The ON:iT Recruitment #BalanceforBetter competition is officially up and running. The nominees have been shortlisted. The voting will soon begin.

On International Women’s Day (8th March), one female tech pioneer is set to be crowned the winner.

But who are these inspirational characters flying the flag for women in the digital sector? Here’s a bit more about each of them…

Martina Yusuf – Lead Flex Consultant/Developer at NETbuilder

West Sussex

After working as a lead Apache Flex developer, Martina became an IT instructor, working for a variety of companies and delivering technical training. When she started her graduate scheme, programmes were her main focus, covering the software delivery process as a whole and specialising in Agile, DevOps and technical subject areas like Java, Python, Scala or PHP. She is currently associated with the Sky Get Into Tech programme, helping women with difficult experiences and backgrounds to start a new career in technology.

Jade Cosgrove – Customer Relationship Director at Beeta Tech


With more than 20 years of experience in the software sector, Jade Cosgrove’s admirable ascent to Customer Relationship Director at Beeta Tech has seen her contribute to all aspects of project implementation – including technical development, business analysis and operational management. She has excelled in her current role, offering expert support and services designed to increase customer retention and maintain Beeta Tech’s great reputation.

Ashley Smith – Automation Tester at Optix Software, and Co-Founder of Women in Tech York and Test York


Co-Founder of Women in Tech York (alongside fellow nominee Rebecca Rafferty), Ashley Smith oozes enthusiasm for automation and continuous improvement, having gained instrumental experience at big tech businesses like Optix Software, Mitrefinch and Legend Club Management. She has more than half a decade of experience in testing and continues to contribute to the digital sector in all kinds of impressive ways.

Rebecca Rafferty – Online Product Officer at STEM Learning UK, and Co-Founder of Women in Tech York


An experienced software engineer, Rebecca Rafferty has made a massive contribution to York as the Co-Founder of Women in Tech, having also acquired a master’s degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the city’s university. Working in various software roles at Mitrefinch and Waterstons earlier in her career, Rebecca is now Online Product Officer at STEM Learning UK – a leading professional development training organisation.

Emanuela Sera – Associate Software Developer at DealTrak


York appears to have more than its fair share of top female tech leaders. The third entry from the famous walled city in North Yorkshire is Emanuela Sera – a Developer with a long list of degrees, qualifications and licences. She currently holds the post of Associate Software Developer at DealTrak, having already garnered experience in electronics, digital testing and new technology development during her career.

Voting for this shortlist will be open between 4th March and midnight on the 7th March over on our LinkedIn page. Good luck to all our candidates! Keep your eyes peeled for the winner announcement which will take place at midday on 8th March.