Consultants feature in Australia’s Top Women in ICT list

04 April 2023 3 min. read
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Multinational consulting firms Deloitte, KPMG, Accenture, Slalom and Cognizant have seen their consultants named as finalists in multiple categories for this year’s Women in ICT Awards.

The Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) are back on again for 2023, with a shortlist of 230 finalists announced across eight categories.

Big Four firms KPMG and Deloitte each have a trio of consultants competing for the top prize, while fellow global consultancies Accenture, Slalom and Cognizant also have multiple finalists. They will be up against contenders from almost 150 other organisations, ranging from global tech giants to consulting boutiques.

Consultants feature in Australia’s Top Women in ICT list

Established in 2012, WIICTA is an initiative of online IT industry publication ARN to honour and celebrate the achievements of female ICT professionals, including entrepreneurs, thought leaders and technical experts at various stages of their career. The winners, drawn from a pool of finalists, will be determined by an executive panel of more than 170 industry judges and announced at a celebration lunch on the 25th of May.

Leading the nominations is Accenture director Sheeza Shakeel, who is a finalist in the overall ‘achievement’ category for candidates with over two decades of experience who have made an unrivalled contribution to the ICT industry. Shakeel has been with Accenture since late 2020 with a current focus on digital transformation in the Energy & Utilities sector, before which she spent time with tech multinationals Infosys, Fugitsu and HCL.

Another highly-coveted awards category, ‘innovation’, which recognises standout creative-thinkers who bring “innovation to life through a big picture and out-of-the-box approach” has fittingly seen Deloitte’s national innovation director Jess Mansur named among the finalists. Based out of Melbourne, Mansur has been with Deloitte for over a decade and a half, first joining the firm’s risk advisory practice from Dick Smith in late 2006.

The ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Shining Star’ awards are open to candidates with respectively up to ten years of industry experience and between ten and twenty years. The former includes finalists Aina Musaeva of KPMG and Slalom principal Lucy Easter, who are both based in Sydney. Musaeva, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, has been with KPMG for the past five years, while Easter joined Slalom in 2021 after a period in the UK’s digital marketing sector.

Representatives in the ‘Shining Star’ multinational category include Easter’s colleague Krystal Allen, who prior to joining the firm as a director in 2021 spent a decade in management consulting at PwC between Australia and the UK, and Cognizant associate director Deepti Kakkar Wadhwa, who with a banking and financial services background at ANZ, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citi and Lloyds has been with the firm for just over a decade.

Recognising those who have leveraged apprenticeship programs to start a career within the ICT industry and made an early splash, the ‘Graduate’ category features a trio of multinational partner nominees; cyber risk analyst Jordan Roberts of Deloitte in Brisbane, KPMG’s Madi Wheatley (a senior technology consultant also of Brisbane), and Jacqui Lillyman, who serves as a senior technical analysts and scum-master with Slalom in Sydney.

The ‘D&I’ category likewise features a trio of individual multinational consultancy finalists. Deloitte Consulting tech optimisation and delivery lead partner Niamh McPherson has been at the firm for fifteen years, Accenture manager Emma Gin has been with the firm since 2016 and serves as A/NZ Cross-Culture Diversity lead, and Michelle Pallas is a director in technology risk and a pride advocate who joined KPMG in 2017.