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2023 WIT Awards Winners

Introduction To Women In Tech

In a star-studded gala at the iconic Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, Women in Technology (WIT) proudly honored trailblazers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M) at the 2023 Women of the Year Awards. The event, held on Friday, October 13th, recognized exceptional leaders who have not only excelled in their careers but also contributed significantly to their communities. Women In Tech, a non-profit organization, focuses on empowering women and girls to thrive in S.T.E.A.M fields. The gala was a testament to the achievements of these individuals, with awards spanning various categories and a special recognition for the Single Mother of the Year, the Girl of the Year, and the Campus Club of the Year.

WIT’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Penny Collins, WIT’s President and CEO, spoke passionately about the organization’s mission to empower girls and women to excel in S.T.E.A.M. She emphasized the importance of support from companies that advocate for diversity and inclusion and share WIT’s vision. The event’s location, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, provided a fitting backdrop for this celebration, showcasing the commitment of both WIT and its sponsors to advancing diversity in the world of technology.

Awards and Recognition

The 2023 Women of the Year Awards honored remarkable individuals in various categories. The winners in each category are as follows:

  1. Woman of the Year in Science: Leila Barkhadle
  • Title: Compliance Sr. Director at Equifax
  1. Woman of the Year in Technology: Kate Mandrell
  • Title: Executive Vice President at NCR
  1. Woman of the Year in Engineering: Jasmine Grant
  • Title: SVP, Head of Treasury Technology at Truist
  1. Woman of the Year in Arts: Denise Nicole Francis
  • Title: Product Design Lead at Salesforce
  1. Woman of the Year in Mathematics: Susan Twadell
  • Title: AVP, Enterprise Data Management & Enablement at Cox Automotive
  1. Woman of the Year S.T.E.A.M Education: Hannah Oldham
  • Title: Mathematics Educator & STEM Scholar Academy Coordinator at Sprayberry High School
  1. Woman to Watch: Trina L. Hill
  • Title: SVP, Technology Consumer Bank & Finance at Synchrony
  1. Build Her Up: Scott Reynolds
  • Title: IT Manager at Synovus
  1. Single Mother of the Year: Shatara Davis
  2. Girl of the Year: Zareenah Ahmed
    • School: Walton High School
  3. Campus Club of the Year: Gwinnett Technical College
  4. Volunteer of the Year: Ashley Russell
    • Title: Key Account Manager at Pyramid Consulting

Scholarship Awards For Women In Tech

Notably, the awards included scholarship opportunities for the Single Mother of the Year, the Girl of the Year, and the Campus Club of the Year:

  • Shatara Davis, the Single Mother of the Year, will receive a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by RNDC and Verizon Wireless.
  • Zareenah Ahmed, the Girl of the Year, is set to be awarded a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by State Farm.
  • Gwinnett Technical College, recognized as the Campus Club of the Year, will benefit from a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by ADP and The Coca-Cola Company.

Looking Forward For Women In Tech

Penny Collins, in her closing remarks, expressed WIT’s commitment to furthering its mission of educating, uplifting, and inspiring women in S.T.E.A.M fields. She highlighted that, with the successful conclusion of the awards gala, WIT would focus on developing programs and events aimed at promoting the education and empowerment of women in S.T.E.A.M fields, from the classroom to the boardroom.

Women in Tech (WIT): Empowering Women in S.T.E.A.M

WIT is a non-profit organization that stands as a beacon of hope for women and girls in Georgia. With over 25,000 members in the state and a global reach of 48,000 members, WIT’s impact extends far and wide. The organization boasts a dedicated team of more than 250 volunteers, who tirelessly provide professional development and networking opportunities to over 4,000 students. Importantly, all of these resources and opportunities are offered at no charge, reflecting WIT’s commitment to breaking down barriers for women pursuing careers in S.T.E.A.M fields.

WIT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, underscoring its commitment to fostering an inclusive community that champions women throughout their educational journeys and careers. A key goal for WIT is to make Georgia the state with the highest percentage of women in the S.T.E.A.M workforce. This objective is achievable through partnerships with the community, creating opportunities, and supporting women at every stage of their careers.

Women in Tech in Gwinnett County, Georgia

Gwinnett County, a thriving hub within Georgia, has witnessed the growth of a vibrant community of women in tech. The county has been home to several women-owned tech companies and innovative tech initiatives. Here are some interesting facts about women in tech in Gwinnett County:

  1. Women-Owned Tech Companies: Gwinnett County is host to numerous women-owned tech companies, spanning various sectors such as software development, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more. These companies contribute significantly to the local tech ecosystem and provide employment opportunities for both women and men in the field.
  2. Tech Initiatives and Organizations: Gwinnett County has actively promoted tech initiatives and organizations that encourage women’s participation in S.T.E.A.M fields. These organizations offer networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and educational resources for women interested in tech careers.
  3. Educational Institutions: The county houses educational institutions that emphasize S.T.E.A.M education and encourage women to pursue careers in tech. These institutions play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of female tech leaders.
  4. Community Support: Gwinnett County’s community support for women in tech is evident through the recognition and celebration of their achievements. The 2023 Women of the Year Awards held by WIT serve as a prime example of this support and encouragement.


The 2023 Women of the Year Awards organized by Women in Technology (WIT) represent a significant milestone in celebrating and acknowledging the accomplishments of women in S.T.E.A.M fields. The event showcased the dedication and determination of individuals who have made a profound impact in their respective industries and communities.

WIT’s commitment to empowering women and girls in S.T.E.A.M, both in Georgia and around the world, is commendable. As it continues its mission to educate, uplift, and inspire women from classrooms to boardrooms, it paves the way for a future where the tech industry is more diverse and inclusive.

Gwinnett County, Georgia, is a shining example of how local communities can play a pivotal role in supporting women in tech. With women-owned tech companies, tech initiatives, educational institutions, and strong community backing, Gwinnett County serves as an inspiring model for women in tech across the nation.

In the years to come, it is expected that more women will continue to break barriers and achieve greatness in the tech world, thanks to organizations like WIT and the supportive communities that nurture their growth. These women are not only the leaders of today but also the inspiration for the leaders of tomorrow.

About Post Author


I'm the host of the Good Morning Gwinnett show which is all about business and technology. I'm also the editor of the Good Morning Gwinnett website.
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