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Moving the Dial for Women in Tech

Claire Thomas Claire Thomas
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, London, United Kingdom

November 10, 2020

According to a recent PwC survey, only 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women, and just 3% of females say a career in tech is their first choice.

Raising awareness of women’s achievements in tech and creating role models at all levels of an organization are paramount if we are to address the gender gap.

As a business leader and member of the Women of Hitachi Committee, I often think about what we can do to move the dial for our business and the industry as a whole.

Today, I’m inspired to share the efforts of a UK-based organization to spotlight women who are leading the way for future generations of tech talent and to celebrate the Hitachi Vantara team involved in the campaign who are leading by example every day.

Tech’s New Generation of Female Role Models

In August, WeAreTechWomen put out a call to find the best female tech talent in the UK. An organization dedicated to accelerating career development in the tech industry, WeAreTechWomen hosts an annual recognition program called the TechWomen100 Awards.

While many well-known awards programs focus on senior women, the TechWomen100 Awards were created to recognize the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent. In doing so, they hope to cultivate a pipeline of future leaders.

Along with some of the most extraordinary talent in the industry, the Hitachi Vantara team answered this call. We submitted a total of eight nominations for the awards, representing a group of women from across business areas in the UK.

The eight nominees were chosen for their above-and-beyond performance in their roles, their clear passion for technology, their commitment to paying it forward, and their initiative to take charge of their own careers. Most importantly, each of the nominees serves as a role model for the next wave of technologists, and in turn, moves the dial.

These are the phenomenal Hitachi Vantara women who were nominated:

Emma Baker, Operational Excellence, EMEA Services
Helen Batting, Director, Sales Operations
Jessica Chandler, Bid Manager, Innovation Excellence
Amy Hall, Global Account-Based Marketing Manager
Alison Lochrie, Service Director, ITO Managed Services
Kaitlyn Morton, Marketing Manager, UK and Ireland
Bridie Sheldon, Client Director, Financial Services
Marlene Spensley, Strategic Partner Manager

I’d like to personally congratulate each of these women for their incredible achievements and well-deserved nominations.

It’s with great pride that I share the news that two of our nominees have made the shortlist for this year’s awards.

Meet Bridie Sheldon

“Having female role models has certainly shaped my career in tech. It’s important to be able to relate to successful women to know that anything is possible.” – Bridie Sheldon

As Client Director, Bridie leads the client engagement strategy to sell and deliver solutions to some of the largest global banks, helping them resolve regulatory and compliance challenges as well as generate savings of up to US$40million a year. Bridie hit 300% of her target in 2019, setting records for Hitachi Vantara’s financial services practice in EMEA.

Bridie is an active member of the Corporate Social Responsibility Team. During the COVID-19 lockdown, she helped raise £2000 for her chosen charity, The Connection at Central St Martins, in less than four weeks. She is also a founding member of the Women of Hitachi UK&I Committee; as Chairperson, she empowers, nurtures, and creates allyship for over 180 women.

Meet Marlene Spensley

“I’m lucky to work with the best female talent in the industry and be part of a fantastic collaborative women’s program that is supported throughout Hitachi.” – Marlene Spensley

As Strategic Partner Manager, Marlene has transformed our UK partner business. She hosted over 750 meetings during the COVID-19 lockdown to proactively re-connect with partners. Marlene’s selfless attitude and brilliant technical sales ability enables her to be top class in her field. Respected throughout the business and a role model to many, she eagerly keeps up with technology innovation and understands the power of energizing those around her.

Marlene mentors a number of individuals internally and externally, helping other women develop their careers and build their personal brands. She’s a new member of the Women of Hitachi committee and I couldn’t be more excited to see how she continues to help transform Hitachi Vantara’s business and culture.

Cast Your Ballot

Celebrating success of female talent, both within and outside of Hitachi Vantara, is a core value of the Women of Hitachi Network. I am impressed and inspired by the entire group of TechWomen100 nominees; with you all at the helm, I’m optimistic that the future of the tech industry will be bright.

The winners of the TechWomen100 Awards will be announced on 16th November, and the public vote is open until 13th November. Please join me in casting you ballot for the shortlisted nominees.

To vote, visit

Best of luck to Hitachi Vantara’s own, Bridie Sheldon and Marlene Spensley!


11/16/20 UPDATE: Marlene Spensley has officially been named a 2020 TechWomen100 winner!

Huge congratulations to Marlene for being recognized as one of the top women in tech. We’re proud to have you on the Vantaran team!

Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Hitachi Vantara.