Two female entrepreneurs based at Innovation Birmingham Campus have been recognised at the latest Silicon Canal and West Midlands Women of the Year awards as industry leaders in the technology sector.
Pauline Roche, Managing Director at RnR Organisation, was awarded the West Midlands Women of the Year award for Outstanding Contribution to Technology with Faye Pressly, Chief Operating Officer at Vanti picking up the Silicon Canal award for Most Influential Female in Technology.
The Silicon Canal Tech Awards is set to become a major annual event for the city, identifying both fully established and start-up companies as well as the individuals behind them. The not-for-profit CIC, whose mission is to connect, promote and support the tech ecosystem of Greater Birmingham welcomed over 230 of Greater Birmingham’s top tech talent to the first award ceremony, held at Digbeth’s Boxxed venue in November.
The West Midlands Women of the Year Awards aim to recognise and profile women in the West Midlands, who are making a difference in society, breaking boundaries within their fields and contributing to the economic wellbeing of the region. The awards are also designed to celebrate the success, talent, achievements and outstanding contribution made by women in the West Midlands including to enterprise, education, the creative industries, technology and civic society.
Established in 2008, RnR Organisation works with SMEs in the voluntary and community sector, as well as with grassroots and minority cultural and community groups, to enhance their skills and networks in governance, strategic development, data science and funding.
Pauline is on the steering group for the Open Data Institute Birmingham node, chairs the West Midlands Open Data Forum, both based at Innovation Birmingham, and she is on the organising team for Open Data Camp. She also co-founded and organises both the Net Squared Midlands: tech for social good meetup series and the UK unconference for voluntary sector infrastructure organisations VCSSCamp, which has been hosted annually at Innovation Birmingham since 2013. Pauline is a member of the global community for Women in Tech, Adas List, and organises regular West Midlands members’ meetups.
Pauline Roche, Managing Director at RnR Organisation, said: “Winning this award recognises my many years of engagement in the smart cities/tech for good field, and I look forward to seeing more diversity in the ecosystem to stimulate new ways of solving social issues using technology.”
Faye has over six years’ experience in advising some of fastest growing start-ups and innovative companies in the Midlands, on unique talent strategies that help to attract, engage, retain and develop the very best Technology and Digital talent. She has recently joined Vanti, a Birmingham-based technology business, to help them continue their journey of growth and expansion to becoming a key technology scale-up business in the Midlands.
Faye Pressly, Chief Operating Officer at Vanti, said: “Helping to drive a more diverse technology workforce in the Midlands, is a huge passion of mine. It’s not about employers having a ‘tick-box’ mindset to diversity, but truly appreciating that ‘diversity in thought’ is far more important and key to business innovation and people growth.
“However, unless we break down some of the barriers and proactively work to improve and widen the pools we can choose our talent from, things will only remain the same. To be able to work with likeminded, determined people helping to drive real change, is something I’m incredibly proud of – I can’t wait to look back in a few years’ time and see just how many people we’ve inspired to join our industry!”
The Silicon Canal awards was the second major event held by the organisation 2016, following the successful launch of their white paper in May, attended by over 300 key tech and digital influencers and leaders from throughout the city and the UK.
The West Midlands Women of the Year Awards, founded by Justice Williams MBE, is in its third year.
For more information on the Silicon Canal awards, visit: http://siliconcanal.co.uk/