Shortlist 2022

Start-Up Founder Award

Juliet Edjere


Juliet Edjere is the CEO and co-founder of a University of Birmingham-backed startup called Maze. Maze services are designed to create a seamless transition for anyone moving from their home country to settle in the UK. The company’s focus is to connect people relocating with service providers, reduce moving costs and enable the optimization of customer journeys. Alongside her role as the CEO, Juliet is a no-code evangelist and leads product development and business strategy at Maze.
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Alliyah Khan

Our Tied Camel

Alliyah Khan is a co-founder of Our Tied Camel. Our Tied Camel is an interactive faith-based productivity advice platform designed to help students and young professionals within the Muslim community. The web application is both an Islamic productivity tool for Muslims, and a tool for employers to implement better diversity and inclusion. Our Tied Camel allows users to add daily prayer times to their work calendars, and stay connected with their faith while working, studying or going about their personal lives.
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Frankie Lewns

Bloomwise Ltd

Frankie Lewns is the CEO and co-founder of Bloomwise, a mental health consultancy business providing B2B mental health strategies to improve workplace mental health, as well as running workshops to improve mental health awareness and understanding within organisations and communities. She is also a PhD student at the University of Birmingham.
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Holly McGeown

Vault Data Ltd

Holly McGeown is a co-founder of Vault Data. Vault is on a mission to rebalance the world of data by giving control back to people and helping individuals benefit from the profit of data. They are driven by our commitment to customer satisfaction and aim to make Vault Data the number one data governance company in the UK.
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Yuting Zhao


Yuting Zhao is the founder of Gigsta, a tech start-up based in Birmingham. Gigsta is a smart staffing service platform that matches students who are looking for flexible part-time work with hospitality businesses who need temporary staff on a shift-by-shift basis. Through Gigsta, students can work part-time jobs flexibly without long-term commitment while Gigsta removes the hassle of manual HR processes for businesses. Yuting has an engineering background and has been working in the field of software development since she graduated from university.
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Apprentice Award

Amber Askey

Intercity Technology

Amber joined Intercity Technology in April 2021 as an accounts apprentice. Her role is varied as she embarks on an accountancy apprenticeship in a thriving technology business. Amber began her AAT soon after joining and is currently busy juggling academic challenges with her crucial input to the overall team. She has a real passion for the technology business and embraces a working smarter not harder ethos in the finance team.
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Claire Davies


Claire Davis began her career as a social worker. After taking 20 years off to focus on being a full-time mother, Claire decided to enroll in a 7-month bootcamp in full-stack web development at the University of Birmingham. She was then accepted into a software engineering apprenticeship at UCAS, and is now working as a software engineer helping to create the apprenticeship platform for UCAS.
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Erin Purewal

Jaguar Land Rover

Erin is a recent addition to the JLR team, joining on there DTS Degree Apprenticeship in September 2021. She completed her A levels and went straight into a 6-week data training course in the Digital department as well as starting her University course at Warwick. Her first placement has been with the Data Office, where she works as part of the Data Driven Transformation team under Chief Data Officer Clive Benford. In this role, Erin is responsible for delivering operational projects within Data Office.
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Parris Small

Jaguar Land Rover

Parris is a 3rd-year Software Engineering Degree Apprentice working for Jaguar Land Rover and studying at the University of Warwick. She is based in charging within Powertrain Engineering and her day-to-day work involves testing electric vehicles as well as software validation.
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Tara Suran


Tara is an ambitious individual with a great deal of tenacity, grit, and determination. She has shown how to work on and improve the issues around representation for ethnic minorities and women within this sector. She has shown to be a true catalyst for change by excelling in roles such as Defect Management, Software Testing, Project Management, Scrum Master, and Business Analyst.
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Rising Star Award

Caroline Brown

Goldman Sachs

Caroline graduated from Durham University with a First Class Master’s degree in Electronics and Software. She started her engineering career working as a software engineer for Rolls-Royce and joined Goldman Sachs as an associate in 2021, and was quickly promoted to Vice President in 2022.
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Bianca Caraneant

BT Group

Bianca is currently working for the BT group one of the world leading communications services companies. Bianca has come a long way in the last five years. When she first started working as a technical consultant, she had very limited knowledge of the SAP technology. However, she was determined to learn and get her hands dirty as soon as possible. Bianca's hard work and dedication has paid off, and she now holds multiple SAP certifications and received endless commendations from clients.
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Janani Prasad

Minority Supplier Development UK

Janani Prasad is a Digital Transformation Manager at MSDUK. At MSDUK, Janani works to institute organisational efficiency by facilitating digital transformation projects in alignment with strategic growth objectives.
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Malgorzata Sosnowska

Spica Technologies

Malgorzata Sosnowska is a full stack developer with over 5 years of experience. She has a proven track record in delivering key new features that have enabled customers to gain valuable insights and achieve significant reductions in their footprints. Malgorzata joined SPICA Technologies Ltd. in early 2021, and within six months she had delivered key new features allowing customers to gain and action valuable data insights, one customer achieved a footprint reduction of over 3,600m2 providing capital investment return within year 1.
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Amruta Talathi

Oxford HighQ

Amruta Talathi is a software and hardware engineer who has worked in the technology industry for over 10 years. As the main software engineer at Oxford HighQ, she successfully took the lead on developing a flexible software architecture to accommodate a brand-new technology which was initially changing on a weekly basis. This allowed them to develop their first products shipped Summer 2021, with the right software to make them user-friendly for the target market.
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Academic Award

Reham Badawy

University of Birmingham

Reham has a BSc in Neuroscience and Computer Science, and is currently doing her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Her research work has used smart tech to detect and monitor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. She is a strong advocate for women in STEM and a UK Ambassador for Women are Boring.
Visit the nominee's LinkedIn profile below for further details.
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Liz Kaufman

School of Code

Liz Kaufman is the Head of Bootcamps for the School of Code. She has been coaching people to learn tech skills and soft skills since the beginning of her career. To date, she has helped over 300 people get jobs in the industry as junior developers. Liz is passionate about helping others achieve their goals, and she looks forward to continuing to help more people learn the necessary skills to embark on a successful career in tech.
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Gillian McNab

University of Birmingham

Gillian McNab is a highly experienced immunologist with over 20 years of expertise in molecular and cellular biology research into cancer, diabetes, lung, liver and reproductive health. She currently works as a Clinical Trials Consultant at the University of Birmingham, and also holds the position of Research Fellow within the DEMAND Hub programme. Gillian liaises with SME's who have an idea or technology they would like to take into the healthcare market.
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Constance Rudman

Jaguar Land Rover

Connie Rudman is currently an apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover, working within the Body Engineering team. She started her apprenticeship in 2018 and is studying for an Applied Engineering Degree part-time at Warwick University. Connie used VBA coding to create a Design Integration Guide (DIG) for car Interior Lighting that is similar to an interactive Bill of Design.
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Komali Yenneti

University of Wolverhampton

Dr Komali Yenneti is a Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton. She has a PhD in Geography from the University of Birmingham. Over the past two years she has published several high-impact journal articles and an edited book, delivered over 10 invited talks, and organised over 10 seminars and workshops. Vote Now

Tech for Good Award

Dominika Bolon

Meka Toys

Dominika Bolon is the Chief Operating Officer at Meka toys. Meka toys is an educational gaming site that teaches children about cultural heritage, coding and building a strong foundation for academic success. She is a young entrepreneur who has thrived in an industry that enables her to constantly develop into an exceptional leader.
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Suzanne Edwards


Suzanne Edwards is the Founder and Director of Tamworth-based Enlighten. It initially focused on eLearning creation but developed quickly into an emerging tech company, with a particular focus on augmented reality (AR) and its practical application. Enlighten plans to continue its innovative work in the mental health field.
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Michelle Ohren

West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre

Michelle Ohren is the Director at West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre. Michelle has thrived in this specialist business and is helping SME's week in, week out through her understanding of cyber risks and her skills at networking effectively across Policing, Academia and the private sector.
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Natalie Scarlett

Black Heritage Support Service

Natalie is a social entrepreneur and the Director of BHSS. Natalie has been using tech to educate and advocate for the black community since lock down 2020. Natalie was alarmed at the high rates of death in the community so she created a service that would educate the black community on how to implement safeguarding measure and how to use the advocacy service as a support mechanism.
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Shweta Singh

Warwick Business School

Shweta Singh is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Management at the Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and social media. Dr. Singh's current research focus is on designing a novel AI which can behave like humans to spot and tag harmful content that is linked to self-harm, suicide, cyberbullying, anorexia, and hate speech.
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Innovator Award

Paula Bedborough

Secure Socialising

Paula Bedborough is the director of Secure Socialising. Secure Socialising develops new technology-based solutions for the nighttime economy to enhance customer safety, improve customer experiences and business profitability. Her aim is to help people have a great time in as safe an environment as possible, which is why she has developed a system of keyless, smart lockers so that people can safely store their belongings and charge their phones.
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Dongli Li


Dongli Li is the Founder and VP of Technology at gaitQ. The company has developed a unique wearable device to help people with Parkinson's overcome debilitating walking difficulties and remain active for longer. Vote Now

Wendy Merricks

Jumar Solutions

Wendy Merricks is the CEO of Jumar Solutions. Jumar is a leading technology and recruitment business, with Microsoft Gold Partner status, delivering large and small IT projects to clients across five continents and supporting clients across the public sector, financial services and insurance.
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Samara Sydney

REPL Group

Samara Sydney is a Senior Manager at REPL group and has 17 years’ experience working globally across tech consulting and industry. REPL Group, Part of Accenture, is a world-leading consultancy and technology group specialising in workforce management, supply chain, customer experience and enterprise systems.
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Sophie Thompson

Virtual Speech

Sophie co-founded VirtualSpeech in 2016 as a way to overcome her fear of public speaking. She realised that VR was uniquely positioned to help people practice skills in a safe environment and build their skills and confidence for real-world situations. In just 18 months of using VR, Sophie went from being too anxious to order food at a restaurant to being interviewed live on BBC World News. Sophie’s journey with VirtualSpeech has been featured in a number of media outlets and she has won awards such as 'Inspirational Woman in Tech' for her achievements with the company. Sophie’s first-hand experience has led to her specialising in the benefits and processes of learning with VR and using VR as a tool for effective immersive learning.
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Project Delivery Lead Award

Grace Campbell

2022 Commonwealth Games

Leanne Freer


Prof Nicola Wilkin

University of Birmingham

Sam Proctor

Knight Frank

Sam has over 10 years of experience working within Technology across a diverse range of transformational projects and programmes ranging from end-to-end process and system redesign through to implementation of regulatory based projects and introduction of new capabilities such as Robotic Process Automation and machine learning. She has led Process and Technology project workstreams across organisations and has worked across a multitude of sectors, including Utilities, Automotive, Rail and now in her current role within Real Estate Consultancy as the BA Practice Lead at Knight Frank. Sam is well known for her ability to drive innovative solutions. Her success in project delivery is underpinned by her methodical approach and an emphasis on process re-engineering as a catalyst for change, with both customer and user experience at the forefront of all future designs. This approach is further reinforced by a drive to deliver demonstrable and measurable benefits for the business and for the customer. She has worked for Knight Frank for 2 years, starting as a Process Consultant before being selected to create the Business Analysis capability, leading a team of 15 and setting the BA standards across Knight Frank. Sam is passionate about encouraging women to enter the industry and acts on this in her professional capacity to ensure representation and diversity, as well as supporting and coaching those earlier in their careers. Outside of her professional responsibilities, Sam has long been part of volunteer mentorship programs which both provide a channel for those who have not yet broken into technology through to those who are actively influencing and challenging the Tech landscape.
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Swati Sharda

Jaguar Land Rover

Shining Star Award

Nicola Brown

Jaguar Land Rover

Kelly Bywater


Kate Goodhart

Jaguar Land Rover

Bal Lola

REPL Group

Esha Mahadkar

Secret Mode

Tech Professional (Non-coding) Award

Sarah Dowzell

Natural HR

Sarah Dowzell is chief operating officer and co-founder of Natural HR, Sarah oversees the wider operations of the business while retaining a key role in customer success — a unique selling point for the brand. Rather than minimising her role in setting up the business — a stereotypical trait for women in positions of power — Sarah is clear and open about her accomplishments. Recognising that her drive and determination to succeed are key components of the company’s growing success, she is proud of her journey.
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Victoria Place

REPL Group

Julie Teague

Lightbox Digital

Alice Williams

Jaguar Land Rover

Having started her career at Jaguar Land Rover in Global Purchasing Alice joined the Intelligent Automation team in 2017 after working as a subject matter expert for an RPA project. Since then, she has gone on to lead products using Intelligent Automation and analytics capabilities delivering significant value to JLR. Earlier this year Alice was promoted to a Discovery Manager role, responsible for converting complex business problems into Digital solutions and managing the portfolio value of Industrial Operations transformation pillars. Alice is an advocate for D&I and has recently set up a Women in Digital group to support her colleagues in tech.

Helen Winter

Fusion Practices

Helen Winter has been the Programme Director at Fusion Practices for the last 2 years. She works across their portfolio with our clients to shape large programmes of work on transformational programmes along with running product teams. She has a global book deal with Kogan page who are the largest publisher of management books. The Business analysis handbook has been a finalist in 2 major industry awards and has been on the best seller list with Amazon. Helen provides thought leadership in the areas of business analysis, project and programme management. She has also spoken across these topics at European conferences and on webinars along with her online magazine where she has written over 100 articles. She has also shared her knowledge through other mediums and for professional associations such as the British Computing Society (BCS), International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Associate of project management (APM) and Project management institute (PMI). Helen took a brand-new software product called Grants Now to market from scratch – built business case, built the team up, set up the approach, mentored the team in agile, created a roadmap and pitched built product to target markets on a global scale. All this was achieved in 12 months. She engaged one of the largest insurance companies in the UK and turned it into a Fusion Practices largest client. She took it from a team of 2 consultants to over 50 by building up rapport and gaining the trust of senior management. She went on to deliver a data hub platform enabling a 70% reduction in the time the client spent on collating inputs, data remediation and manual checking. She won two major accounts worth 1.1 million in the last 6 months by leading on the bid responses, identifying win themes and presenting to the prospects.

Tech Entrepreneur Award

Paula Bedborough

Secure Socialising

Paula Bedborough is the founder of Secure Socialising, a start-up that is developing technology to help people socialize safely. Paula has a background in keeping people safe, having worked as a door supervisor and then training thousands of security operatives. "I love seeing people have a great time safely and not becoming a victim of crime. We are carrying increasingly valuable possessions with us that can have a devasting impact on our lives if they are stolen. So I have developed a system of keyless, smart lockers with phone charging so you can have a great, stress-free day or night out, and keep connected to your friends and family." This new innovation has involved a significant amount of research and Paula has built a team from scratch to develop the software, hardware, and IT. The product has been successfully trialed and soon be keeping customers safe in a national high street chain of bars.
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Sarah Dowzell

Natural HR

Sarah Dowzell is chief operating officer and co-founder of Natural HR, Sarah oversees the wider operations of the business while retaining a key role in customer success — a unique selling point for the brand. Rather than minimising her role in setting up the business — a stereotypical trait for women in positions of power — Sarah is clear and open about her accomplishments. Recognising that her drive and determination to succeed are key components of the company’s growing success, she is proud of her journey.
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Gaynor Matthews

My Nexus

Gaynor is a serial entrepreneur and investor who developed the myNexus platform, an Entrepreneurial Eco-System. The platform uses game-based assessment to validate entrepreneurial potential.

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Best Use Of Tech In A Public/private Sector Project Award

Advanced Prototyping Facility

Aston University

The Advanced Prototyping Facility (APF) project encourages and supports small businesses in the West Midlands to use 3D printing, which is also called additive manufacturing. On a large scale the technique has been used within sectors as diverse as healthcare to print face shields, to aviation in producing aircraft components, to fashion to create trainer insoles. The process can make parts and products faster, cheaper, lighter, and more sustainably. Aston University’s APF brings this technology, which is usually only affordable to large companies, to West Midlands small to medium enterprises (SMEs). These benefit from using 3D printing in product development where it can be used to create prototypes that reduce the risk expensive tooling mistakes during the design process, as well as reducing the time to validate a design. Although project is new has already provided significant support for many female innovators and business leaders from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region. Below example with the enterprise feedback. Inspire-a-Doll Aston University has been at the forefront of using 3D printing, especially with the early adopters of the technology in the medical sectors, for example in the orthopaedic field.

Jo Darby

Commonwealth Games 2022

Jo Darby led the Digital Media team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, responsible for all consumer-facing digital channels. Their data, insights, and software helped sell over 1.5 million tickets, recruit over 14,000 volunteers and launch one very bright, cheeky mascot, Perry the bull, deploying an Instagram filter so fans could #PoseWithPerry. Jo was instrumental in scoping and deploying a website and app, focusing on accessibility to encourage inclusion for all site users and automation to ensure content and results were delivered promptly. In addition, a robust, data-rich CRM enabled invaluable research, powerful segmentation, modelling, and relevant communications. During Games-time, the team delivered world-class, world-leading and cost-effective content across channels ( #1 global digital sports property in the first week of August 2022). This resulted in 154 million impressions, 78 million video views, and 3.8 million posts about the Games globally and encouraged over half the UK to watch the Birmingham 2022. In the Games-time period, Birmingham 2022 recorded more social video views than any leading sports property in the world, ahead of Barcelona (51m), Ronaldo (40.9m), F1 (39.4m), Man Utd. (31m), Real Madrid (23m) and even Kim Kardashian (15m)! The social channels, CRM data, website and app, which started from a zero base point, will now be handed over to the next host region (Victoria, Australia) and have created an incredible digital legacy and blueprint for future Commonwealth Games. Jo is incredibly proud to have been part of a Commonwealth Games which was the most attended ever, featured a fully integrated para-sports programme, more medal events for women than men and, for the first time, Women's Cricket T20 (she's a huge Cricket fan).
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Wise is an onboarding software that helps companies engage a self-employed workforce. Stay HMRC compliant and grow your business with a full suite of tools. The Wise mission is to improve self-employment, for both the individual and the companies that engage them, through technology and services.
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Samantha Robertson

NTT Data

Sam joined the consulting team at NTT DATA after 11 years delivering technology strategy and change in the Third Sector at War Child UK, The Prince’s Trust, Prince’s Trust International and British Red Cross. She has relished how much our two sectors have in common and found consulting a natural extension of her skillset. Sam has done an outstanding job in leading a project for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, (FCDO) that will help save and protect the lives of British Citizens. The project she has led will enable the UK Government to accurately know where British Citizens are abroad, which is critical information in the event of a crisis, in Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc.

Qurat Ulain

West Midlands Fire Service

Tech has always been my passion which continued to grow more and more with time. I have achieved a First Class BSc honours degree in Computer Science from Birmingham City University. Soon after I started my journey as an IT consultant for a consultancy firm called Crimson where I helped numerous clients to adapt Microsoft 365 technologies. Few years later, I joined forces with West Midlands Trains as an Office 365 and SharePoint Developer where I modernised their existing IT solutions and digitalised their paper-based solutions to make best use of technology. In year 2020, I joined WMFS and being involved in great projects including redesigning and modernising their project management system called 3PT and built numerous other solutions for business to ease their day-to-day activities. I’ve also been involved in migration of large data from old to new solutions. Sadly, there aren’t many women in the field of IT but the number has been growing with years which is a positive change. Being the only women in the team of all men encourages me to achieve more so I can inspire other women. I feel proud as women in my friends and family circle has also started to gain an interest in the tech field after seeing my passion and progression. I aim to continue to make a difference in the world of IT as a woman.
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