IWF tech officer nominated for Rising Star of the Year

Published:  Fri 28 Oct 2016

The Women in IT Awards nominated Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) Technical Projects Officer for “Rising Star of the Year”.

The awardhonours female role models and their outstanding achievements and contributions to the IT industry, promoting dialogue and diversity amongst industry influencers and partners.

Harriet Lester joined IWF as an Internet Content Analyst in early 2014. Having shown a high interest, motivation and talent in using her IT knowledge and creativity to support IWF’s mission eliminating child sexual abuse content from the internet, she was promoted to Technical Research Assistant in 2014 and Technical Projects Officer in 2015.

Harriet has led a number of remarkable projects that proved to be valuable to the IWF, its Members and the whole internet industry.

One of IWF’s proudest achievements, the UK Overseas Territories Reporting Portals, go back to Harriet’s future-driven thinking and ambition to provide everyone in the world with a safe place to report criminal images and videos of child sexual abuse. In May and June 2016, Harriet travelled to 12 UK Overseas Territories, negotiating with key gatekeepers and securing backing for the project on behalf of the IWF and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Susan Crown, Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Head of Policy and Delivery, said: “Harriet has been inspirational. She has given people in the British Overseas Territories the ability to report child abuse images online. She worked tirelessly to bring this powerful tool to remote places and to create a conversation about this emotive issue. Harriet is a leader and a wonderfully engaging speaker. She has made a real difference to the Territories by creating this project and children will be safer globally because of her work.''

Harriet said: “I am extremely honoured to have been shortlisted in the Women in IT Awards within the category of Rising Star of the Year. The event will be an exciting opportunity to showcase achievements by Women within IT. I feel thrilled to be part of this event and look forward to an evening of celebrating female achievement and meeting the female role models of today.”

The award winners will be announced on 27 January 2017.




Notes to editors:

Contact: Emma Hardy, IWF Director of External Relations +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.

What we do:

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.


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