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Xena Women in Tech Awards Winners 2023

Drumroll please…

What. A. Night.

WOW! We are still pinching ourselves! Can you believe we welcomed nearly 300 guests at our first edition of the Xena Women in Tech Awards in Berlin?! With attendees flying from Europe and UK, we are so grateful and honoured to have celebrated all 45 finalists and 9 winners on the night.

We want to thank our category and product sponsors, our team, and our collaborators that helped us turn this night into a success! A special thank you to our 3 guest speakers that explored topics such as diversity as a driver for innovation, deep-dived into female founders beating the odds, and highlighted the importance of female leadership representation.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…introducing, the winners of the Xena Women in Tech Awards 2023:

The Leadership Award

Chiedza Muguti is an established product leader that has built her career based on two things she loves: People and Creativity. She leads by means of 5 principles handed over to her by her grandmothers: empathy, consistency, dignity, fairness and respect. She actively supports STEM initiatives and Berlin communities for people of colour working in tech and in 2022 she was the host at the Black Girls Tech summit.

This category was presented by Nadia Rassuli from Uber and our expert panelist, Dipti Dhawan, VP of Engineering at Omnius. 

The Open Sourcer Award

Liz Rice is a celebrated author, board member, and award-winning keynote speaker. She loves breaking down complex tech concepts to make them easier for others to understand. Through her roles with the CNCF and OpenUK she is involved in promoting the use of open technologies to solve not only engineering problems but also to support social impact initiatives.

*Unfortunately Liz couldn’t attend and 2 team members from Isovalent accepted the award on her behalf.

Presenting the Open Sourcer category was Kornelia Dziadule from Stream and our panelist, Holger Hammel VP of software Engineering from Aiven. 

The D&I Leader Award

Sarah Cordivano is well-known in her community for implementing initiatives that create more inclusive workplaces. She’s especially well known for her expertise on data-driven DE&I and recently published a book that supports practitioners with strategic advice on building inclusive workplaces.

This category was proudly presented by Alex Brown from Booking.com and our expert panelist Manjuri Sinha, Global Director of Talent Acquisition at OLX. 

The One To Watch Award

Késsia Castro skyrocketed to senior engineering after a mere 2 years working in software engineering. Other than her impressive technical abilities, she gives back to a number of women in tech communities and is a member of various ERG Groups and gender equality initiatives at her company. A diversity survey she conducted at her company led to the implementation of a Rotational Chapter Leadership which has given more than 40 engineers the opportunity to volunteer and work in a friendlier, more collaborative way.

This Award was presented by Hello Fresh’s Caroline Dyson and Anita Singh, Director of Engineering at FreeNow.

The Social Impact Award

Charlene Hunter is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in tech. Alongside her full-time role as a software developer, in 2017 she founded a community to help black female developers to discover role models, network, and showcase their work. In addition to her social impact projects, she serves as an advisory board member for the University of Essex and is a technical director at a full-stack and front-end training organization called Black Codher.

*Unfortunately Charlene couldn’t attend and 2 team members from CBF accepted the award on her behalf.

This category was presented by Claudia Santos from Farfetch and our panelist Manjuri Sinha, Global Director of Talent Acquisition at OLX. 

The Allyship Award

Víctor Moreno Alhambra knew from an early age that he wanted to take a stand against discrimination in society. Having endured discrimination on many occasions led him to join various pro-equality organisations across Europe. In addition to his role as Head of Engineering, he gives back his time by doing public speaking on the topic of queer leadership and serves as a committee member of the London Bi network. This ally refuses to be a bystander of inequality and is committed to putting his voice and privilege to serve those that get discriminated against. 

Our presenters for the Allyship Award were Bruno Fonseca from Delivery Hero and Greg Ryzhov, CTO at Clue. 

The CTO Award

Meri Williams has led and scaled technology organisations across just about every industry you can think of. With more than two decades in technical leadership, this CTO is no stranger to high-pressure, business-critical environments. They excel in transforming organisations from good to great, are a published author and long-standing chair of the Lead Developer conference series. An avid sponsor of scholarships that help women and girls in launch their s in STEM careers, they also offer training that helps technologists level up their careers. 

*Unfortunately Meri couldn’t attend and 1 team member from Pleo accepted the award on her behalf.

Presenting our CTO award tonight were Natascha Nihsen from GetYourGuide and Dipti Dhawan. 

The Entrepreneur of The Year Award

Georgina Kirby has applied her data science background to develop data-driven health tech, particularly within the cancer domain. Since 2018, this Co-founder and CTO  has drastically improved the life quality of patients undergoing complex cancer treatment, enabling them to understand their care at home and connecting them to their care team through her software. Today their startup has 30 employees, has raised millions in funding and has been voted the nr.1 cancer app globally by Orcha.

Our presenters were Amone Gbedemah from Miro and panelist Nina Buffi represented by Andrea Dobrosavljević from OSPIN. 

D&I Tech Employer of The Year Award

Expedia Group is committed to transparency and sharing information of their DE&I goals and progress publicly. Their 8 global Inclusion Business Groups include thousands of engaged employees around the globe, the largest being their Learning and Leading Group for Women. As part of their commitment to taking actionable steps to promote diversity, this year they are partnering with Google to host The International Women in Travel and Tourism Awards in London. 

This final category was proudly sponsored Preply and presented by Andrea Rojas with our Co-Founder Alex Walsh. 

Stay tuned!
In honour of Women’s Month, we will be featuring a spotlight blog on all winners throughout the month. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger and join our community!

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