The 2019 Women in IT Awards and Summit in NYC

19 Apr 2019

The 2019 Women in IT Awards and Summit took place on 28 March in New York City. The event was dedicated to celebrating the talented female professionals in the tech sector and informing all who are paving the way in this field of the important current achievements in IT.

The Women in IT New York Summit was focused on the issues of emerging technologies, the role of diversity in their development, the role and achievements of women in IT, the importance of continuous professional personal development and other essential current problems. The Summit participants made a successful attempt to identify new role models and promote constructive dialogue around diversity and other IT issues among the key industry leaders and business people.

The Summit’s extensive program included interesting panel discussions and speeches. Anuradha Gali (Uber Engineering) and Jenai Marinkovic (Beyond) highlighted the benefits and challenges of AI for businesses. Catherine Devine (Business Strategy Leader, Microsoft) took part in the panel discussion on diverse and inclusive technologies. Neal O’Farrell (Founder, Schooled in Security) spoke on the necessity of attracting young female professionals to the cybersecurity sector.

The Awards ceremony was held at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Serena Sacks of Fulton County Foods was crowned as the Woman of the Year.  The judges noted that Serena had a clear impact on the education sector. She showed her students the great opportunities the tech sphere can provide to women.  Her work at the Fulton School District will certainly have a positive influence on the students’ professional orientation, their possible career choices in the IT sphere.

Niki Dowdall, Director Women in IT Global Series at Bonhill Group plc

“Women are still underrepresented in the tech industry. But collectively we can change the situation. We can inspire and promote each other, that is why these events are so important. We all agree that celebrations of talents create great excitement, so our today’s celebration will surely positively influence all women in tech.  The stories and important achievements we heard of today serve the dual purpose: to honour individuals and inspire the whole industry.”

Caryl Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA delivered the keynote address.

“UNICEF is committed to ensuring that young people are given the support they need to survive and thrive, and the use of innovative technologies has been crucial in these efforts. I’m honoured to be here to celebrate this work, to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the technology industry who use innovations to make a difference in the lives of many.”

The 2019 Women in IT Awards winners        


Advocate of the Year –                           Jill Sweeney, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

e-Skills Initiative of the Year             Tracey Welson-Rossman, TechGirlz

Young Leader of the Year                    Alicia Tambe, Facebook

Future CIO of the Year                          Rachana Kumar, Etsy, Inc.

Digital Leader of the Year                   Saskia Steinacker, Bayer

Business Role Model of the Year     Elena Kvochko, Bank of America

Business Leader of the Year               Nancy Harris, Sage

Innovator of the Year                            Cooper Harris, Klickly

Rising Star of the Year                          Kavya Pearlman, Linden Lab

Security Champion of the Year         Julie Fergerson, Ethoca

Entrepreneur of the Year                    Michelle Wilner, Virtis-Us, LLC

Editor’s Choice                                          Shantha Mohan, Carnegie Mellon University

Data Leader of the Year                        Yasaman Hadjibashi, Citi

Transformation of the Year                 Melissa Stevens, Fifth Third Bancorp

CIO of the Year                                           Eileen Mahoney, PVH Corp

Diversity Initiative of the Year            Denise Reed Lamoreaux, ATOS

Employer of the Year                               ThoughtWorks

IT Team of the Year                                   Kristin Wisnewski, IBM

CTO of the Year                                           Tendü Yoğurtçu, Syncsort, Inc.

Woman of the Year                                    Serena Sacks, Fulton County Schools


The 2019 Women in IT Awards and Summit in New York were organized by the business technology online publication Information Age and the recently launched DiversityQ. The event received great support from trade associations, politicians and companies of all sizes and sectors.

The Women in IT Awards and Summits serve as the flagship and high-profile platform for the industry’s large-scale diversity efforts.


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