DevelopHER Awards 2019

6 min read by Sarah Smith 28 Nov 2019


Last night the fifth annual DevelopHER Awards was held at the Ipswich Corn Exchange. Established in 2015 by Vickie Allen, the DevelopHER Awards continues to raise the profile of women in technology in East Anglia, creating role models to inspire the next generation of developers, technicians, project managers, testers and digital experts.

2019 marked the fourth year StrategiQ has been involved with the awards, and the third year we have been the main sponsor, and each year it seems to get bigger and better. Vickie and her team do an amazing job pulling the event together. For us as a company, we do everything we can to help women of all ages realise and nurture their potential, whether that through pursuing and developing their careers in digital or finding platforms to buck the trend and level the playing field.

The DevelopHER Awards embodies so many things we care about as a team and as a community, so we are proud to be a long-term supporter and especially proud of two of our superstars for being crowned winners in their respective fields.

And your winners are…


Becky Evison, one of our lead designers, was crowned winner of the Eye for Design DevelopHER Award. In addition to being the design eye behind some of our biggest campaigns, Bex has been with us for almost four years, and her contribution to the agency has been immense. Not only does she go above and beyond for her clients and her colleagues, but the impact she has made is absolutely inspiring, constantly striving for perfection and relentlessly developing her own skills across design, UX and now CRO specialisms.

Kara Thurkettle, part of our SEO team, walked away with the Innovation Award. For those of you in attendance, you could clearly see how much this meant to Kara, and we couldn’t be prouder of her. Her passion for digital technology and mental health awareness is unquestionable, and what she has achieved not only in the field of SEO, but with her extracurricular pursuits (recently winning the Hackathon hosted by Innovate Suffolk with her development partner Shaun from Coderus), has been inspiring.


This year was especially daunting for me as it was my turn to take to the stage and deliver the headline sponsor keynote. When Vickie asked me to step up and say a few words on my experience as a woman in the industry, I must admit I panicked a little. Public speaking has always been a daunting venture for me… but how could I say no? Being surrounded by so many inspiring, supportive and influential women, what better place to step outside of my own comfort zone, represent the women of our company and share our story?

Where it all began

It was six years ago that Andy suggested we start our own marketing agency. We came from different backgrounds: Andy was already working in sales and marketing, while I had worked in insurance from the age of 18.

Although I knew little about digital marketing and had no real idea about running a tech business, I knew my career in insurance wasn’t developing the way that I wanted to do and I just didn’t have the passion for it. I also have a deep desire to be a role model for my two daughters, and who knows, maybe one day they’ll want to work in tech too!

So what has helped me grow the agency that I am so proud of today?

Having a shared vision and aligned goals, along with an exceptional team of people, has ultimately been the recipe for success.

“Building a brand people want to be part of”

Only six years since StrategiQ was founded, we now employ 44 people across our Suffolk and Midlands offices, and are continuing to grow. A trend that we are all particularly proud of is that we are seeing more and more women taking up a variety of roles across the tech and digital sector.

In fact it’s really interesting how the balance has shifted in our agency over the past few years. Last year we employed 21 men and seven women. This year we have 25 men and 17 women.  

It is great to see the breadth of expertise and job roles that are filled by our female employees. And more than anything it demonstrates the quality of female talent we have within our region.

Just a few of the roles that have been filled across our agency in the last one to two years include: Roisin Ryan-Self (Account Manager), Emma Squires (Marketing Executive), Rheanne McCormick (Developer), Be Peters (Junior Designer), Sam Parnell (Business Development Consultant), Gemma White (Head of Client Services), Levi Clucas-Williams (Local SEO and Content Executive), Poppy Mace (Paid Media Executive) and Kate Jaggers (Marketing Executive).

Everyone of these ladies is award-winning in our eyes!


Once again thank you to Vickie Allen and her team for everything they do, and congratulations to everyone nominated and shortlisted this year. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all again next year!

Would you like to join our team?

Are you looking for your next big career move? We are currently hiring for many positions across our marketing, design and development teams. Click here to view our current list of vacancies. If you have other skills you can offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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