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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 11:10 GMT
'Top technology' woman announced
Video on mobile phone, BBC
Ms Dehghan's company helps fine-tune mobile networks
The boss of a telecoms firm has been named as the overall winner of the 2006 Blackberry Women and Technology Awards.

Shirin Dehghan runs Arieso, a company that helps mobile operators plan and fine tune their phone networks.

In picking the winner, the judges said they were impressed by Ms Dehghan's dedication to making her company fit the lifestyles of staff.

The awards, started in 2005, recognise the achievements of women working in the hi-tech sector.

Celebrating success

The winners were announced at a glitzy awards ceremony held at Old Billingsgate in London on 2 November.

A ten-person-strong judging panel selected Ms Dehghan as the top woman in technology, awarding her with a Blackberry and a two-day spa break. She has worked in telecoms since 1992.

Best woman in corporate sector: Mandy Chessell, IBM
Best woman in public/academic sector: Beti Williams, IT Wales
Best woman in SME: Shirin Dehghan, Arieso
Best woman - Pan-European: Tania Howarth, Coca Cola
Most promising woman under 25: Karen Petrie, University of St Andrews
Best female entrepreneur: Ann-Marie Slavin, Opt2vote
Best writer: Caramel Quin, freelance journalist
Best company: Goldman Sachs
Overall winner 2006: Shirin Dehghan

Other winners on the night included Mandy Chessell, a software researcher at IBM, who topped the corporate sector category.

And Karen Petrie, a research fellow at the University of St Andrews, was named the most promising woman in technology under the age of 25.

Goldman Sachs was chosen as the best company advancing women in technology.

The awards mark an effort to try to persuade more women into technology careers. At present, women make up only 22% of the hi-tech workforce.

Research published in 2005 by the Department of Trade and Industry revealed women were put off by high-tech jobs, because of a perceived male-domination of the industry culture. They said the industry needed to do much more to encourage women.

Last year, the overall prize went to Jackie Edwards, a lecturer from De Montfort University. She was chosen because of work on the Women's Access to Information Technology (WAIT) - a course which encourages women from the local community to pursue technology careers.

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