Technology is transforming industries all around the world – and none more so than the media and marketing sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen digital transformation go from a nice-to-have to must almost overnight. 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.
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. According to the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard from 2020, only 18 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 2022. By recognising all of the brilliant female tech talent in our industry, we hope that these women will no longer be excluded from the conversation.
As an initiative created to support gender parity and representation across the tech industry, Women Leading Tech is an event inclusive of non-binary and gender diverse members of the tech industry, as well as any individual identifying as a woman.
We again thank all our sponsors for supporting this incredibly important initiative and look forward to seeing you all for the awards on the 28 April 2022!
Sponsored by 477 on Pitt Street by ISPT
Slalom Australia Pty Ltd
Stone & Chalk
Sponsored by IBM
Aurelia Harjono, Sparro
Diana Sepluveda, IBM Australia Ltd
Dominique Eden, Seer
Dr Rahil Garnavi, IBM Australia Ltd
Harmeet Kaur Sokhi, Thoughtworks
Kathryn Collier, Eliiza
Melanie Wuong Sze Shien, Quantium
Pip Karoly, Seer
Rosyll Xavier, Linktree
Sandhya Iyer, Latitude Financial Services
Somya Malviya, GroupM
Zehra Rizvi, WhyHive
Sponsored by Foxtel Group
Amanda Oakenfull, IBM Australia Ltd
Carla Keay, Adobe
Demelza Green, Patient Zero
Divya Panwar, Telstra
Hayley Smith, Yahoo
Hoda Mirzaeipoueinak, Finder
Jade Watson, GroupM
Kristen Pak, Hype & Dexter
Laura Mulligan, humm group
Louise O’Donnell, ReachOut
Sally Creber, VMware
Saranyah Shanmugam, Slalom Australia Pty Ltd
Sponsored by Resolution Digital
Brigitte Barta, Icon Agency
Candice Ong, AKQA
Cassandra Cox, Art Processors
Deanna Grindrod, Switch
Helen Whitehead, IBM Australia Ltd
Kathy Veloso, IBM Australia Ltd
Kim Bartkowski, IBM Australia Ltd
Michelle Schuberg, Curiious
Nancy Lee, T-shirt Ventures
Sally Hughes, IBM Australia Ltd
Sandy Jenkins, Millipede
Yihan Lin, Thoughtworks
Sponsored by Monash University
Faezeh Marzbanrad, Monash University
Hannah Beder, Creatable
Michelle Colgrave, Edith Cowan University
Sponsored by VMware
Alexis Tyler, CitrusAd
Amanda Spencer, VMware
Dulini Mendis, Seer
Effy Elden, Thoughtworks
Elena Zagari, Wipro
Evelyn Chu, Matrak
Jue (Grace) Xie, Monash University
Nidharshi (Nish) Warusavitharana, Brighte
Niloofar Aliakbarzadeh, Advanced Mobility Analytics Group Pty Ltd
Rachael Jayne, Art Processors
Valerie Sandford, ARQ Group
Vicki Romanovski, Telstra
Sponsored by auDA
Angela Harbinson, The Separation Guide
Bronwyn Le Grice, ANDHealth
Danielle Owen Whitford, Pioneera
Jess Wilson, Good Things Foundation Australia
Kim Teo, Mr Yum
Maud Lindley, Serendis Leadership
Rachel Gately, Trellis Data
Sam Ramlu, M Theory
Sarah Neill, Mys Tyler
Simone Barker, Zebrar
Siobhan Savage, Reejig
Taylah Allen, triSearch
Sponsored by PubMatic
Amie Scruton, Art Processors
Ange Ferguson, Thoughtworks
Carol Chris, GB Group PLC
Cath Whitaker, SelfWealth
Julie Canepa, Cisco
Kelly Weideman, Evolt
Laura Henshaw , Keep it Cleaner
Melissa Fahey, hipages Group
Sarah La Roche, TRAVLR
Shamane Tan, Sekuro
Siobhan Savage, Reejig
Tracey Plowman, Bamboo Pty Ltd
Sponsored by Linkedin Marketing Solutions
Adrien Jarvis, Sharesies
Ana Norte, VMware
Azadeh Williams, AZK Media
Georgia Swanson, ARQ Group
Georgie Obst, HESTA
Kat Warboys, HubSpot
Katy Harrison, TikTok
Rachael Townsley, Quantcast
Stephanie Brown, Intuit
Stephanie Gillies, Trustpilot
Sue Lau, CHEP Network
Vanessa Wolff, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sponsored by ATLASSIAN
Davinia Simon, Stax
Helen Xenofontos, Adobe
Jane Beck, Slalom Australia Pty Ltd
Jyo Shukla, ActiveXchange
Kate Toon, Stay Tooned
Laura Mulligan, humm group
Lauren Hammacher, Quantium
Lisa Lie, Half Dome
Mahsa McCauley, She Sharp Charitable Trust and AUT
Mari Kauppinen, The Marketing Practice
Minsun Collier, MediaCom
Stephanie Famolaro, The Trade Desk
Sponsored by ROKT
Aeirin Fabella, News Corp Australia
Ang Crilley, Telstra
Asha Potla, Soprano Design
Cathy Arnold, SEEK
Emily Chen, Iress
Jo-Ann Chung, WLTH
Kara Smyth, Nurch PTY LTD
Marianne Hawkins, Initiative
Dr. Mercedes Paulini, ReadyTech
Pauline Thomas, Macquarie Cloud Services
Ruby Kolesky, Joyous
Samantha Konieczka, Orro Group
Sponsored by Samba TV
Belinda Sheehan, IBM Australia Ltd
Jaqi Haworth, Orro Group
Kate MacAlpine, Domain
Nikki Kovacevic, Aussie Broadband
Pearl Myers, IBM Australia Ltd
Sponsored by HubSpot
Aimee Gossage, Quantcast
Batoul Peters, Twitch
Elisa Kelsall, TikTok Australia
Jessica Miles, Integral Ad Science
Kali Guillas, The Trade Desk
Lamia Lee, Lucid
Maddison McMahon, Quantcast
Michelle Gibson, VMware
Orsi Toth-Pal, Yahoo
Preeta Jadhav, VMware
Savannah Ross, Rakuten Advertising
Yasmin Sanders, Samba TV
Challenges faced by Technology professionals in regional Australia are unlike, and often, polar opposite to those faced in urban areas. This category is open to women currently in roles within the technology sector who have taken a step out of the ordinary to deliver innovative solutions for organisations based in regional Australia.
5pm AEDT, 22 February, 2022 - $199 + GST per entry
5pm AEDT, Tuesday 1 March, 2022 - $249 + GST per entry
6:30pm, 28 April, 2022 - Sydney Town Hall. Doors will open at 5:30pm
As well as an awards presentation over lunch, attendees will also hear from these inspirational speakers.
Rae Johnston is a multi-award-winning STEM journalist, Wiradjuri woman, mother, broadcaster, voice actor and MC. Rae is the first ever Science and Technology Editor for NITV, host of That Startup Show and voices “Janali Banks” in the upcoming children’s animated series for ABC & Nine, Space Nova.
Rae is a founding mentor with The Working Lunch program, supporting underrepresented entry-level people in STEM. At the recent Australian Game Developer Awards, Rae was the recipient of the first “Lighting The Way” award for advocacy and support of the local games industry.
Rae is a part of the prestigious “brains trust” Leonardos group for The Science Gallery Melbourne, and an Ambassador for St Vincent De Paul.
Macinley Butson is one of Australia’s foremost young inventors who devotes herself to improving the world through STEM and, being an inspirational voice to youth and industry urging them to work towards solutions for global challenges by asking big questions.
Internationally recognised for her scientific and engineering endeavours, Macinley has developed many devices which have aided humanity across a number of sectors including, cancer treatment, water sanitation and, renewable energy. Believing there is no better investment than in people, she equally fosters this curiosity in other students and industry motivating them as a role model and constantly encouraging exploration.
As Managing Director of AKQA Melbourne, Alisia has been a trusted advisor to clients including Officeworks, AustralianSuper, HESTA, NAB & Bunnings, helping them navigate the new normal in a rapidly changing digital world.
Passionate about strategic communication solutions, Alisia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience across all major industry verticals. She operates best in a collaborative environment of diverse thinking, thriving alongside people who challenge conventions.
Alisia is passionate about creating environments where people constantly grow, learn and thrive. She seeks to inspire the 170 strong team in Melbourne to create powerful digital and offline brand experiences for clients, ensuring empathy with the individual remains at the heart of that experience.
Vice President, Australia and New Zealand, Adobe.
Suzanne is a customer-centric leader who understands the importance of client relationships to competitive differentiation and growth.
Adobe ANZ is at the forefront of a market where no industry is immune from digital disruption. In her role, Suzanne is responsible for driving the ANZ business to new levels as well as supporting customers realise their mission of delivering exceptional experiences.
She has 25+ years’ experience in leading and motivating management teams across data, software and analytics businesses, with her work abroad in North America, the UK and Singapore including senior roles at Visa Europe, CACI London and Morgan Stanley.
Prior to joining Adobe at the end of 2017, Suzanne spent two years leading Experian’s ANZ operations as Managing Director, with proven success in driving high-performance and engagement through a period of significant business transformation.
Davinia is the Head of Partnerships and Alliances, ANZ, Amazon Web Services (AWS). She is a customer obsessed leader who understands the importance of deep Partner and Client relationships to drive competitive differentiation and growth.
Davinia is responsible for the all-inclusive Partner strategy for AWS and has day to day responsibility for all partner sales and co-selling with the AWS field sales teams. Davinia represents AWS as the Head of Channel and Alliances for ANZ; participating in industry and partner events to deliver thought leadership on how to innovate, succeed, and grow to meet customers’ evolving needs.
Davinia is passionate about the power of Cloud technology, paving the way for accelerated innovation, helping businesses remain relevant, and competitive by lowering costs, and providing the solutions to create and bring services to market quickly. Using research, creativity and collaboration to reframe customer focused problems, she loves seeing the impact that great experiences can have on individuals, businesses and society.
Partner Marketing Director, ANZ, Afterpay
Nikita is obsessed with using marketing as a strategic catalyst for business growth. A true brand marketer at heart, she’s fascinated by the healthy friction between the commercial realities of business and the creative power of marketing. With varied experience across health insurance, banking, telco and FMCG, she currently leads the team responsible for marketing merchant partnerships, trade programs & vertical expansion at Afterpay.
Nikita is curious about the connection between spirituality, self discovery and leadership and is on the journey to unpacking how one can extract joy, success,and growth from a career.
Director of Marketing, Australia and New Zealand, Google
As Google’s Director of Marketing, across Australia and New Zealand, Aisling looks after the Google and YouTube brands, connecting Aussie and Kiwi consumers and businesses with the range of Google’s products. This includes products like Search and Maps, YouTube, Pixel and Nest, and Google’s ads platforms.
Aisling has over 20 years marketing experience across telco, tech and media sectors. Joining Google nine years ago in Europe, she helped to grow the Android ecosystem in its early years and driving consumer engagement with core Google apps like Search and Maps.
Aisling returned home from London to lead Google’s media buying division across the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring Google marketing delivered best-in-class media strategy and execution.
Prior to Google, Aisling spent 10 years at Telstra, where she held various leadership roles in strategy, finance, marketing, and retail and online channels.
In 2019, Aisling was included in the annual CMO50 list, recognising Australia’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders. Aisling is also a Director on the Board of AANA (Australian Association of National Advertisers).
Aisling lives in Sydney with her husband and their two children. She loves kayaking, travelling, languages and spending time with family and friends. Her vices are chocolate and wine!
Managing Director – Publicis Sapient Australia
Sarah Adam-Gedge is a prominent business leader specialising in digital transformation and technology disruption. Sarah has worked in project and service-based consultancies for more than 25 years across Australia and New Zealand, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Currently, Sarah is the Managing Director of Publicis Sapient Australia, which is the digital business transformation hub of the Publicis Groupe. Publicis Sapient consists of 20,000+ employees in 53 offices around the world. Publicis Sapient’s expertise spans technology, data science, management consulting and creative enabling the ability to deliver on complex transformation initiatives that accelerate clients’ businesses through the creation of the products and services their customers expect.
CEO & Founder, Code Like A Girl
As founder and CEO of Code Like a Girl, Ally Watson is a passionate advocate for aspiring female coders. Her highly acclaimed education startup empowers women and girls to play an equal part in building the future. Once ‘the only girl in the room’ as a software engineer, she’s now an award-winning entrepreneur and spokesperson for the future of women in technology.
Experience Design and Product Strategist
Shruti has over 10 years of experience, designing, delivering product and service innovations across a variety of award-winning projects for local and global brands such as Toyota, Nike, Google, Macquarie Bank and Telstra.
She’s motivated by the endless possibilities of a better community created by the convergence of culture, human behaviour, design and technology.
She’s also always tried to champion solutions that look beyond biases so more people can benefit from better design. Being a new mum, she’s been recently navigating a whole new world and a new identity, while juggling a job, a pram and a baby. This has furthered her passion in pursuing good design diversity that needs to be empathetic to a broader spectrum of society. Because good design is good business.
Independent Creative Director, Google Creative Lab
Tea Uglow is a writer, LGBTQ activist, and a speaker on innovation, inclusion, and digital futures.
Tea founded Creative Labs for Google in Sydney (2011) and London (2007) and focuses on projects with cultural organisations to enable artists, writers, dancers and other cultural practitioners to digitally augment or interpret their work. As a queer activist she is co-author of the proposal for a trans pride flag emoji, and authored a compilation of LGBTQ activist speeches called Loud and Proud.
Her writing includes: Loud & Proud [Quarto, 2020] and A Curiosity of Doubts [Penguin, 2016]. In 2018 she was awarded a Peabody for digital storytelling for ‘Editions at Play’ a series of digital books with Visual Editions including We Kiss the Screens  & A Universe Explodes .
She currently advocates for mental health and transgender awareness and mentors queer, female and other intersectional creators and writers worldwide. She likes pop-physics, neuroscience for beginners, queer twitter, and shopping.
Her pronouns are She/They.