The Digital Women Awards takes place every year to celebrate the work women are doing through digital.
The Digital Women Role Model of the Year recognises and celebrates women who are positive and confident in their work and abilities. lifting others up. A person who is doing great work but continues to strive for bigger and better objectives. Positive role models are important as they influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover our true potential and overcome our weaknesses.
Here are our brilliant women, your Role Model of the Year 2022 Finalists:
Name: Kelly Cuesta
Kelly is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging advocate who is passionate about education, culture and systems change, tech and entrepreneurship.
As a seasoned brand marketing and change communications specialist in tech, she has contributed to the development of the business for different sizes of tech companies in the SaaS industry by accelerating awareness and demand for the EMEA region.
Currently, as the Principal Consultant, Global Cloud Employer Branding, Culture and Engagement at lngram Micro, Kelly is responsible for driving initiatives to build the organisation into a more diverse workplace with inclusive culture
On the side, Kelly advises purpose-led initiatives and entrepreneurs she believes in with a special focus on emerging leaders and social impact initiatives.
Name: Charelle Griffith
Charelle is a Chartered Marketer, award-winning business blogger, and business and marketing strategist for solo coaches, consultants and online service providers.
With a passion for supporting solopreneurs and small business owners, Charelle focusses on taking the overwhelm out of marketing and instead creates marketing strategies that allows her clients to shine online, consistently create content that converts and ultimately build a business they love (and that pays them properly).
Name: Lynne Parker
Lynne founded Funny Women in 2002 which was a reaction to a male comedy promoter who said there weren’t any female acts and furthermore ‘women aren’t funny’. Since then Funny Women has been her life’s work and she is very proud of what Funny Women has become.
Lynne’s big passion is to encourage women to build self-confidence and develop their own distinctive voice, whether that’s through the Funny Women Awards which launched in 2003, or at a regular comedy workshop run by Funny Women, all this supports women to find their voice, whether that be through performing and writing or using humour in business and everyday life. In 2022, Lynne will be celebrating 20 years in business with Funny Women.
Name: Anna Cordelia
Over 20 years ago Anna started her first business as a Makeup Artist. She was a skilled makeup artist and felt a huge sense of accomplishment from helping people. More than anything she loved teaching others and sharing my knowledge of self care and beauty and excelled in Bridal makeup artistry and won multiple awards for her customer service.
When the pandemic hit, Anna immediately pivoted and took her businesses completely online. She created digital products in the form of resources, courses, eBooks and video content. Realising that it was the entire Wedding industry that had been affected, Anna created ‘Wedding Boss’, the online community for wedding suppliers.
As the wedding industry starts to recover Anna has continued to support the wedding and beauty industry through digital content, online memberships, coaching and support in forums.
Name: Kay Kukoyi
Kay is the CEO and founder of Purposeful Group and its brands; Tech Startup Academy™, Freelancer Academy™ and Digital Careers Academy™. Purposeful Group is an entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills consultancy that works with SMEs, entrepreneurs, career builders and digital upskillers and the founders of early-stage tech startups around the world.
Pursuing challenges, continuing to evolve, and sharing knowledge with others have been consistent themes throughout Kay’s life. She is a qualified behavioural and performance coach, a qualified marketer, and a Certified SCRUM Master and she believes the more that she knows, the more useful she is, both to herself and to others.
Kay has been recognised on the #IB100 – the Financial Times and Inclusive Boards list of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in the UK Technology Sector (2019) and is currently a finalist for the Black Tech Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the technology profession (2022).
Name: Kerry Ferguson
Kerry runs a bilingual website design and digital marketing company called Gwe Cambrian Web. They are based in Aberystwyth, mid Wales. Kerry says she absolutely love running my own business, and is incredibly passionate about sharing the potential of the digital world to other small businesses, and also promoting the use of the Welsh language to those businesses in Wales as well. Kerry strives to make sure that she is visible, helpful and friendly.
Kerry has a fair few hats, all of which she feels work well together. She is a Mentor for Business Wales, and currently has 7 mentees on her list. She is also a Role Model for Big Ideas Wales, and a Tutor at Aberystwyth University. In her free time, she is a board member for Menter Aberystwyth and Radio Aber, a Town Councillor and President of the new Ardal Aberystwyth Rotary Club.
Name: Ellie Middleton
Ellie is a Personal Brand Manager at Great Influence and has shared her journey of self-discovery and understanding around neurodiversity on social media and built up a community of 30,000 on LinkedIn and almost 20,000 on TikTok.
Ellie started a viral trend on LinkedIn redefining what it meant to be professional, which led to hundreds of people sharing the things about themselves that they’d previously felt or been told weren’t professional and owing their differences!
Opening up the conversation around neurodiversity in women is so important to Ellie and she would love to help other people have the same realisation. So many people have reached out to her saying that they’ve resonated with her content, gone on to do their own research and decided to speak to doctors about their own self-discovery journeys which makes her so proud.
Name: Verity Studley-Wootton
Verity is the Co-Founder and Associate Director at Roots to Market – a marketing agency based in Exeter that has been in business since 2018. In addition to leading the day-to-day business operations, Verity is passionate about using the best marketing techniques to reach, attract and convert prospects for their clients to deliver results.
Verity prides herself on living these values every day as well as being a great communicator to clients and her internal team. Verity champions the continuous professional development of the team at Roots and despite her position within the company, treats every day as a school day – always seeking to further her knowledge and enhance her skills.
Name: Ally Zlatar
Exploring curating and art-making as a methodology that suggests the human condition is more complex than it is currently understood, Ally examines, instigates and provokes notions of the individual experience through focusing on the themes of illness, vulnerability, and authenticity of one’s lived-in experience. She utilizes an auto-ethnographic approach to her contemporary figurative painting.
Ally is the founder of The Starving Artist which is an artist initiative that helps broaden perspectives on Eating Disorders and Mental Illness through the artistic voice. She also founded The Starving Artist Scholarship Fund which helps people access inpatient treatment for eating disorders. Her “This Body of Mine” campaign explores the female migrant experiences from displaced backgrounds and has helped support over 50 international female artists from refugee seeking backgrounds. Ally has recieved the highest accolade a young person can achieve for their humanitarian work; The Princess Diana Legacy Award (2021) and also special recognition from The British Citizen Award (2022).
Name: Elinor Honigstein
Elinor has been continuously driving measurable change in the space of tech & gender diversity, not only to inspire & empower but also to bring real business value to underfunded & underrepresented women who fight harder than most to succeed. Elinor has utilised her role at a UK gov venture building global tech partnerships, to build the Women Leading Innovation Network. Its aim is to facilitate business & investment opportunities for Israeli & British women in tech and shine a spotlight on gender diversity in innovation.
With 400+ women and VC partners, across the UK & Israel, benefiting from the network & its online events – from webinars on fundraising strategies to the 1st UK-Israel Female Founder Office Hours – Elinor has secured the funds to design a mentoring scheme, sector initiative & more. Externally, driven by her need to involve young women and girls more readily & contribute to a culture of inclusion in tech, she acts as an #IamRemarkable facilitator & ambassador, a Google initiative to encourage women to speak openly about their accomplishments.
Name: Marzia Bolpagni
Marzia is a qualified engineer specialised and passionate in Digital Construction and Infrastructure. She is Head of Building Information Modelling (BIM) International at Mace where she implements digital technologies for five international hubs using shared digital representations of built assets to facilitate design, construction, and operation processes to support reliable decisions.
She received a MSc. in Building Engineering and a Ph.D. in ICT and Smart Construction, where she collaborated with the Massachusetts Port Authority and the UK Ministry of Justice.
She is Task Group Leader at the EU Committee for Standardization (CENTC 442) and lead author of the EU standard EN 17412-1 adopted also in the UK. She is also EU representative at the International Organization for Standardization ISO/TC 59/SC13. She is Assistant Editor of the BIMDictionary, Ambassador of the UK BIM Alliance and co-author of national Guidance. She is member of ACE Digital Transformation Group. She is also STEM Ambassador and Brightside mentor, keynote speaker and lecturer in different universities.
Name: Sophie McLaren
Sophie always wanted to do something that helped people. Sophie entered a competition with digital mums and AFF and the winner dropped out, so she was offered the space and got a job in Broadcasting from that course where she managed the national social accounts and trained internally and other military spouses.
Her husband was diagnosed with Epilepsy 7 months into the role and almost died – then the pandemic hit. Sophie says she went from security to complete unknown – it was her lowest point. To get through the uncertainty of her health, her husband, and their financial situation, she started Digital Mavericks.
During that lockdown period, she helped over 20 women turn to DIY their social media, gain confidence, and create a community of over 300 people. They saved her and enabled her to apply for the role she is in now.
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