On 24th October this wee developer stepped out of her converse and in to some heels and to attend the Scotland Women in Tech awards. A chance to wear a nice dress and meet other women in tech? I’m in!
After the success of last years awards the SWiT team made the event even bigger and better, from the very instagrammable #SWiT lighting to the music entertainment and of course the celebrations of amazing women in tech.
The award categories cover the pipeline of women in tech, from teachers inspiring the next generations, to women just starting their career, to leaders and CEOs at the top of the tech industry being role models to us all. I was lucky enough to find myself nominated for 2 awards: Inspirational Women of the Year and Gender Diversity Champion. To say I was shocked would be an understatement and I genuinely wasn’t expecting one, nevermind two, nominations! To those who nominated me, thank you.
On the evening, we were treated to a lovely 3 course meal… if not for the award (spoilers) that caramel apple crumble might have been my highlight of the night, y’all know I have a sweet tooth! Then after a cuppa tea, it was on to the awards.
As part of the judging panel for the other categories, I was amazed and totally inspired by the stories of women doing incredible things here in Scotland that have an impact further a field. In the words of Beyonce… who runs the world, girls! (well, Scottish girls to be be accurate).
To have been awarded the “Inspirational Women of the Year” award in a category (and an entire room) of talented, brilliant women was a bit overwhelming if I am honest. My first concern was not to fall on way up to collect the award and then I had to double check the name on the award to make sure I actually heard my name and not just done a Kanye and invaded the stage. Luckily for me, I stayed on my feet and the award was in fact for me.
Confession: the impostor feelings have been strong since the awards. Me? Inspirational? Definitely not. However, they way I see it… if i can do it, anyone can. If it makes even one other wee girl from the east end of Glasgow realise tech is a place for her, then I am happy.
So here is my Oscar style speech… I wouldn’t have done this without my amazingly supportive family & friends, my work colleagues at Equator or the amazing tech communities I am lucky enough to have been welcomed into: Umbraco, Ladies of Code and the wider Scottish development community. To everyone who has sent a message, tweeted or said well done in person - thank you and big hugs.
Here is the list of amazing winners on the night:
* Employer of the Year: JP Morgan
* Rising Star: Tayyaba Nafees
* Gender Diversity Champion: Sandra Cairncross
* Leader of the Year: Sheryl Newman
* Technology Champion in Education: Dr Amanda Ford
* Gender Aware Recruiter of the Year: JP Morgan
* Secondary Teacher of the Year: Toni Scullion
*Primary Teacher of the Year: Lorna Hay
Super well done to everyone, you are all doing amazing things! And to team SWiT, who run these events aswell as doing their day jobs, thank you and well done. You are championing and giving a voice to people who otherwise might not get the chance. I look forward to next year already to celebrate another year of women techies and their achievements.
Some other sources to hear about the evening: