SC Awards Europe 2020 - Diversity Champion


WINNER - Diversity Champion: Emma Smith, Vodafone

With a “heartfelt, passionate”, nomination covering “tireless activities,” that were seen to be “making a difference,” our winner's entry led one judge to say that it “gives me hope that our industry will be positively changed forever.”

Emma Smith, Vodafone global cyber security director, is herself a role model as a senior woman in cyber security, described as continually going beyond her boundaries to drive equality across gender, background and race, implementing a policy of Inclusion for all.

Tangible action includes achieving 30 percent of women employed at all levels in her organisation and a target of >40 percent by 2025, to be achieved by ensuring a suitable number of diverse candidates for every role (having at least one female candidate) and removing gender specific language in job descriptions. Smith is also Vodafone Executive sponsor for LGBT+ and runs the ally programme for Group Technology. In addition Smith presented and participated in Vodafone CodeLikeAGirl events and has established the Women in Security network within Vodafone, to encourage more women to consider security and create a supportive and inclusive platform. A more inclusive approach to apprenticeships has resulted in employing people from a more diverse range of backgrounds, including law enforcement, armed forces and teaching. Aided by Smith’s contribution Vodaphone is now a top 50 employer for females, and a top 20 LGBT+ organisation. Smith shares her experience at internal and external events globally.

Highly Commended

Nicola Whiting, Titania

Our judges noted how our Highly Commended Award was for “Utilising diversity to develop a better business solution,” and that, “External engagement is an important aspect of what she does,” with one judge commenting “The world needs more like Nicola.”

Nicola Whiting MBE, CSO for Titania, is a role model and advocate for inclusivity in cybersecurity particularly for women and neurodiverse individuals, dedicating much of her free-time to advising/ mentoring cyber companies on how to develop value-driven, high performing diverse teams. Among her many outreach activities Whiting is on the board of the UK Cyber Neurodiversity Group, advising on Autism topics at a National level, helped inform the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, and supports local initiatives such as IASME’s Neurodiversity Hub and initiatives such as BetaDen, NCSC, DCMS, Cyber Initiative, InfoSecurity Europe, Women in Business and Circle2Success.

She led Titania from an ambitious start-up to a multi-million-pound, organisation comprising individuals of many races and ethnicities, aged 16-65, and from different educational backgrounds, with a practical recruitment process that actively attracts people with autism. Its board is 50 percent female, as is 60 percent of its leadership team.


Francesco Cipollone, NSC42
Pieter Danhieux, Secure Code Warrior
Alison Nixon, Tech Data


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