The trophies have been given out, toasts have been made and the canapés have been eaten. After four fantastic global events recognizing the work of organizations and individuals across the cloud industry, the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 season has come to a close.
Throughout the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 events, we saw many outstanding winners take the stage, receiving a round of applause for making a positive impact on our world through cloud technology.
Now it’s time to shine a spotlight on some of those worthy victors and showcase the fantastic work that made them winners in the Digital Revolution Awards.
In this Meet the Winners blog, we’re getting to know the winner of our Outstanding Leader of the Year award, Charlene Hunter MBE.
One of our biggest and most exciting awards of the night is always the Outstanding Leader of the Year award, where we get to meet and celebrate the people who are treading new ground and creating pathways to lead others to success.
And this year’s winner is certainly someone who has demonstrated exceptional guidance, direction, integrity, decision-making, and inspirational leadership throughout their work in the cloud space: Charlene Hunter.
Using her extensive personal and professional experience to encourage others to carve out their own space in the tech industry, Charlene has blazed a trail in the software development world by helping talented coders access the opportunities they deserve.
Known for her unmatched dedication to boosting the visibility of underrepresented tech professionals and drive to equip people with valuable skills, she is changing the face of our industry for the better.
Black women are vastly underrepresented in the IT ecosystem, and those who have overcome obstacles to forge a career in the space are often paid less than their male counterparts.
Charlene was inspired to create a positive change. After working as a software engineer for nearly a decade, she saw a need to create a community for Black women in tech to provide support and opportunities, and set up Coding Black Females in 2017.
A nonprofit organization, Coding Black Females aims to help Black women learn the skills they need to build a rewarding career in tech fields like software development. The closely knit community and educational platform offers courses, upskilling programs, and networking opportunities for Black women working in tech, or who want to kick-start their careers in the industry.
From software development and programming to leadership and cloud computing, the transformative courses that Coding Black Females provides are designed to be accessible, delivered on a part-time basis and able to be completed remotely.
The organization also connects its members with career opportunities, helping women find jobs and internships at industry-leading enterprises and government agencies.
“This award is meant to commend people who are leading in impressive ways, and Charlene is definitely one of those,” said Efua Akumanyi, Co-CTO at Coding Black Females, who collected the award on Charlene’s behalf.
“They are constantly driving and working very, very hard to support the women in our community. And it’s a growing community of Black women in tech. Coding Black Females is here to support Black women in tech, and Black women who want to get into tech.”
Not content with running her own nonprofit, Charlene also employs her expertise as Technical Director of SAM Software Solutions, a service asset management company currently migrating their products to the cloud, and is also an advisory board industry representative at the University of Essex.
Beginning her career as a team lead at business and technology consulting firm Detica, Charlene has built a wealth of experience in roles including technical architect, lead software engineer, senior software developer, and app developer. This vast expertise and lived experience in the tech industry has contributed enormously to her multi-award-winning efforts to promote gender equality.
In 2019, Tech Nation named Charlene as one of the 50 most inspiring, prominent, and influential Black voices in UK tech. In 2020 and 2021, she was named one of the most influential women in UK tech by Computer Weekly. And more recently, Charlene launched the #VisibleInTech campaign, an initiative celebrating the journey and accomplishments of Black women in tech.
Our judges commended Charlene for her work to support two underrepresented groups and foster a powerful sense of intersectionality in the tech community.
“Empowering Black women in tech isn’t just about breaking barriers,” said Charlene, “it’s about shattering ceilings and building a community where every voice is not just heard but amplified.
“Winning the Outstanding Leadership Award is a testament to our collective commitment to diversity, inclusion and the belief that when we invest in the potential of Black women, we’re not just changing lives – we’re transforming the face of leadership in the tech industry.”
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