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#IWD2023: Celebrating the women who inspire us

To mark International Women's Day 2023, TVBEurope invited members of the media tech industry to tell us about the women who inspire them

To mark International Women’s Day 2023, TVBEurope is celebrating the women who inspire others in our industry.

We invited members of the industry to tell us about the women who inspire them, whether they’re working in media tech or outside of the industry.

Below are the inspiring women who we are proud to celebrate this IWD.

Anna Lee (Submitted by Theresa Lee, back end engineer,

My mother was a high school teacher, but like many women of her generation, she was forced to resign from her job upon getting married. Despite this setback, she continued to pursue her passions while caring for her four children. During my childhood, she worked as a Japanese chef, and during my adolescent years, she taught mathematics at a private institute. She also worked as a florist for several years. Her exceptional talent and intelligence are evident in all that she does. Presently, she works at her own cafe as a barista. My mother has been a tremendous source of inspiration and instilled in me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Without her unwavering support, I wouldn’t have had the fortitude or confidence to become an engineer or work for an innovative Machine Translation start-up company focused on media and entertainment.

Anneliese Lange and Elisabeth Wilke (Submitted by Barbara Lange, CEO, Kibo121)

As a daughter of German immigrants, I grew up hearing the stories of my family navigating the many difficulties of war. Both my parents were young and each had experiences that no child should endure.  Both my grandmothers had to become the leaders within their families to help them survive. In times of little resources, they persevered. I got to know both of them growing up. I learned from them through observation and stories; they taught me to stand up for myself, be curious, and be empathetic to others. I have never forgotten those fundamental principles, which have been part of my core. Sometimes, we think of well-known people to look up to for inspiration. I happen to find that inspiration right in my own family.

Annette Hopland, area product owner, Appear (Submitted by Åshild Ludvigsen, R&D manager, Appear)

My female role model is Appear’s Annette Hopland. She’s one of our longest-serving colleagues and helped engineer the software for a range of Appear’s products, before becoming an area product owner for the Appear X Platform, leading multiple teams and helping drive our technology forward for the good of our customers. 

I started working closer with Annette after a few years at Appear, and she instantly illuminated the industry for me, driving a strong female-led product team focused on building AVC/HEVC video encoding and decoding products. Her leadership skills lift everyone she works with and her passion for both our technology and the industry is admirable, keeping the work fresh and exciting. She is committed to making good technical solutions and does a phenomenal job acting as the glue between different product and sales teams.

It’s always inspiring to see a strong female team leader in a male-dominated industry. But what’s even better is that we never have to question or think about our genders working at Appear thanks to the strong culture we have. It gives me a lot of hope as we’re seeing more and more women adopt STEM roles at university, and it’s becoming more popular for women to take on tech roles. Let’s not forget, the first coder was a woman (Ada Lovelace) – and there are so many inspiring women following in her footsteps in the video processing and delivery industry today!

Belen Arronte, head of media solutions marketing at Sony (Submitted by Ellis Bezant, market analyst, Pebble)

I have been inspired by my mentor Belen Arronte who is head of media solutions marketing at Sony. She helped me apply for my MBA and how I could form this as part of my personal development plan within my role as a market analyst for Pebble. Her key piece of advice: That growth can happen in any direction. Careers are very long and progress isn’t always linear. Belen developed a breadth of knowledge by taking side steps first which helped her take leaps forward later, teaching others that a rejection may be a redirection in disguise.

Beth Berke (Submitted by Terri Davies, president, Trusted Partner Network)

Beth Berke was chief administrative officer of Sony Pictures in 2000, when I moved to Los Angeles as a VP in her Operations division. She was head of global corporate functions and had enormous responsibility at a time when DVD was exploding, change was the new normal, the focus was on cost containment and centralisation, and Hollywood had very few women in such senior positions.

Beth was fiercely passionate, hardworking, whip smart, and a champion for DEI decades before the recent social movements brought these important issues into focus. She was personally responsible for the career growth of many women in the industry, including my own.

As well as being a corporate and professional rock star who taught other women to expect a seat at the table, Beth was also relatable, delightfully witty, approachable, and really honest about the challenges she faced trying to “have it all.”

Beth taught me that it was ok to unapologetically own and use the unique strengths and qualities a woman brings to the workplace. She was also my ultimate role model in learning that success can mean being brave, strong, kind, and relatable, and to champion others who can’t do it for themselves.

Bleuenn Le Goffic, VP strategy and business development, Accedo (Submitted by Fredrik Andersson, SVP products and co-founder, Accedo)

Bleuenn has worked with Accedo since 2012 and in that time has proven to be a fantastic asset to the company, her colleagues, our partners, and our customers. Her work ethic is second to none and she has an in-depth understanding of the broadcast industry and our solutions. That coupled with her approachable nature means that Bleuenn is frequently contacted by colleagues with questions and always makes time for them. In recent years, she has often acted as an inspiration for other women within Accedo, both from the team she leads and for others across our departments and regions.

Bleuenn has been personally instrumental in helping Accedo to not only become a more sustainable organisation, but to understand and embrace our responsibility as a tech company within the video industry ecosystem. Bleuenn inspires others with her out-of-the-box thinking, her ability to connect companies to work towards a meaningful target, and her commitment to building a positive, sustainable future.

Carmen Rodríguez Galindo, senior QA engineer, Accedo (Submitted by Tania Vergel Martín, QA engineer, Accedo)

With over a decade in video quality assurance engineering, Carmen has extensive experience in the industry, making her a highly skilled QA engineer. Carmen has a unique ability to expeditiously learn how a variety of platforms work, whether it’s web, mobile devices, CTVs or games consoles, this is proving to be an incredibly valuable skill. She is a fantastic team leader, extremely conscientious and hard-working, going above and beyond to support her colleagues, and keeping everyone united through the most challenging of projects. Carmen has gone to great lengths to meet extremely tight deadlines when required and is always willing to listen and help her team.

Carmen is a source of inspiration for me, a mirror in which to look at myself to improve day by day. She is a hard-working woman, with clear goals and the ability to lead and motivate the team that she is in charge of. Whenever I work in her team I feel calm because she knows how to organize and distribute the work well. It also encourages collaboration among everyone and that gives a lot of security and peace of mind.

Carol Bettencourt, VP of marketing, Chyron (Submitted by From Dan MacDonald, director of product marketing, and Hayes Stamper, senior product marketing manager, Chyron)

Over a diverse career that includes biology, professional ballet, and broadcast, Carol Bettencourt has excelled in multiple areas and roles — and helped those around her to shine as well. Throughout her impressive career in live production technology, which spans documentation, training, product consulting, and marketing for companies including Pinnacle Systems, Avid, Compix, Ross Video, and now Chyron, Bettencourt has built meaningful relationships across the industry.

She has become known for her honest, inclusive, and nurturing leadership and for her open, intentional approach to doing quality work. In addition to encouraging partners and colleagues to bring their insights, skills, and expertise to the table, she cultivates the trust and teamwork essential to seeing projects through to success. As one colleague at Chyron put it: “Though you may not see it, you instinctively know that Carol is playing all positions. She’s calling the plays, running the ball, and blocking the tackles.”

Chrystelle Le Gall, lead cloud solutions architect, Ateme (Submitted by Dorota Bouskela, senior marcom manager at Ateme)

I find it inspiring to see other women breaking barriers with their tenacity and talent in the tech industry. Chrystelle Le Gall is one of those.

In 2018, she joined Ateme and predicted the increasing importance of cloud technologies, recognizing the need for a cloud solutions team. Being the only woman in her group, she suggested the creation of the role of cloud solutions architect in 2019, which has been vital to Ateme’s operations.

 Today, Chrystelle leads and mentors a global team of 20 cloud technology experts during a pivotal transition accelerated by the pandemic. She created a reference architecture that helped automate previously manual operations, reducing deployment time from five days to just a few hours, and boosting Ateme’s operational efficiency and productivity. For Chrystelle, it’s crucial to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology and bring their innovative ideas to the industry, which is a philosophy that we all share at Ateme.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Submitted by Mitzi Dominguez, CEO, Clear-Com)

The women who have been the most inspiring to me throughout my life first and foremost, have been my mother and my grandmothers. All three of these women were strong entrepreneurial woman who were ahead of their times. Not only did they inspired me to be a lady and how to play in a man’s world, they instilled the confidence and courage to stand out.

 I have also been inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for their resilience, forward-thinking and their drive to improve the well-being of our society. They supported women’s rights and helped pave the way by breaking the barriers and challenging the norms, allowing more opportunities for women.

Kirsty Elliot, senior camera guarantee and supervisor at Timeline Television (Submitted by Erin Harper, junior engineer, BBC Studioworks)

I have only been active in the broadcast industry for a couple years but speaking from personal experience working in both outside broadcast and studio environments, I have been incredibly lucky to work for, and with, some extremely talented women across all departments. 

A woman who has inspired me and given me a great deal of confidence early on in my career is Kirsty Elliot, currently a senior camera guarantee and supervisor at Timeline Television. Kirsty is supportive of those who are starting out in the industry, giving up her time for training and mentoring. She also handles difficult and stressful situations with tact and confidence. This is reflected in her growth from a graduate role to an established and respected operator in her field. She has inspired me to believe in my knowledge and technical abilities, not allowing my gender to act as a barrier for putting myself forward for different opportunities.

A piece of professional advice from Kirsty that stuck with me was don’t be afraid to ask questions. Never feel bad about needing someone to repeat something or saying that you don’t understand something and require further clarity. Others will notice this and will remember you for your enthusiasm and desire to learn.

Fiona Burton, post production and production technology specialist (Submitted by Hannah Pickford, post production engineer Gravity Media)

When I think about inspirational women within the proadcast and post production industry the first person who comes to mind is Fiona. Working with her at Gravity was an absolute pleasure, she was there at the forefront of some of our most technically challenging projects such as the AWS integration at Twickenham Rugby. Working alongside our engineers, she navigated the grey areas that come with creating a proof of concept from scratch with ease, taking the super long hours in her stride.  

Not only is Fiona incredibly technically minded, but also a great mentor and listener – any time the engineers had an issue, we knew she would be in our corner and we could rely on her to advocate for us. One of my toughest moments came after a gruelling two weeks away at the 150th Open, and on my first day back, Fiona took me aside for a quiet cup of tea to say well done. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference, and the simple fact that she took the time out to say thanks and let me know that my concerns had been heard meant a great deal to me.  

Fiona is the kind of woman who leads by example – although there is no one sentence that sums up the advice she has given me, these kinds of small thoughtful gestures and her dedication to her job led to her being respected by not only myself but the whole team – I couldn’t have learned from a better example.

Gay Bell, chief executive, Platform Communications (Submitted by Nana Rodaki, senior account director at Platform Communications)

If you’ve been working in media, telecoms, or technology over the last 25 years, the chances are you’ve run into Gay Bell in some capacity. Very few others know our industry and understand how to provide the level of senior PR communications counsel to the extent that she can.

Starting and building a business of any kind takes a certain amount of guts, but it’s not just Gay’s dedication, deep industry experience, strategic thinking, or comms acumen that I find inspiring. She also knows what makes other companies stand out (Gay has helped build some of the biggest brands in the industry) and forges strong, long-lasting relationships based on trust and honest guidance. To her clients, she is a true extension of their business, a partner to help them navigate uncertainty and succeed with bold, integrated communications.

 Gay has instilled an inclusive agency culture, is highly tolerant of personal needs, and is fair in recognising talent from within. It’s an environment that nurtures talent from all backgrounds and enables our agency to thrive. This culture makes Gay a constant source of inspiration, empowering me to keep developing my skills, embed myself in my client’s businesses, and never be afraid to shout about success.

Dr Glodina Lostanlen, chief process officer at Imagine Communications (Submitted by Karen Plumley, PR and content marketing at Imagine Communications)

Anyone who has ever waded through the sea of gray suits at a broadcast trade show knows that the media tech industry skews heavily male. But the brightest spark on that show floor — the person who has most inspired me through two decades in the business — is wearing a silk scarf and Chanel lipstick. 

Don’t let that chic exterior fool you. Underneath is an educated and experienced electrical engineer. A Ph.D. An MBA. A formidable salesperson and strategist who can hold her own in any broadcast facility or boardroom. Most importantly, a tireless advocate for our industry and a stellar role model for anyone considering a career in media tech.

On this International Women’s Day, I’m proud to celebrate Dr Glodina Lostanlen, who gave me a piece of advice that rings in my head whenever self-doubt creeps in: “Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinions – you have earned the right to a seat at the table.”

Han Moo-kyung (Submitted by Rosa Lee, senior marketing specialist,

The woman I hold in high regard, Han Moo-kyung, possesses unwavering convictions that she firmly stands by. Her unquenchable thirst for knowledge, coupled with an indomitable spirit, exudes an unrelenting determination. Her warm-heartedness draws many people to follow her. She is undoubtedly one of the most significant inspirations in my life. For two decades, she imparted knowledge to students as a university professor. When the Korean economy faced its bleakest hour during the IMF crisis, she ventured into the electronics industry, building a company that now commands hundreds of billions of won in value. Today, she holds a position in the South Korean parliament, a testament to her leadership abilities.

Through my interactions with her, I learned firsthand about authentic female leadership, which is particularly critical in a country like South Korea, where Confucian traditions have engendered a male-dominated society. Observing how she tackled challenges as a successful businesswoman and political leader was illuminating. She taught me how to navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Her teaching helped to shape my career and ultimately led me to XL8, where I am part of an innovative team developing state-of-the-art AI-powered localisation technology for media and entertainment.

Helen Weedon, owner and managing director, Radical Moves (Submitted by Victoria Gudgeon, PR and social media assistant, Radical Moves)

Since establishing Radical Moves, Helen has made her mark on the largely male-dominated industries of both broadcast and satellite. Helen decided to become freelance in 2007 after the birth of her daughter and has built her company from the ground up. She has a genuine and proactive approach to everything she does, including going to great lengths to get the best for her customers and supporting the personal and professional development of her expanding team. All that she has achieved, her commitment to the industry and uplifting those around her, makes Helen a truly inspiring role model for women and men alike. 

Being a newcomer to both the broadcast and satellite industry, Helen has guided, encouraged and taken the time to teach me everything I know. She is full of surprises, and it amazes me that she is able to speak five languages and so effortlessly switches from one to another. We need more women in both the broadcast and satellite industry and Helen is a true advocate. She has advised me to be eager to learn and ask lots of questions, curiosity will take you a long way. 

Jane Sung, COO, Cinedeck  (Submitted by James Cranfield, VP Ssales, EMEA & APAC, Cinedeck)

Jane Sung is COO at Cinedeck, a position she has held since the company was founded in 2010. She is entirely self-taught in the sector, having transitioned from the fashion industry. Despite this, Jane has made a significant contribution to the broadcasting industry and has built and managed an elite team of professionals within Cinedeck. She is a valued leader and a highly respected manager, gifted with the ability to generate enthusiasm during any project. Jane is confident, considerate, and tenacious, and is an inspiration to everyone across the industry.

Jas Tiwana, inside sales manager, Ross Video, (Submitted by Simon Hawkings, director of sales strategy, Ross Video)

Jas joined Ross EMEA when we were a small outfit with significant growth plans. We lacked a certain amount of organisation and process, limiting our ability to be as effective as possible. Jas has been inspirational in her drive for improvement, can-do attitude, and determination to make her voice (and the regional priorities) heard in a large organisation. She has always been a champion for constant improvement and is willing to raise difficult questions and work collaboratively to find solutions. Anyone that works closely with Jas will be inspired by her work ethic and desire to make improvements, and she has inspired me to never be satisfied with the status quo and to be prepared to go above and beyond to make things better. Jas’ key piece of advice is to stay true to who you are and persevere.

Jodi Clifford, managing director, farmerswife (Submitted by Carla Molina, marketing executive at farmerswife)

Jodi Clifford, farmerswife’s USA managing director since 2012, is an inspiring leader that has allowed the US team, and specifically the sales department, to grow and thrive under her kind, constructive and strategic management.

Prior to farmerswife, she held various positions in the media industry, all of which focused on improving efficiency in operations and workflows. She says her education gave her a good framework for getting started but everything she knows now has been learned on the field.

Jodi’s advice on finding a role you love is: “Just get started. Anywhere. Find your skillset and take on as much responsibility as you can get.” This mindset aligns perfectly with the ethos at farmerswife, where personal growth and development are encouraged and supported.

Joyce Bente, president/CEO North America, Riedel Communications (Submitted by Sara Kudrle, marketing manager, Riedel Communications)

I am extremely lucky to have a leader in my own company that inspires me. Joyce Bente is a straight-shooter and really cares about the people she works with and does business with. She makes the job look effortless. She has given me several pieces of advice in my short tenure. Namely, that being a woman in tech is not easy as it’s such a male-dominated industry. But it’s important that I (we) communicate our experiences and share our ideas as women bring fresh perspectives and new voices to the technology table. It’s important that we know our worth and stand up for ourselves and never stop learning. 

She acknowledges that we do have to work harder to gain the same respect our male counterparts earn, so it is imperative that we support other women in the industry and prop them up when possible.  And of course, her favourite piece of advice is to always be kind and respectful… you never know what someone else is battling in the background. I strive each day to be kind and to learn – and to remember my worth. I am inspired by her kindness, her success in this industry and the respect she has earned and by her encouragement to share my ideas and experiences. 

Karren Brady (Submitted by Sadie Groom, CEO, Bubble Agency)

My inspirational woman is Karren Brady. I started following her when she become managing director of Birmingham City FC and although I support another team (Oxford United) I was so engaged to see a woman, especially of her age, at the helm of a club. Football and most sports are still very male-dominated and what she has done not only at Birmingham and then at West Ham and extending her brand into TV has been inspirational to me and many other women. She is also not afraid to share her methods and rules for being a high-performing woman, with children, through her books and appearances at networking events. She is ambitious, smart and also gives back with her board positions and championing women in business.

Kate Ford, co-founder, PR strategist and content developer at Jump PR (Submitted by Victoria Orford, marketing and creative strategist, Jump PR)

Kate is the sort of person that everyone needs to have around. She will always put a positive spin on any situation and can instantly brighten your day. A great communicator and has a gift to make the most complicated situation down to earth and rather than look at the complexities she’ll read a situation from the ground up and makes it feel totally doable. 

You’ll notice I used the word ‘earth and ‘ground’ in that last paragraph and that’s not just a coincidence, as Kate is passionate about the environment and her love for all things green was made a reality in 2022 when she became publicist for Six Inches of Soil, a small independent film production about regenerative farming and agroecology. This has totally made her heart sing!

And that’s not all, unsurprisingly she is also an incredibly talented artist and has sold her art online and at a local artisan store in her hometown.

I asked Kate what her most inspirational quote is in life. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt. I think that pretty much sums up Kate.

Leanne Tomlin, marketing manager, Object Matrix (Submitted by Nick Pearce, co-founder, Object Matrix)

Leanne joined Object Matrix as marketing manager in June 2021, bringing 13+ years of marketing experience and kicking off her career within the media and entertainment industry. Leanne’s ambition and focus has cemented her position as a marketing leader within the sector. Leanne is confident in establishing new relationships with industry contacts, and her presence is always felt at networking events. She is active in numerous industry groups; she is a council member of IABM UK, a member and ambassador of The Circle Society, and a member of Rise. Leanne fully supports any efforts to increase women’s representation and equality within the sector.

Leanne continues to inspire myself and the team on a regular basis. Her drive to make change, to be inclusive and build a globally connected community for Object Matrix is seriously impressive. Given Leanne has only been part of the M&E technology industry for a little over 18 months, her achievement in becoming a valued voice in that environment is exceptional.

Lisa Lavender (Submitted by Tanya Rai, marketing and communications manager, Pebble

My mentor Lisa Lavender is an incredibly inspiring and astute business-woman. I’m forever grateful she came into my life and has become my friend as well as a mentor. She was the founder of The Traffic Bureau and went on to become UK CEO of Adstream and is now MD of British Arrows – celebrating the artistry of moving image advertising. Lisa has imparted her wisdom time and time again with the theme always being to be as objective and as calm as possible in any given situation. See the lay of the land then make your decisions.

Magdalena (Magda) Kochan, project manager, Grass Valley (Submitted by Martyn Humphreys, director, customer success operations, Grass Valley)

I am delighted to celebrate Magdalena (Magda) Kochan on International Women’s Day.

Magda joined Grass Valley as a project manager in October 2021. Having not worked within the media tech industry before, Magda quickly learned about this exciting industry and during her time has successfully delivered many projects.

Since joining, Magda not only embraced her new role but also became a mentee as part of the Rise mentorship programme in 2022. More recently, Magda is now the lead for the Rise program within Grass Valley and is inspiring other women in Grass Valley to join.

I am excited to see where Magda’s career within GV goes next!

Maria Rua Aguete, senior research director, media technology, Omdia (Submitted by Gay Bell)

Maria Rua Aguete is a global voice and advocate for the media and entertainment industry. As senior research director and technology fellow at Omdia, her enthusiasm and passion for the media industry never falters. Whether she is discussing the growth of Spanish content in Miami, sharing the latest data on FAST channels in Cannes, or talking media tech trends in Tokyo, Maria is a font of knowledge and an inspiration.

Having delivered her MBA thesis on the topic of Women in Management, she knows a lot about how women are disadvantaged in managerial positions and goes out of her way to support and mentor female colleagues.

She is a fan of the book – Sun Tzu’s art of war – and has shared some cool tips on how to apply the book’s philosophy to your own career. Check it out at


Melinda Chudleigh, SVP, People, Xytech Systems (Submitted by Robb Franks, SVP, Sales, Xytech Systems)

Melinda’s passion for helping others achieve their goals has led to 25 years of experience guiding teams, coaching executives, and leading transformations in global technology companies. 

As the senior vice president of people at Xytech Systems, she strongly advocates for enabling confidence in all settings, coaching thousands in delivering thoughtful and positive presentations. From board rooms to non-profits, she has enabled many teams and individuals to thrive in their communications by helping them focus on building self-confidence, to improve their personal and professional development.

Her most oft-used advice prioritises listening over speaking. She is guided by the following principle: “we have each been given two ears and but one mouth – so that we listen twice as much as we speak.” 

Whether hiring, onboarding, or implementing best practices, Melinda’s views and philosophies around human capital management have transformed her into an industry role model, as well as a key cog in helping the company continue thriving!

Michelle Dickinson, global sales operations and inside sales, Telestream (Submitted by Anne-Louise Buick, senior vice president, marketing, Telestream)

In addition to being an expert in her field, Michelle is the epitome of a strong leader, bringing people with her through encouragement, collaboration, and inclusivity – and she always makes a point or recognising every person’s contribution. Michelle also never stops learning, her appetite for knowledge and continuous improvement is infectious, I find working with Michelle makes me and those around her want to do and be better.

Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder, Eluvio (Submitted by John Wastcoat, SVP strategic alliances and marketing, Zixi)

The best piece of advice that I ever got on how to build a business was from Michelle Munson, ex-CEO of Aspera and now running Eluvio, which was “just do one more thing”. It sounds very simple but is very, very productive. And what it means is that with each functional group doing their jobs to the best of their ability, and then when you have given 100 per cent at the end of the day if you do just one more thing, and then just one more thing, and then just one more thing, it adds up so that production across the organisation the value becomes much greater than the sum of the parts.

Michelle is famous for personally having answered technical support calls at 11 PM, and with that example everybody else in support, engineering, sales and marketing does just one more thing as well and then you have a collective momentum that is extremely hard to compete with. Just do one more thing is something that I show by example, and articulate to my teams today.

Nadia Khan, CMO, LTN (Submitted by Connie Petrides, director, media and public relations, LTN)

Nadia Khan is an unbelievably intelligent female leader who I admire greatly. Not only has she played a pivotal role in developing and implementing a highly effective marketing and communications plan for LTN, but she has also positioned the company to be a powerhouse in the media technology industry. Her leadership and hard work are the true, enduring characteristics of the successful woman she is.

Nikki Perugini, UX and design director, Accedo (Submitted by Lauren Shone, UX/ UI designer, Accedo)

Working at Accedo for the past six and a half years, Nikki has been an instrumental force in the growth and development of the UX design, strategy and sales, extending from the ANZ across to the APAC region. Through her skill and undeterred nature to take on any challenge, Nikki champions the value of UX; inspiring not only customers but also fellow designers and other product team members in excelling and innovating through design strategy. Nikki is also an amazing athlete, competing in rugby. She has time and time again managed to succeed in industries dominated by men, becoming a female role model for others.

Okszana Besshaposhnikova, senior marketing manager, Lightware (Submitted by Éva Szász, head of global PR and marketing, Lightware)

Okszana Besshaposhnikova has been working at Lightware for almost a year as a senior marketing manager. She prepares the more in-depth professional materials, such as special brochures for vertical markets, copy for landing pages and case studies. Okszana is known for her diligent research and professional humility that allow her to approach any topic with a deep understanding.

However, what makes Okszana truly remarkable is her unwavering dedication to Lightware, despite living in the midst of war in Kiev, Ukraine. She briefly left the country and went to London last year to escape the turmoil, but her husband’s inability to leave forced her to return before Christmas. While we may only see the war on the news, Okszana lives it every day. She takes shelter in her basement during air raids, and there are days when she doesn’t know if she will survive until the evening. 

Despite these challenges, Okszana is committed to building the future of Lightware. On days when the Internet is functioning, she channels all her time and energy into her work. Her courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to Lightware serve as a source of inspiration for the entire team.

On those days when I have a lot of meetings or a lot of tasks that I don’t like and it’s hard for me to face the day – I think of Okszana and feel ashamed, and at the same time I’m grateful and proud that she is part of our team. Her tireless efforts inspire perseverance, humility, and a determination to not let external circumstances interfere with our motivation.

Paulette Pantoja, CEO of Blu Digital Group (Submitted by Chris Saito, CRO of Blu Digital Group)

I am inspired by Paulette Pantoja, CEO and founder of Blu Digital Group every day. She dares to be different in the media and entertainment world. Through her tenacity and her desire to find different and better solutions to media workflow and distribution problems, she founded and has led Blu Digital Group for the past fifteen years through transformative growth, patenting technology, and building a world-class team while leading with compassion. Now, she is leading the company’s international growth through strategic acquisitions and organic growth with the vision of how to do things better.

Rhian Morgan, marketing and PR executive, Radical Moves (Submitted by Danielle Harper,account manager, Radical Moves)

Rhian joined the Radical Moves team during the height of the pandemic with no previous experience of the media and broadcast tech sector. Her dedication has remained consistent during extended periods of remote work, and whilst simultaneously studying for a degree in Marketing – which she completed in 2022. Rhian is active in contributing to the wider business strategy and is full of fresh ideas. She continually goes beyond her own role and responsibilities to support junior members of the team and is exceptionally generous with her time and guidance. Outside of work, Rhian voluntarily manages the social channels for her son’s junior rugby club and advocates for her disabled daughter.

Rhian is motivated to learn but doesn’t let herself become intimidated by what she doesn’t yet understand, and it is this mentality that drives her. Rhian’s previous role was in the female-dominated beauty industry. When I asked about her seamless move into a male-dominated technical environment, and how others could make the switch, she explained that she never lets self-doubt get in the way. For other young women wanting to enter the industry, she recommends valuing your transferrable skills – they are more relevant than you think!

Shyna Zhang, chief marketing officer, Xytech Systems (Submitted by Keith Buckley, chief executive officer, Xytech Systems)

Shyna Zhang helps companies distill and communicate their core competencies and differentiators. She applies her experience in SaaS to the media and broadcast sector as chief marketing officer at Xytech Systems, ensuring that marketing is both an art and a science.

As building brand awareness and perception is core to every CMO, Shyna’s experience at Marketo and Microsoft brings a unique rigor to empower teams to measure the output of every marketing investment. Her motto: “If you can’t articulate the value of an additional $10k in a marketing budget, you won’t be able to defend a cut of $10k.”

She is passionate about developing talent and a big believer that good product marketing can’t be taught in the classroom or learned through an online course. She has developed the Real-World Product Marketing Academy, which takes a case-based approach towards teaching product marketing, to enable others to level up their knowledge and skills.

Srividhya Srinivasan, co-founder and chief customer success officer, Amagi (Submitted by Pankaj Kashyap, director – operations strategy, Amagi)

With her technical acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, and skillful leadership, Srividhya Srinivasan has led media SaaS provider Amagi to break new ground with respect to broadcast standards and practices. Srinivasan and her Amagi co-founders introduced cloud-based technologies that make broadcasting workflows more efficient and cost-effective, bringing customers cost efficiency of nearly 40 per cent. She and her colleagues also accelerated the growth of new streaming models such as Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) with innovative solutions for channel creation, distribution, and monetisation. As an innovator and leader of technology-led transformation, Srividhya has put India on the map as a destination for cutting-edge SaaS solutions.

Key piece of professional advice:  “If you have an idea, persist with it until it comes to fruition. Never bow to societal pressures and give up on what you want to do.”

Tanya Gamarian (Submitted by Patty Minichiello, global brand experience manager, TMT Insights)

In a world where fully remote organizations are the new norm, getting to know your colleagues is one thing, but standing apart from the rest is quite another.

It’s an honour to say Tanya Gamarian is a woman who has been influential to me, and someone I’m lucky enough to work alongside with at TMT Insights.

There are a lot of women in technology who inspire me on the principal alone of taking the leap into what was once a heavily male-dominated industry. Tanya has gracefully taken the lead within our front-end engineering team to balance the complexities of UI/UX design while brilliantly engineering visuals that look seemingly effortless to our customers

Tanya doesn’t just adapt quickly to undertake complex scenarios and code intuitive and elegant interfaces; she offers unique perspectives and fresh approaches with a confidence and ease that every woman in the technology ecosystem can look up to, and I’m grateful to share her story with you.

Terri Winston (Submitted by Matt Frazier, DPA Microphones)

Terri Winston is a visionary and a force of nature. She founded Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) in San Francisco in 2003 while also directing the Sound Recording Arts Programme at City College of San Francisco. Recognising the dire lack of women in professional audio roles, Terri set about to bring dramatic change to an industry where less than 5 per cent of influence is wielded by women. Her absolutely unflappable approach has launched and sustained educational programs for girls as young as 12 and women of all ages. Under Terri’s leadership, WAM now trains over 4,000 girls and women annually in a variety of audio and other technical skills at its studio facilities in San Francisco and Oakland. As an on-ramp to a variety of careers that require technical experience, WAM has placed graduates in roles at major production companies like Pixar, Dolby, Disney, Pandora, Sony, Google and more. 

As a father of two daughters, I’m so grateful for Terri’s long-term work to undo the deeply ingrained societal limitations and expectations that weigh down passionate, intelligent and fully capable girls everywhere. I’m also proud and fortunate to know Terri as a friend and personal inspiration.

Wendy Aylsworth (Submitted by Janice Pearson, SVP of sales and strategy,

Meeting the right person can have a profound impact on one’s career. Wendy Aylsworth has been that person for me ever since we met at Warner Bros. She taught me that a woman in technology doesn’t have to be an engineer; rather, individuals with strong business and communication skills have a vital role as a bridge between engineers and business stakeholders. Through her beliefs in cross-divisional collaboration and commitment to DEI, she encouraged me to advise her emerging technology team on the security of new technologies being evaluated. This experience ignited a newfound passion for solving complex business challenges through technology and thinking proactively about how technological innovations can improve media workflows and business processes. As a result, I now have a rewarding career at a tech start-up utilising AI-powered machine translation to push the boundaries of innovation in the media and entertainment industry.