To ensure fairness in the judging process, we chose judges from outside of the qualifying region to score the top five finalists in their respective categories. We chose one judge per category, each of whom possesses similar traits and accomplishments as the nominees.
We created 4 pillars for the judges to score each nominee on: Impact, Innovation, Leadership, and Community. It was essential to us that the selection process was more than a mere popularity contest or a quick assessment of who has had the most financial success or who has worked at the most well-known company.
Software Engineer Judge
The judge of the Software Engineer category, Tanya Lattner, is President and Chief Operating Officer of the LLVM Foundation, a nonprofit supporting the open source software project LLVM (llvm.org). As COO, Tanya designs programs to support the LLVM project through educational events such as developers’ conferences and workshops, student support through travel grants, community outreach, and increasing diversity within the project through the Women in Compilers and Tools Program.
She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Portland and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Tanya has over 10 years’ experience as a software engineer, primarily focusing on compilers and related tools. She also has 5 patents from her work on code obfuscation, which use compiler techniques to prevent tampering or reverse engineering by hackers.
STEM Educator Judge
The judge of the STEM Educator category, Sheree Atcheson, is listed as one of the UK's Top Most Influential Women in Tech & an international multi-award winner for her services to Diversity & Inclusion in the tech industry. Sheree (@nirushika) is the U.K. Technology Respect & Inclusion Manager, Deloitte; Founder, I Am Lanka; Board-Appointed Global Ambassador, Women Who Code; Contributor, Forbes.
Sheree is a global tech outreach leader and as a passionate advocate for gaining/retaining women in the tech industry, she launched & led the award-winning U.K. expansion of Women Who Code (womenwhocode.com), since 2013. Women Who Code is the world’s largest global non-profit dedicated to helping women excel in tech careers.
Sheree & her work have been featured in many publications, such as HuffPost, Marie Claire, Wired, ComputerWeekly, The Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, Newsletter & many more. She has spoken at many global events, conferences and leadership sessions. As a subject matter expert, she also delivers trainings/workshops on: allyship, privilege awareness, unconscious bias, understanding the business of diversity and inclusion, personal branding, and empowering yourself to empower others. The aim of her career is ensuring people are aware of the fantastic opportunities the tech industry has to offer & make certain that people (regardless of gender, race, or social stature) are able to benefit from these opportunities & reach their full career potential.
Digital Marketer Judge
The judge of the Digital Marketer category, Alaina Percival, is Chief Executive Officer of Women Who Code, a global nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Under Alaina’s leadership, Women Who Code has grown to serve more than 167,000 women in 20 countries and 60 cities across the globe. This thriving movement offers more than 1,700 free technical and leadership events, per year.
In addition to her role at Women Who Code, Percival is an accomplished tech speaker, appearing at WSJ.d Live, CodeMotion Milan, Grace Hopper, Columbia University’s Social Enterprise, MIT’s Venture Capital and Innovation Conference and more. Alaina has been interviewed by Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and other publications across the globe to share her expertise on best practices for increasing diversity in tech. Prior to Women Who Code, Alaina worked at PUMA's headquarters in Germany, as well as Riviera Partners and Snip.it, acquired by Yahoo. Alaina is also a Venture Partner at Valor Ventures and CodePath Advisor.
Ui/ux designer judge
The judge of the UI/UX Designer category, Vignesh Ramesh, leads an amazing team of diverse and talented designers working on Adobe XD. Over the course of his 10-year career at Adobe, he has worked on several cross-platform and cross-geo initiatives including Adobe Document Cloud. In the past year and a half, he has focused on delivering state of the art design tools for the creative community. He is as passionate about coaching and shaping young minds as he is solving design problems. His background is in Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction.
Tech founder judge
The judge of the Tech Founder category, Monique Villa, is an investor at Mucker Capital, a seed and “pre-seed” stage fund investing in companies powering a software-enabled world. She is also the founder of Nashville-based ModernCapital, a community of startup founders and ecosystem partners committed to company building in the Southeast (#BuildInSE). Earlier in her career, Monique was on the founding team as Head of Investor Relations for VelosPartners, an early-stage venture capital firm in Los Angeles and Singapore.
Following her time at Velos, Monique ran programming for the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Greater Los Angeles, which included Startup Summer, an accelerator for middle and high school students from low-income communities. Most recently, she worked for Core Innovation Capital, a fintech-focused venture capital fund in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Her love for company building began over 10 years ago at TOMS Shoes, where she helped to launch the company’s first pop-up store, supported finance and inventory management for a cross-country Vagabond Tour, and ran a university campus rep program spanning 30 college campuses in 5 states. Monique holds an interdisciplinary BA in Humanities and Arts from the University of California at Irvine, with a focus on visual media in convergence culture.
Product Manager Judge
The judge of the Product Manager category is Elaine Chao. She is a product manager for Adobe XD in San Francisco, CA. In her 13-year tenure at Adobe, she’s worked as an engineer on a variety of products geared toward designers and web producers, including Dreamweaver, Edge Animate, and Creative Cloud Extract. Elaine is also a martial arts instructor, musician, writer, volunteerism advocate, and an Adobe Founders Award winner. You can find her online tweeting and blogging on Medium as @elainecchao.