The annual FDM everywoman in Technology Awards have opened for nominations for 2021. The awards aim to celebrate the tech industry’s most exceptional talent, from the UK and beyond, creating role models to inspire the next generation of tech stars. Companies and individuals are invited to put forward candidates for categories recognising all stages of the career journey until October 12, 2020.

The COVID-19 lockdown has thrown the technology industry into the spotlight as businesses of all sizes had to rapidly adapt to supporting a remote workforce. Digital communications platforms and project management technologies overnight became a vital lifeline to keeping businesses functioning. Indeed, recent research has found that COVID-19 accelerated UK digital transformation efforts by over five years. As a different world takes shape, the demands on the technology sector will only increase as organisations look to longer term strategies to re-assess and re-prioritise digital portfolios.

It is therefore crucial that the industry continues to attract an exceptional and diverse workforce. However, currently only 23% of people working in STEM in the UK are women, and women hold just 5% of leadership roles in the technology industry. What’s more, just 3% of women cite a career in technology as their first choice.

Further research carried out by everywoman found that a lack of role models for young girls is a significant factor in the gender imbalance in the technology industry, which makes it all the more concerning that, when asked by PWC, 78% of students couldn’t name a famous female working in tech. These findings demonstrate how the role that the awards play in promoting the tech industry and showcasing the individual achievements of women within the sector is more important than ever before.

For 2021, in recognition of the key role that technology has played in this extraordinary year, three new categories have been announced. The Digital Transformation Leader Award will celebrate a female leader who has led the digital transformation of an organisation; The Tech for Good Award will recognise a woman who is driving forward an initiative that uses tech for good; and The CTO/CIO of the Year Award will be given to a female Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer or equivalent board level executive who demonstrates outstanding leadership and/or innovation.

Entries are open to entrepreneurs, new industry entrants and senior leaders. It is free to enter and forms can be completed here.

The 2021 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards are free to enter and the categories can be found here. The ceremony will take place in London on 25th March 2021.

Maxine Benson MBE, Co-Founder of everywoman, comments, “The 2021 everywoman in Technology Awards launch against the backdrop of a truly exceptional year, in which technology came to the rescue of many a business, allowing organisations to continue to operate even as the country was locked down. As we adjust to a new normal, it is our belief that this rapidly growing sector will offer even more extraordinary and exciting opportunities for women, particularly as new products, platform and services emerge. With FDM, our aim is that these awards are used as a platform to leverage the role models that are needed to attract the finest female talent of the future.”

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group comments, “We’re once again very proud to support these important awards which shine a spotlight on the hard work, talent and dedication of women from across the technology sector. With 2020 being such an incredibly challenging year for us all, there has never been a more important time to celebrate the ambitious entrepreneurs who drive our industry forward and inspire others to do the same. Technology has a critical role to play as we begin to rebuild the global economy and ensuring a diverse talent pipeline of digital specialists for our sector is essential to enable this to happen.”

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