Blackberry Women and Technology Awards Winners Announced

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Jackie Edwards
The winners of the first annual Women and Technology Awards have been announced and the overall winner, the “champion of champions” is Jackie Edwards, an IT lecturer from De Montfort University in the U.K. Edwards, 48, was chosen not only for her own accomplishments in academia, but because she is a champion for women in technology, having herself benefited from taking courses at De Montfort which were part of the WAIT (Women’s Access to IT) program, started in 1989.

“As a WAIT graduate myself, I became aware that women are under-represented in IT jobs so I decided to seize the opportunity to become key in promoting IT as a career! I realised that women represent half the potential workforce in the UK but they form only 22 percent of the IT workforce.

“I am passionate about the WAIT Course because I know that I have made a difference to women’s lives because of it, and want to continue to do so.”


The other winners were:

Best woman in private sector technology: Gillian Kent, MSN
Best woman in public/non-profit sector technology: Annette Vernon, Department for Constitutional Affairs
Best woman in SME technology: Vicky Reeves, Chameleon Net
Best woman in technology academia: Jackie Edwards, De Montfort University
Best woman technology mentor: Sue McDougall, IBM
Best woman technology writer: Jo Best, silicon.com
Best company advancing women in technology: Accenture
Champion of champions: Jackie Edwards

It’s wonderful to see this kind of recognition, but we all know there’s a long way to go. The fact is, women hold 50.3 percent of all management and professional positions. But only 7.9 percent of Fortune 500 top earners and 1.4 percent of Fortune 500 chief executives are women.