With PCR’s annual Women of the Year awards just three months away, we have been catching up with last year’s winners to get their take on the award ceremony and the industry as a whole. First up, PCR caught up with Rebecca Williams from John Lewis who claimed the Rising Star award last year.
What was your experience of last year’s awards?
The experience last year was great, the team came out in full force, and it was lovely to catch up with some familiar faces before the awards started. Having not been before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the turnout of brands, reps from the industry and other retailers just went to show how important everyone felt about recognising women in this industry and how we are changing the face of creating more diversity in tech.
How important is it to acknowledge the work women do within the technology sector with award ceremonies such as this?
It's always positive to see companies proactively highlighting women in industries such as this. There is always so much noise in the press and news around gender equality in all sectors, so it's great to see that the tech industry is stepping forward and creating these opportunities. It's important that we continue to shout about it so that we can highlight to the next generation of career driven women that tech is the place to be.
Do you feel like the gender imbalance within the industry is finally being addressed?
This is quite a tricky one to answer, as addressing it is one thing, whereas, actually changing it is another. However, this is the right step in breaking that stigma attached to the industry. I look forward to the day in which women in this industry is not big news, and we simply recognise those, male or female, who continue to push the boundaries, back new trends and emerging new categories and push the industry to always deliver more.
What did it feel like to win an award last year?
Having been in computing for only a year, it was a very humbling and incredible experience winning the Rising Star award last year, I really could not have achieved it without the support from my team, so a big thanks to them. I really did not expect to win, as knowing some of the other women nominated, it was a very strong line up, so just being nominated was a wonderful feeling.
Are you looking forwards to this year’s event?
Really looking forward to this year's event, I think any opportunity to recognise women in this industry is a cause worth highlighting and celebrating. It's always great to catch up with everyone, and I think more importantly, where this year has been very turbulent, it's important to celebrate these moments even more.