Top 10: Women in Data Centres in the UK & Europe

After Technology Magazine’s Top 100 Women was released and to celebrate International Data Centre Day, we consider some leading women in data centres

Our sister publication, Technology Magazine, released its Top 100 Women in Technology 2024 list last week. It features some of the leading women in the technology sector, spanning across AI, data centres and cybersecurity, all committed to digitally transforming our world for the better.

Within the data centre industry in particular, the presence of women - particularly in leadership roles - remains low. As the industry continues to be dominated by men, a lack of diversity could lead to long-lasting implications that include limiting innovation and missing out on digital opportunities.

Data Centre Magazine considers some of the leading women in the data centre sector based across the UK and Europe.

10. Kalay Moodley, Chief People Officer at Kao Data

Image: Kao Data

Having just joined Kao Data as Chief People Officer in March 2024, Kalay Moodley joins Kao Data from Digital Realty. She holds a long-standing and rewarding career leading human resources and HR operations for a range of technology, global data centre and healthcare businesses.

For International Women’s Day 2024, Kalay said: “At Kao Data, our role is clear: championing diversity through inclusive policies, empowering women in leadership roles, and inspiring the next generation of female talent to thrive in this dynamic sector.”

9. Marie Chabanon, Chief Technical Officer at Data4

Marie Chabanon

Marie Chabanon has been Data4 Group’s CTO since January 2018 and holds more than 20 years of experience in international companies. Some of her previous places of work include Socotec International and APL Data Centers, attesting to her expertise in large-scale project management.

At Data4 Group, Marie helps to organise the design and construction of data centres throughout the company’s platform. As a member of the Executive Committee, she participates in development projects and is also a sponsor of the “Data4Good” sustainable development program.

She is also a signatory of the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society’s Charter for the fight against climate change, in addition to campaigning for the development of women’s leadership in the technical professions.

8. Dame Dawn Childs, CEO at Pure Data Centres

Image: Pure Data Centres

Dame Dawn Childs has been CEO at Pure Data Centres since May 2023, having worked at the company for just over two years. She is an accomplished engineer and operator who was honoured with a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2020 and appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2023 New Year honours list for her services to engineering.

Prior to joining Pure Data Centres, Dawn has held senior positions at the National Grid, Gatwick Airport and the Royal Air Force. Her experience lies in engineering, business transformation and maintenance systems.

7. Christina Mertens, Vice President of Business Development EMEA at VIRTUS Data Centres

Christina Mertens

An experienced business development manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry, Christina Mertens has worked at VIRTUS Data Centres since June 2022. She is a consulting professional skilled in corporate finance, business development, strategic planning and marketing strategy.

Prior to her role at VIRTUS, Christina was Infrastructure Country Manager Germany & Data Center Divest Lead EMEA at Amazon Web Services (AWS), EU Customer Service Business Analyst Manager at Amazon and was also a senior consultant at Deloitte.

6. Amy Young, Sales Director at Custodian Data Centres

Image: Custodian Data Centres

Amy Young is a director and board member at Custodian Data Centres and seeks to create pathways for diversity across both the technology and data centre industries. Combining her passion for the sector and her knowledge of sales and marketing, Amy is working to bolster the company’s continued growth.

Having come from a career in recruitment, she is now an ambitious leader in the data centre sector, aiming to drive developments in agile infrastructure with industry-leading design. As a result, she is committed to delivering sustainable and technological data centre growth.

5. Emma Fryer, Director for Public Policy Europe at CyrusOne

Image: techUK

With over a decade of experience in the data centre sector providing a collective voice for operators, Emma Fryer is well-known for her intensive industry knowledge, commitment and persistence. At CyrusOne, she is responsible for identifying, monitoring and responding to regulatory developments across multiple jurisdictions.

She has also been elected to the Board of the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, which is working to help data centres across Europe achieve climate neutrality by 2030. Prior to her role at CyrusOne, Emma worked at techUK for more than 13 years representing the UK data centre sector to the government and other stakeholders.

4. Helen Kinsman, Head of Commercial Operations at VIRTUS Data Centres

Image: VIRTUS Data Centres

Having been Head of Commercial Operations at VIRTUS since 2011, Helen Kinsman holds more than 30 years of experience in property development across both Europe and Asia. Her main area of expertise is property acquisition, management and the development of data centre sites.

Helen has been involved in all of VIRTUS’ site acquisitions to date and has been included in legal negotiations, overseeing technical due diligence and securing power via connectivity agreements and working with local authorities. Also committed to ESG, Helen chairs the company’s sustainability steering committee.

3. Ursula Koski, Chief Technology Officer at AWS

Ursula Koski

A seasoned technology leader, Ursula Koski has more than 28 years of experience in software development, cloud transformation, and digital innovation. 

In her role as CTO for Nordics Partners at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Koski works with partners, governments, and the European Commission to accelerate the growth of the technology industry, as well as strengthen Finland's position for digital talent and innovation. 

A passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and human rights, Koski co-leads the Glamazon Nordics AWS and Amazon LGBTQ+ affinity group, and is the first woman in 70 years to hold the role of Chairwomen at Tivia - the Finnish ICT professionals association.

2. Adaire Fox-Martin, President and CEO at Equinix

Adaire Fox-Martin

Adaire Fox-Martin was announced as the new President and CEO at Equinix in March 2024. With more than 25 years of experience within the technology sector, she is joining the data centre company from her previous role as go-to-market President for Google Cloud.

She led her Google Cloud teams globally by encompassing sales, professional services, partner ecosystem and customer success. Prior to her work at Google, Adaire held several key senior positions around the world, including at Oracle and SAP.

1. Miriam Murphy, CEO Europe at NTT

Having been in the technology industry for the last 25 years, Miriam Murphy is the current CEO of Europe for NTT. Having previously worked for Avnet Technology Solutions and Tech Data, her specialities lie in driving value and innovation in the IT ecosystem. 

In her current role, Miriam leads the acceleration of growth and transformation of partners, as a trusted advisor and advocate for the development of high-performing multicultural teams. She is also an ambassador of diversity, equity and inclusion.

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