2020 Women in Digital Awards Winners

The Women in Digital Awards were founded based on the idea ‘you can’t be what you can’t see.’ The awards are a celebration of incredible women within the digital industries and the organisations that support them.

This year we received over 250 nominations and 150 submissions. It was not an easy job for our panel of industry expert judges but we are so very excited to announce our incredible WINNERS of the 2020 Women in Digital Awards.

Want to see who the finalists were?

We are very excited to present to you the 2020 Winners of the Women in Digital Awards.

The 2020 Founder of the Year, sponsored by AWS, is… Silvia Pfeiffer

Silvia Pfeiffer
Silvia PfeifferCEO & Co-Founder
Coviu

Silvia Pfeiffer is a technologist, author and digital health enthusiast. She is also the CEO and Co-Founder of Coviu, a telehealth start-up SaaS company specialising in digital service delivery platforms. Spun out of CSIRO in 2018, this innovative software enables clinicians to set up video consultations with patients on a secure yet user-friendly platform, supporting a multitude of content types.

As expected, COVID-19 turned into somewhat of a catalyst for the uptake of Coviu. During a time when physical distancing and remote appointments became the norm, the importance of telehealth as a modality of healthcare delivery also become apparent. Fortunately, Coviu was able to scale both rapidly and successfully to support healthcare businesses in their digital transformation. Coviu is expected to achieve 250% growth this financial year.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“What an amazing achievement – from commercialisation of your technology to your exponential scale during COVID. I really admire your customer-led philosophy and company leadership. Congratulations on executing your vision to digitally transform healthcare. Wishing you continued success and growth!”

The 2020 Executive Leader of the Year, sponsored by Salesforce, is… Katherine Carmody

Katherine Carmody
Katherine CarmodyExecutive General Manager - Digital Distribution
Suncorp Group

Katherine Carmody is the Executive General Manager of Digital Distribution at Suncorp Group where she is responsible for driving transformational change, formulating digital strategies and designing the customer experience. Throughout her 15 year career at Suncorp no less, she has demonstrated her effectiveness as a leader, forging high-performance teams that consistently deliver excellent outcomes.

Katherine’s winning entry outlined her superior leadership skills in launching the AAMI App during a pandemic, fast-tracking Webchat for claims customers in three days and leading the rollout of Intelligent Virtual Assistants across major brands. All in all, Katherine’s nomination clearly demonstrated her dedication to driving digital customer engagement and continually improving and optimising the customer experience at Suncorp. An advocate for women in digital and collaborating with like-minded people, Katherine is a guest speaker at digital leadership events, roundtables and forums, and judges for industry competitions including the Women in Digital Awards in 2019.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“Her passion for leadership shone through – outstanding results and resilience through a particularly difficult year.”
“Clear outcomes and deliverables in very short timeframes to drive a ‘pivot’ in the business. A great entry!”
“Extremely strong in the leadership space.”

The 2020 Technical Leader of the Year, sponsored by COSOL, is… Sorcha Abel

Sorcha Abel
Sorcha Abel Developer
Genie Solutions

Sorcha Abel is a Software Developer at Genie Solutions. With over 15 years’ experience, Sorcha has held a variety of technical roles, including many leadership positions that have provided her with opportunities to mentor, guide and lead others in the industry. As part of her winning entry, Sorcha was involved in the architecture, infrastructure, design, coding, testing and deployment phase of an impressive Health Fund Fee Importer project designed to automate the process of importing private health fund fees through a sophisticated script.

In her spare time however, Sorcha is passionate about mentoring women in technology and regularly organises, mentors and presents at events including Elixir Girls, Brisbane Installfest, Coder Academy, Muses and Coder Dojo. She is also the co-organiser of Rails Girls Brisbane that focuses on introducing women to tech and showing young people what a career in tech could look like.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“Aside from her technical skill set and execution, her contribution to the industry is outstanding. Sorcha is a true advocate for the community of women in digital.”

“Open Source & mentoring contributions are solid & impressive.”

The 2020 Digital Marketer of the Year, sponsored by Canva, is… Lauren Swidenbank

Lauren Swidenbank
Lauren SwidenbankDirector
Cali Social

Lauren Swidenbank is a digital marketing expert and paid ads specialist with a passion for analytics. As Founder and Director of boutique digital marketing agency, Cali Social, Lauren has a solid track record of implementing successful paid ad campaigns for a range of small to medium-sized businesses.

Lauren’s winning entry was based on the excellent work she did for a client of Cali Social’s in 2019-2020. Using a mix of Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, Lauren planned, created, implemented and optimised the entire campaign from building the campaign structure and targeting, to making ad copy and creative assets for the client. In less than 12 months, the client’s business grew from a 6-figure business to a 7-figure business with impressive figures across the board. Key results include:

  • 307.51% increase in revenue in 12 months
  • 278.04% increase in the number of transactions
  • 219.54% increase in new users to the site

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“From the moment I read this entry it stuck with me. I love the thinking outside the box approach, attending car meets, taking the client to challenge herself and what an incredible result. Stand out entry for me based on her candid and relatable entry.”

“Loved her enthusiasm and obvious passion and pride for what she does. She was very customer focussed in her approach and has a great attitude to her work. The results are impressive and I feel would not have been achieved if she did not have the drive and love for what she does.”

“I can feel Lauren’s passion for her campaign and all things digital when reading her entry!! A fantastic example of how when you challenge self-doubt with determination, data, strategy and testing & learning you can achieve impressive results.”

The 2020 Diversity Employer of the Year (Enterprise), sponsored by Urban Utilities is… Griffith University

Griffith University
Griffith University

Griffith University currently ranks in the top 2% of universities worldwide with over 4,000 staff across four campuses in Queensland. A recognised leader in online education, Griffith also boasts excellent diverse workforce stats, especially in their digital-focussed departments. Key demographics include:

  • 61% of staff are women
  • 55% of Executive Group are women
  • 75% of senior Corporate Services officers are women
  • 45% of senior academic staff are women
  • 49% of senior professional staff are women

They have also seen an increase in the following groups:

  • The proportions of senior female academic staff have increased by 5% since 2017
  • The proportions of senior female professional staff have increased by 5% since 2017
  • The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff have increased from 56 in 2017 to 68 in 2020.
  • The proportion of women at Professor (Level E) in the Science Group have increased by 3% since 2018
  • An overall increase in the proportion of academic women in Sciences Group by 3%

“Our ability to provide an inclusive environment for our staff is enabled by inclusive leadership, equitable access to professional development, opportunities to provide feedback, targeted diversity programs and an overall commitment to improving the pipeline for women and other underrepresented groups”. – Griffith University

Griffith University also has several committees and targeted programs to support diversity and inclusion including the Women in Leadership program, Leneen Forde Leaders program, Gender Equality Research Network and Griffith Ally Network to support LGBTIQ+ staff and students. Their capability framework provides all staff with easily accessible career development opportunities so staff can further their career.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“Their proven results in improving diversity across the entire institution and appointment of diverse leaders into the institution is something that deserves celebrating!”

“Appreciation and action for diversity goes beyond gender.”

“Contemporary, mature and enduring diversity initiatives.”

The 2020 Diversity Employer of the Year (SMB), sponsored by Urban Utilities is… Blackbook.ai

Blackbook.ai
Blackbook.ai

Blackbook.ai is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned service companies that specialise in automation and artificial intelligence. With offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the company prides itself on its diversity, professionalism and start-up mentality where innovation is at the forefront of everything they do. At Blackbook.ai, over 1 in 2 employees are considered diverse with an overall female ratio of 30%. Key demographics include:

  • 30% of the Executive Management team are female
  • 100% of the Process Engineering team are female
  • 40% of the AI team are female
  • 12% of the RPA Development (IT software development) team are female
  • 100% of the Digital Marketing team are female
  • 50% of the Data Ops team are female
  • 12% of the Development group are female

“Having a strong female representation in the management team is crucial in our industry, it not only promotes women to aspire to higher roles, but also build each other up.” – Blackbook.ai

Over the past five years, Blackbook.ai has built a diverse and inclusive culture and continues to be involved in initiatives that promote women in STEM and target women through recruiting campaigns including speaking at high schools and universities.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“I like the methodology for defining diverse representation is ‘collective’ diversity rather than ‘individual’ diversity. Industry/public showcasing of what’s possible and their passion for diversity. Recognises that diversity in the customer base must be represented internally for success and sustainability.”

The 2020 Rising Star of the Year, sponsored by AWS, is… Lucy Wang

Lucy Wang
Lucy WangCo-President
UNSW Digital Society

Lucy Wang is currently a third-year student at the University of New South Wales, due to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems in 2020. A go-getting self-starter, Lucy has already built an impressive list of accomplishments and industry experience including interning at PwC and Deloitte and working as a Head Teacher at Code Camp. But that’s not all.

At university, she is involved in multiple University clubs and societies as an executive member and has won a total of five case competitions. However, one of her most impressive achievements is co-founding the UNSW Digital Society that empowers students interested in digital innovation, strategy and user experience by providing on-going training and networking opportunities. As she finishes her degree and enters the workforce, we can’t wait to see what she does next!

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“Some very strong leadership already showcased. The reach for the UNSW Digital Society (students + industry) is impressive.”

The 2020 Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Clinic to Cloud, is… Carolyn Mee

Carolyn Mee
Carolyn MeeFounder & CEO
Sound Scouts

Carolyn Mee is the Founder and CEO of the Sound Scouts app, an online hearing screening service designed to check for hearing issues in children. This innovative solution incorporates the science of a hearing test in a mobile game that is accessible, fun and affordable for families.

Developed in collaboration with the National Acoustic Laboratories, the game is an entirely digital product that incorporates advanced scientific principles. Since its launch, the app has secured support from the Australian Government’s Department of Health to offer the service for free and to date, it has had a significant impact on detecting undiagnosed hearing loss in children. Sound Scouts is now being used in over 1,200 Australian schools and has been used to complete 40,000 children’s checks plus an additional 15,000 adult tests.

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“This was a strong submission and demonstrated the important COVID pivot.”
“Positive social impact, well-articulated entry and truly innovative – incredible submission.”

The 2020 Digital Experience Leader of the Year, sponsored by WP Engine, is… Alisha Bailey

Alisha Bailey
Alisha BaileyHead of Digital Product & Experience
AGL Energy

Alisha Bailey is the Head of Digital Product and Experience at AGL Energy, one of Australia’s leading energy companies for homes and businesses. A digital leader with a demonstrated ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences, Alisha’s winning entry was based on her success in driving swift growth in digitalisation for AGL.

Establishing strong strategies and clear metrics at every stage, Alisha led the product and experience design teams to build an app solution and sophisticated e-commerce platform. During the pandemic, Alisha also successfully managed to design and implement a number of digital capabilities to support customers during this time. Delivering on AGL’s service promise, her team rallied to become the No.1 energy app in Australia on both iOS and Android App stores. Results included:

  • 24% increase in Digitally active customers (38% versus 30%)
  • 63% Increase in Digital sales share (26% v 16% FY19)
  • 69% increase in monthly app interactions (2.1m v 1.3m FY19)
  • App store rating 4.5 June FY20 up from 1.6 in June FY19
  • SSMR 91% through digital in June FY20 versus 58% in FY19
  • No.1 energy app in Australia in the app store for both iOS and Android
  • A 63% increase in sales through digital channels, 69% increase in monthly app interactions and an app store rating improvement from 1.6 to 4.5

Here’s what the judges had to say:
“Alisha was the winner thanks to the technical complexity, challenge, seamless CX, passion for the voice of the customer, pivoting quickly, the predictive component helps to differentiate.”

“Alisha came across as winner thanks to her clear business impact and the fact that she had a really clear design process.”

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Thank you to our amazing partners

The Women in Digital Awards would not be possible without their support