The 2018 TechWomen100 Awards winners include three UK top 100 law firm leaders: huge congratulations goes out to Shilpa Bhandarkar from Linklaters; Robyn Weatherley from Mishcon de Reya and Emma Wright from Kemp Little. Also listed is Ivy Wong, legal product manager at online legal marketplace Lexoo.
The winners of the TechWomen100 awards showcases remarkable women within the technology sector covering a wide range of roles such as applied machine learning scientist; cyber security consultant; radio modelling engineer; futurist; a research associate in Turbomachinery; and rapid prototyper. In its second year, the awards were entered by over 500 nominations from across the UK and Northern Ireland and judged by a panel of 16 industry experts. Over 30,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees.
Emma Wright is a technology partner and a legal technologist at respected boutique technology law firm Kemp Little. Wright leads the firm’s cybersecurity and digital infrastructure legal practice areas, commenting in her submission: “As the only girl in the computing classes at school, I’m thrilled that my legal career has enabled me to combine my love of the law together with my innate interest in technology.”
Bhandarkar is a dual qualified lawyer whose previous experience includes practising as a solicitor, management within a magic circle law firm, founding and selling a technology business, growing and managing the lawyer network of an award winning online legal market place and, currently, leading the innovation strategy of a magic circle law firm.
In her submission she says: “My interest in technology started relatively recently in my career when I had a business idea for a mobile app. I learned the basics of coding as part of the first cohort of Mums in Tech, mainly with the aim to become more tech literate and be able to communicate and work effectively with the development team. Since then I have learned HTML and CSS and am currently learning basic Python. As the co-founder of Coo, I participated in two separate Google accelerators, Google for Mums and Google LaunchpadX. Coo was recognised as one of the App Store’s “Apps of the Year” (2017).
“After selling Coo, I joined Lexoo as their Legal Network Director. I was responsible for the supply side of Europe’s largest B2B legal marketplace. Lexoo was on the UK’s Hottest start-up list (2015-2017) and won an FT Innovative Lawyer Award in 2017. My greatest learnings while at Lexoo were around UX and the product design of the lawyer dashboard, in particular to increase instruction rates and influence lawyer behaviour on the platform.”
Weatherley in 2016 helped set up Mishcon’s first in-house LegalTech accelerator programme, MDR LAB, which she has been programme manager of for two years. She says: “Although not following a traditional route to a career in tech, my experience at Mishcon de Reya and the LAB have allowed me to develop my innovation, project management and business development skills. I have built my knowledge of different technologies such as AI, machine learning and natural language processing.”
The other winners include individuals from leading companies and institutions such as Mastercard, Lloyds Banking Group, O2, EY, comparethemarket.com, BP, Transport for London, Dyson and Paypal.
Vanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTechWomen, said: “At WeAreTechWomen, we have made it our personal mission to shine a spotlight on women working in tech. Our strategic aim is to highlight 500 female future leaders in technology by 2022.”
The TechWomen100 awards were supported by Worldpay, Accenture, BAE Systems, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Deloitte, NewsUK, and Sky.