We look back on last year's awards and networking bash to celebrate International Women's Day

PCR Woman of the Year event returns for 2015

It was International Women’s Day yesterday (March 8th). To celebrate, we’re announcing that PCR Woman of the Year is returning this October, plus we take a look back on last year’s event.

Organised following our Top 50 Women in Tech article earlier in 2014, PCR’s Woman of the Year event was packed with some of the most celebrated female role models in the PC and tech business.

Around 100 execs from the likes of BullGuard, Computers Unlimited, CompTIA, Fujitsu, Hama, Hannspree, Intel, Kingston, Mad Catz, Midwich, Novatech, Tech Data, Tesco, The IT Marketing Agency, Westcoast and more attended.

Although the afternoon of networking was focused on the work of females in the industry, it was great to see a number of males turn up to support their female co-workers, employees and bosses as well.

CompTIA and Acer supported the award as event partners, and Entatech was on board as headline partner, with the distributor’s former commercial director Jon Atherton handing over the first PCR Woman of the Year award.

Girls and tech

CompTIA’s senior VP of industry relations, Nancy Hammervik, gave a talk about the importance of women in the IT industry.

Hammervik, who has had a passion for supporting women in the IT industry for many years, touched on the point that women in IT is not just a women’s issue, but rather an IT workforce issue.

“Today we are celebrating not just one exceptional winner, but a whole industry of extraordinary women, who have shown in no uncertain terms just what they can bring to the party,” she said.

“Last year, CompTIA conducted a research study on youth and IT. We queried more than 1,000 teens and young adults in North America. 

“When asked if they like or love technology – 95 per cent of the girls said yes. When asked if they have helped a relative or friend with a technical issue, 92 per cent said yes. When asked if they may be interested in a career in IT, only nine per cent said yes. 38 per cent said probably not and 53 per cent said definitely not.

“When asked about perceptions of jobs in IT, the majority of girls shared ‘it’s boring, it’s difficult and complicated, it requires good math and science skills, it’s for nerds and geeks’, but the number one barrier is that 77 per cent shared they just hadn’t thought about it and didn’t know anyone who worked in the IT industry.”

Hammervik stressed that women in the industry have the responsibility to talk to girls about working in IT.

PCR publisher Andrew Wooden added: “Thanks to everyone for coming down and attending. We received nearly 1,000 votes, so it’s been incredibly popular, and it’s a great to be able to recognise a host of talented women working in the UK PC industry.”

Check out images from the day in our Facebook gallery here:

And the winner was…

Dell UK’s executive director and general manager, Sarah Shields, was the worthy winner of our first ever PCR Woman of the Year award.

With past roles at AMD and Acer, Shields joined Dell in 2008 and has a track record of growing market share against the odds, as well as launching new brands into the market.

“It is an absolute honour. What an incredible thing to be awarded,” she said. 

“Women have an incredible amount to offer the industry, the way we think the way we communicate, and it’s not just about coding or being technical, it’s about how we approach business and get more people to enjoy this amazing industry. This is a special moment that is going to stay with me for a long time.”

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