TalkTalk North West Women in Tech Awards 2023


Last Wednesday evening (1 November), we hosted the TalkTalk North West Women in Tech Awards – now in its third year.

When we created this event, our vision was to bring likeminded people together to work towards one goal – a more inclusive tech sector. One day I hope that events like this won’t be necessary, but despite the major steps forward we’ve made in recent years, I know they definitely still are.

In a packed venue in central Manchester we heard some incredible stories of women working in tech, from those who have developed their own apps, or set up tech companies explicitly to make them more family friendly.

It was a privilege to be in the room with so many inspiring tech leaders, academics, students, partners and neighbours. Around two hundred women and allies in one room, all supporting each other.

I was pleased that some of this year’s judges were able to join us on stage to hand out the awards to our winners too, including our very own Swetha Singh Shamsundar – with such interesting background and inspiring career paths, they’re each role models in their own right:

  • Sarah Bateman, CEO – UnifyEnergy
  • Yvonne Harrison, CEO - Women In Football
  • Harriet Noy, Founder and CEO - Hazaar
  • Sara Prowse, CEO - UA92
  • Swetha Singh Shamsundar, Head of Software Engineering – TalkTalk
  • Michael Taylor, Journalist and Editor – (North West)
  • Beckie Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Tech Returners

Our winners came from a wide variety of organisations - large and small. Please join me in congratulating our 2023 winners:

  • Rising Star: Elizabeth Burroughs, Hace: Data Changing Child Labour
  • Innovation: Dr Natalie Kenny, Biograd
  • Team of the Year: Manchester Digital
  • Tech for Good: Emma Kay, Walksafe
  • Mentor of the Year: Vicki Harrison, Vaioni
  • Outstanding Achievement: Katie Gallagher, Manchester Digital

A huge thank you - to everyone who nominated, shared our stories or joined us on the night - for being a part of this journey with us here in our home in Greater Manchester. Without you we wouldn’t be able to host events like this or continue such an important conversation.

Thanks also to TalkTalk’s Women in Tech employee network at TalkTalk, which recently celebrated its 5th birthday. The team do a lot of work internally to help women across the business – highlighting the importance of empowerment and a strong peer to peer network.

It’s important for us to bring people together to recognise the challenges within the tech sector and that there is still much more work to do. But we are proud of what we’ve achieved so far. And look forward to continuing the story.

A massive thank you to the TalkTalk team too - in particular Helen McHugh and Kacee Fennelly for creating these awards, and for their vision, attention to detail and hard work in delivering a flawless and truly inspiring event. 


Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk CEO