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A look back at the Cisco Women in IT Awards

11 Mar 2019
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More than 70 talented women in IT were nominated for this year’s Cisco Women in IT Awards last week. Although only seven could be named as winners, the fun-filled awards went beyond winners and into a celebration of all women who have put their hearts and minds towards success.

The Awards were preceded by an Empowered Women’s Network lunch and presentation, hosted by Cisco Australia and New Zealand director of partner operations, Tara Ridley.

As part of the event, guest speaker and CEO of Aubot, Marita Cheng, told the story of how she chose the path to engineering and built a company that creates robots that help people in their everyday lives.

The Women and IT Awards then recognised women for their excellence across the industry, winning awards across categories including academia, community, rising star, diversity, outstanding ICT innovation, and CIO of the year.

Cisco chief privacy officer Michelle Dennedy hosted the awards and congratulated the winners.

“I’m excited to host the inaugural women in IT awards, celebrating the very best talent in the region,” Dennedy said.

“I want you to celebrate this award and everything it represents in your life, and congratulations to all the finalists and nominees.”

Winners are below.

Academia Award

Lihong Zheng, Charles Sturt University

Community Award

Sarah Moran, Girl Geek Academy

The Rising Star Award

Penny Rhode, Araza

The Diversity Initiative Award

Victoria Kluth, Araza

Outstanding ICT Technology Innovation Award

Jennifer Vasquez, Nestle (winner)

Jackie Plunkett, Loddon Mallee Rural Health Alliance (Runner up)

CIO of the Year

Donna-Maree Vinci, Bank of Queensland

The Women in IT Awards 2019 were held as part of Cisco Live in Melbourne, which attracted around 8000 people.

The Awards were organised by the Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) to recognise customers and partners who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to the technology industry.

Optus, Ingram Micro, Cirrus, Taleka, and Data#3 supported the Women in IT Awards 2019.