A host of exceptional women working in Northern Ireland’s tech industry were celebrated at the 2023 Women in Tech Awards, which took place on Thursday evening at Belfast’s Europa Hotel.
Over 300 guests from all business sectors came together to recognise and reward the innovative individuals who have achieved great success within the local tech sector, which now accounts for more than one in seven jobs in Northern Ireland according to Tech Nation.
The gala awards evening, hosted by Sarah Travers, honoured seven amazing women and one inspiring male advocate who together have pushed forward the boundaries of what’s possible across the broad spectrum of technology.
The Outstanding Woman in Tech 2023 award, sponsored by VANRATH, was presented to Colette Kidd, Chief People Officer at Kainos, whose 15 years of experience and ongoing contribution to the wider industry received special recognition on the night. During Colette’s time as Chief People Officer, Kainos has grown from 200 staff to a 3,000-person organisation spanning 22 countries.
The Women in Tech 2023 award winners are:
C Level Woman of the Year (sponsored by PwC)
• Faye Thomas – Vyta
Digital Transformation Leader of the Year (sponsored by Core Systems)
• Charlene McDonald – Kainos
Returner of the Year (sponsored by Aflac Northern Ireland)
• Josephine Harper – Version 1
Tech Advocate of the Year (sponsored by Fujitsu)
• Claire Nixon – Realtime Recruitment
Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Allstate Northern Ireland)
• Laura Haldane – SciLeads
Male Advocate of the Year (sponsored by Version 1)
• David Collins – First Derivative
Green Impact Award (sponsored by Danske Bank)
• Faye Thomas – Vyta
One to Watch in the Future (sponsored by BT)
• Emma McClenaghan – Genysys Engine
Tech Team of the Year (sponsored by Realtime)
• Jackie Crooks & Joanne O’Doherty – Kinsetsu
Outstanding Woman in Tech 2023 (sponsored by VANRATH)
• Colette Kidd – Kainos
Roseann Kelly, CEO of the WIB Group, commented: “It’s a real honour to be in the room with the best and brightest minds working in our tech industry today. Now in its second year, our Women in Tech Awards seek to platform those inspiring individuals leading the way in Northern Ireland’s tech sector, helping to encourage the next generation to strive towards not only achieving their goal, but challenging outdated industry stereotypes across NI and beyond. Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and finalists.”
Barbara McKiernan, Managing Director at VANRATH, sponsors of the Outstanding Woman in Tech 2023, added: “VANRATH are honoured to be the headline sponsor of the highly anticipated Women in Tech Awards, having worked alongside Women in Business for many years. As proud sponsors of the Outstanding Woman in Tech category, we are thrilled to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our local women who are truly making a difference in the dynamic tech industry. Among the outstanding individuals recognised, Colette Kidd’s unwavering dedication, innovation, and resilience have set a remarkable example for us all. Colette’s journey serves as a beacon of inspiration not only for women but for every individual and business striving for excellence in their respective fields.”
Lorna McAdoo, Group Director of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) and NI Lead at Version 1, sponsors of the Male Advocate of the Year Award, added: “We were delighted to welcome back NI’s Women in Tech Awards again this year. It was another amazing night focused on celebration, recognition and reward and this year’s ceremony was another testament to the incredible female tech talent here on our doorstep. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for you and your business.”