Director of ITWales honoured in New Year Honours
Beti Williams, recently retired Director of ITWales, Swansea University has been awarded a MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. The MBE is awarded for achievement or service to the community that is outstanding in its field, has delivered a sustained and real impact, and which stands out as an example to others.
Beti has been honoured for her campaigning work to encourage more women and girls to take up careers in computing, science and engineering.
Beti was Director of ITWales for 15 years, developing and managing programmes to link the computer science departments in all Welsh universities with business and industry, with the aim of disseminating technological knowledge. This collaborative approach has helped boost the role of software as a driving force in the Welsh economy. It has promoted new technologies and higher levels of ICT competence across all the business and industry sectors in Wales and enhanced students’ experience with placements and projects with companies.
Prior to retirement, Beti was successful in obtaining EU support for two Welsh projects worth £20m, Software Alliance Wales – setting up a Wales wide knowledge network for software developers, and Technocamps – aimed at encouraging the study of computer science in schools and colleges.
Less than 20% of employees in the ICT sector are female. So across all the activities and projects initiated by ITWales, Beti has placed a strong emphasis on encouraging women and girls to engage with and consider careers in the ICT sector. For the last 10 years, she has organised an annual technological celebration of International Women’s Day, showcasing women with successful careers within the ICT industry or having a considerable involvement in ICT.
In 1996, Beti was a finalist in the Welsh Woman of the Year and in 2006 was the winner of the Best Woman in Academia and Public Sector category in the Blackberry Woman of the Year Awards. She was a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) Woman’s Forum and a founder member of the BCS in Wales. She set up a group called BCS Women in Wales bringing together women from across Wales to help address the gender imbalance in the ICT industry. Currently of all the students studying computer science in universities only 15% are female. In 2010 Beti was awarded the BCS Meritorious Service Award for her outstanding commitment and excellent contribution to the British Computer Society.
Beti is also secretary of the Swansea Bay Branch of the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
This news item has been posted by Janis Pickwick, Swansea University Public Relations Office, Tel: 01792 513245 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org