Women in IT Awards Asia is a part of the Women in IT Awards Series that has made its mark in Ireland, San Francisco, New York and London. Before heading to Berlin, Bucharest and Toronto, it landed in Singapore. Organised by Information Age, one of the most respected technology titles in the B2B scene as well as the UK’s leader in the UK IT thought leadership, this event was seeking to tackle technology’s diversity issues. It is apparent that even today, women are scarcely represented in this vibrant and exciting industry.

We at FESO Asia were privileged to attend the very first Women in IT Awards Asia 2019 gala which aims to recognise the gender imbalance within the tech sector by showcasing the achievements of women in the sector and identifying new role models. Not only that, to sponsor in support of what we truly believe in, women empowerment and the movement of technology has always been the foundation of all that we do.

One of the highlights of the night (other than the awards) was the keynote address by the Minister of Manpower and Second Minister of Home Affairs. We would like to highlight some of them here because, wow, it was inspiring and also serves as a wake-up call for us, the women in the industry.

“The accomplishments of women in the technology industry are tremendous and worth celebrating. While there are challenges ahead where workplace culture would be increasingly impacted by technology, there has also never been a greater time of opportunity to chart a new path forward to support career mobility for women in the tech industry. I call on all tech bosses to take the lead in finding a new right balance so that women can be empowered to fulfil all of their aspirations for their families, their passions, their careers and their lives.”

We love how even as we chase success, we are still deemed worthy as caregivers to our families. It is not mutually exclusive and hence, we should embrace this responsibility as part of our capability as a woman.

The auditorium fell silent to her unravelling of the DNA of women in Singapore that has already been etched in history – women that have the capacity to succeed through technology and globalisation and not forgetting the urge to seek out motherhood to care and nurture the next generation.

She called out the type of workplace culture that should be imitated – urging tech bosses to allow employees to take time off to ward off burnout, to implement progressive human resource policies and also to recognise that it is important for employees to look into family affairs first.

We are so proud that our community is being supported, not just in this country but also globally – that we women can stand together, to march on, as we make break barriers in a sector often dominated by men, not to master over them but to provide a beautiful sync to what technology can give to the world.

Of course, the grand agenda for the night was the awards given to 14 excellent players in the field, chosen from 250 nominations. We believe everyone nominated is already a winner, and to see so many women participate in the sector in Asia, we were beyond amazed!

Here are the winners:

Advocate of the Year goes to Priyanka Ashraf of ConsenSys for her holistic approach to empower women in STEM.

Business Leader of the Year goes to Anneliese Schulz of Software AG as she powers the company to reach even greater heights in a period of rapid digital transformation while practising inclusivity and diversity.

CIO of the Year goes to Tan Sor Hoon of Government Technology Agency for her clear and consistent digital initiatives that have impacted ICA and Singapore positively.

Data Leader of the Year goes to Nelly Jimron of MatchMove Pay for her data clarity in her tech projects.

Digital Leaders of the Year goes to Anamika Talwar of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services for initiating many digital firsts in her company and Juliana Chua of NTUC Income for bringing change within a traditional insurance firm, digitalising NTUC.

Diversity Initiative of the Year goes to She Loves Data for their universal and highly accessible programmes have the admirable quality of making technology and data less intimidating.

Employer of the Year goes to J.P. Morgan for supporting diversity in general and also in women in terms of a unified and comprehensive focus on D&I at every level.

Entrepreneur of the Year goes to Joelle Pang of FastJobs Asia for paving the way for women in technology by demonstrating impressive entrepreneurship through her various startups.

Future CIO of the Year goes to Annie An Dongmei of Amazon Web Services for her innovative approach and openness for new ideas has granted her great exposure to different key platforms.

IT Team of the Year goes to Citibank under the leadership of Meggy Chung for their impressive work on Big Data and it’s capabilities.

Security Champion of the Year goes to Jiahui Tang of Google for making the web a slightly safer place through her exciting initiatives in pushing the frontier of cybersecurity.

Transformation Leader of the Year goes to Ayten Ozenc of Toll Group for changing the company’s project culture on a global scale.

Woman of the Year goes to Carolyn Chin-Parry, who has mentored many women in IT, being a role model to women and supporting them across the board.

Young Leader of the Year Award goes to Leeyoung Song for establishing a QA process, test strategy, and test success metrics from zero as there was no internal QA team previously and she is just in her 20’s.

It is moments in events like this that gear us up to move forward, as an individual, as a company and as a community. There will surely be roadblocks along the way, but being there to see the power of women being put on stage, we believe that whatever comes our way, it is a detour toward a better future – we just have to forge on with our goals in mind.

Author: Rachel


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