, including 16 years at Coventry Building Society, Ian has long been dedicated to promoting DE&I activities, playing a pivotal role in extending these initiatives across various departments and forging partnerships with external institutions. His leadership has resulted in tangible improvements, for example the Chief Information and Digital Officer department now boasts a significant 32% representation of female team members. Ian has also expanded the DE&I beyond gender, directing attention to other minority groups, thus fostering a more inclusive environment across the organisation.

Rising Star award – sponsored by – awarded to Hafsa Hersi, Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture, from London

Coming from a background in Social Care, Hafsa transition into the tech consulting industry has been characterized by a unique blend of empathy, compassion, and user-centric perspectives. Specialising in service and user-centred design, she digitally transforms healthcare with a people-centric approach. Engaged in D&I communities at Accenture, Hafsa is also dedicated to guiding peers, ensuring excellence in their careers, fostering access to an inclusive workplace, and founded Accenture’s Somali Group, cultivating a sense of belonging among 80 colleagues. Her commitment to inclusivity and driving patient-centred outcomes has been recognised by multiple awards.

Software Engineer award – sponsored by Discover – awarded to Shalini Jain, Senior Software Engineer at Preqin, from London

Shalini works for Preqin in the Data Management Platform team where she is responsible for building efficient and scalable systems for the fin-tech applications. With 6 years’ experience working in different domains, such as healthcare, bio-tech and fin-tech, she is a distinguished figure in her field. An active member of Women in Tech, she has been as a guest speaker at numerous events in India, encouraging women to break stereotypes and thrive in tech. She was also recognised in the top 1% of Mentor in October 2023 by ADPList for her work guiding people in engineering and has been chosen as Alumni Mentor by Queen Mary, University of London to offer guidance to underprivileged students to help them achieve in tech.

Team Leader award – sponsored by DS Smith – awarded to Lydia Balogun-Wilson, Regional Engineering Authority at BP, from London

Lydia ensures technical assurance for a regional operation encompassing nine platforms, including one of the world’s largest oil and gas terminals. Committed to mentoring the younger generation, Lydia is a STEM NET UK ambassador, where she advocates for the significance of science and engineering. Lydia also leads the BP chapter of the Black Collectives framework, dedicated to advancing black ethnic minorities within the company. She is a fellow with the Institution of Chemical Engineers, member of the Energy Institute, and runs a non-for-profit organisation, with her husband called Lydia Wilson Foundation.

Tech for Good award – sponsored by RS Group – awarded to Keisha Garcia, VP Technical Programme Management and Digital Foundations at BP, from Houston, USA

Keisha leads the delivery of modern, secure, and compliant digital operations in service of net zero ambitions, to deliver sustainable solutions at pace for customers, driving adjacencies in new digital business and deploying integrated capability in service of BP’s reinvent ambitions. She has an unwavering commitment to social enterprise and DE&I, having successfully implemented a Fellowship programme in three universities, recruiting up to 45 students over the five-year pilot. The programme covers three years of university expenses and offers successful candidates employment opportunities at BP. Keisha received the 2020-21 Golden Torch Outstanding Woman in Technology from the National Society of Black Engineers, was featured in the Empower Ethnic Minority Executives Role Model List 2021 and was a 2020 Finalist for IT Team of the Year, Women in IT Awards.

Yolande Young, CISO at Bupa Global & UK, comments: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners of the Bupa everywoman in Technology Awards. It’s testament to their achievements and the positions they hold, not just within technology, but also as positive and inspirational role models and leaders. The standard of entries was extremely high, reflecting the wealth of female talent in our industry. Everyone who was nominated should be extremely proud of their achievements. At Bupa we’re committed to ensuring that women are fully supported to fulfil their career ambitions. It was an honour to meet so many brave, caring, and responsible leaders who are working towards a bright future for our industry.”

With this year’s theme ‘Empower. Transform. Thrive.’, the 2024 Bupa everywoman in Technology Awards ceremony and dinner took place at The Park Plaza in London on 14 March 2024, after the annual everywoman in Technology Forum, where they welcomed over 600 tech industry leaders and stars.

Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2024 Electronic Specifier