Reseller News is proud to announce the winners of the new-look Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in 2021, honouring female excellence within the technology channel following an industry-defining celebration in New Zealand.
Played out in front of more than 310 attendees at Hilton Auckland -- the largest ever in-person audience for the market’s leading gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) awards program -- the entire Kiwi ecosystem came together under the Reseller News roof to set the industry benchmark for female achievement and accomplishment.
With record-breaking community participation -- vibrant, energetic and spirited throughout the proceedings -- and a record-breaking number of submissions, 2021 was the year WIICTA went mainstream in Aotearoa.
In total, 101 finalists (96 individuals and five companies) were honoured as finalists from a pool of 53 organisations and more than 140 nominations, spanning partner, telco, vendor and distributor businesses.
Following an intensive judging process -- selected by an executive panel of more than 85 industry leaders -- 16 winners were selected across eight categories, in addition to seven highly commended acknowledgements.
But as outlined on a special day in the City of Sails, the collective aim of WIICTA is to ensure as many outstanding women are endorsed through this unique awards program as possible, aligned to the collective goal of providing a platform upon aspiring female talent can shine across New Zealand.
“To all our finalists, highly commended and winners, congratulations from Reseller News,” said Cherry Yumul, vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation at IDG. “You should all be proud of this grand display of Kiwi ingenuity and we are honoured to recognise your achievements.”
In total, WIICTA honoured the channel across eight categories, spanning Innovation, Technical, Entrepreneur, Graduate, Rising Star, Shining Star, Achievement and D&I Champion (Company and Individual) awards.
All career stages were in the spotlight from graduate-level entrants to well-established CEOs, in addition to inspiring entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and technical experts, as well as talent rising through the ranks and consistent high-performing individuals. This was also supported by both individual and company champions of D&I initiatives.
Within this standout group of finalists, female leaders attended from across the entire country -- from North Island to South Island -- including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier and Queenstown.
“For our winners, we are thrilled and consider this a significant statement as you own your rightful place in the technology industry,” Yumul added. “We hope this recognition means a great deal to you personally but also to your leaders, mentors and family.
"After all, behind anyone's success is a village of enablers and cheerleaders. May this inspire other women in our community to amplify their narrative and showcase their achievements."
Advancing women in tech
Reseller News has celebrated gender diversity and recognised female excellence across the Kiwi channel since first launching WIICTA in 2016, acknowledging the achievements of a talented group of female front runners who have become influential figures across the local industry.
This was further supported by the unveiling of State of Gender Diversity in the Tech Channel during the celebration lunch, a new research initiative designed to examine gender D&I progress across the technology channel.
Delivered by Yumul to a jam-packed Auckland audience, this in-depth survey focused on the three core pillars of gender D&I, spanning Tech Industry, Workplace and Personal Experience.
The launch of State of Gender Diversity in the Tech Channel represented a landmark moment in the industry, with IDG -- as the world’s leading tech media, data and marketing services company -- becoming the first independent outlet to open such dedicated research in New Zealand.
Also in the spotlight was Dr Robbie Francis Watene as keynote speaker. Born with a physical disability, Robbie has dedicated her personal, professional and academic life to advocating for the rights of marginalised populations -- sharing her story of resilience and taking an active role in being part of the solution for D&I.
Reseller News congratulates all winners, highly commended and finalists and thanks all organisations and individuals for supporting this initiative.
This award recognises a creative-thinking candidate who is a standout in bringing innovation to life through a big picture and out-of-the-box approach to business. This individual is unrivalled at converting embryonic ideas into viable working solutions through a unique thought process designed to continually push the envelope.
-- presented by Lindsay Zwart - Chief Enterprise Officer, Vodafone Business
- Amelia Moa - Acquire
- Samantha Le - Datacom
- Kirstin Donaldson - Equinox IT
- Laura Ferguson - Exeed
- Catherine Grant - Flintfox
- Jana Hofmann - Ingram Micro
- Eileen Lombard - Intergen
- Anne Taylor - Microsoft
- Nadia Phillips - Umbrellar
Highly Commended: Samantha Le - Datacom
Winner: Anne Taylor - Microsoft
Anne wins this award for spearheading efforts to weave te reo Māori into the technology used by thousands of Kiwis on a daily basis, aligned to the goal of ensuring the language has a strong future with higher fluency rates. To achieve this aim, Anne has championed two innovative projects -- the inclusion of te reo Māori as a language oā Motu as a Minecraft Education Edition.
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