Newcomer of the year shortlist - Melissa Hayes!

We’ve over the moon to announce that our very own Melissa Hayes has been shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year ahead of this year's Women in IT Summit & Awards.

Melissa is a Business Change Manager in the River Island tech team and joined us a little over 3 years ago as a Junior Internal Communications Assistant. Over the last 2 years, Melissa has pushed herself outside of her comfort zone and stepped into IT, establishing herself as an expert and a key resource in the Change Management team. Melissa is the perfect example of a newcomer in IT, busting the myth that IT is an impossible and sometimes intimidating field to get into without prior IT experience.

In her communications role at River Island, Melissa very quickly formed relationships with Tech project teams. When the pandemic hit in 2020, a gap opened in Change Management resource to help land IT projects successfully. Melissa jumped headfirst into the challenge and shadowed other Change Managers whilst undertaking personal development opportunities in her own time to become a self-taught change management professional. Since then, she’s been instrumental in driving our retail tech transformation forward, delivering multiple IT change projects into River Island stores and ensuring engagement and adoption of the new technology and processes are measured, monitored, and enhanced. 

About the Women in IT Summit & Awards series

The Women in IT Summit & Awards series, presented by DiversityQ in association with Information Age, supports the tech industry in its mission to move the dial on diversity & inclusion. By providing a global platform to showcase advocates, role models, and allies this growing series works alongside industry champions to share knowledge, break digital boundaries, and promote the importance of an inclusive tech sector.

The Newcomer of the Year award is for a woman that has entered the tech space for the first time within the last 2-years. It recognises women who have progressed rapidly though their role and demonstrated business value and innovation. 

We’re looking forward to the awards ceremony on 23rd February 2023. Good luck to all those nominated – especially Melissa! 

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