Digital Nova Scotia this week named the winners of its first Digital Diversity Awards, the final phase of its 36-month Women Leaders Fueling the Digital Economy project.

The awards, which were presented Tuesday at the Centre for Women in Business’ Spring Finale, acknowledge and honour both female leadership and diversity champions in Nova Scotia’s ICT sector, while encouraging the province’s next generation of women leaders.

The winners in three categories were:

Women Leaders in the Digital Economy

Winner: Jenn Priske – Division Executive, REDspace

Power IT Up: Next Generation Leadership

Winner: Jenelle Sobey – Managing Partner, Norex

Diversity Champion of the Year

Winner: UIT Startup Immersion at Cape Breton University

“Today we celebrate the success of leaders and organizations who make the decision on a daily basis to actively provide inclusive work environments,” said DNS President and CEO Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia in a statement. “The Digital Diversity Award recipients take time to encourage and inspire young women and peers alike to excel in our sector, and they strive for parity in the workplace because they know how powerful it is.”

The launch of the awards program was initially announced at the 2015 Spring Finale, so hosting the first ceremony at this year’s Spring Finale was particularly fitting. The Awards will continue as a stand-alone legacy program in 2017 and beyond.

The ‘Call for Nominations’ for the 2nd Annual Digital Diversity Awards is now officially open with a deadline of March 8, 2017, which is International Women’s Day.

“There is a business case to increasing the number of women working and leading within the ICT sector,” said Bahr-Gedalia. “Organizations like UIT Startup Immersion, who reserve 50 percent of their seats for women, are leading by example and building what can be another competitive advantage for our region.”