The COVID-19 pandemic has seen digital transformation go from a nice-to-have to must almost overnight, says B&T editor-in-chief David Hovenden. To add to this, it has also led to the biggest shift in consumption habits of a lifetime and has seen many media businesses forced to change their entire business model.

Technology is transforming industries all around the world—and none more so than the media and marketing sector.

Driving this technological change are talented and creative individuals that understand how technology can be used to help the industry progress. Unfortunately, technology remains a heavily male-dominated industry.

Hovenden told Which-50 “when we launched this event last year we were completely overwhelmed with the number and calibre of entries. There is good reason to believe the Australian tech industry has a bright future so long as it continues to attract and retain women as accomplished as those we saw enter last year.

“The fact we ran the awards presentation last year for Women Leading Tech virtually, thanks to our seemingly constant companion COVID 19, was just one example of how adversity is bringing out the best in this industry. Virtual attendance was amazing and the buzz generated afterwards of social was terrific.”

According to the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard from 2019, only 17 per cent of ICT specialists are women, while women in ICT earn 19 per cent less than men on average.

To help create the change that is needed to address these inequalities, we’re bringing back our Women Leading Tech Awards again in 2021. By recognising all of the brilliant female tech talent in our industry, B&T hopes that these women will no longer be excluded from the conversation.

David Hovenden said: “When the world is being swallowed by software, we think it’s important that the digital world isn’t created purely by white men.

“The Women Leading Tech awards was launched last year to celebrate the women already making a difference to the gender imbalance in the ever-expanding industry.

“Our hope is other women and particularly young girls who see those leading in the industry will be inspired to join it.”

Like last year, B&T’s panel of industry-leading judges will be handing out awards for Advocacy, Data Science, Design, Engineering, Entrepreneur/Founder, Executive Leader, Marketing, Mentor, Product, and Sales.

There are also a couple of new categories in 2021, to recognise those who are working to build female technology capabilities at the educational level. The new Education Provider category is open to any tertiary education provider offering STEM based degrees or courses, and has demonstrated a holistic and long-term commitment to the recruitment and retention of female students.

Meanwhile, the Education/Research category is open to women who are currently in roles such as lecturing, researching or teaching within a technology discipline at either high school, tertiary or post-graduate levels.

The Women Leading Tech Awards will take place at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, on Tuesday, 20 April.

Entries for the event close at 5pm on Monday, 1 March, while late entries close at 5pm on Monday, 8 March.

B&T will be releasing its shortlist for the Women Leading Tech Awards on Thursday, 1 April.

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