Finalist – Role Model of the Year: Public Sector & Universities

7th September 2021

Alps is proud to have brilliant women leading in so many areas of the business, with our CEO, Mary Ahern leading from the front.

Mary has been Alps CEO since 2009. She originally trained as a lawyer and joined the family company in 2004, when there were only four employees. This year Mary is a finalist for the ‘Role Model of the Year Award’ at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards 2021.

We recently sat down with Mary to find out what motivates her as CEO and how she has acted as a role model and leader throughout her time at the business.

“As the company has grown, I have grown with it, developing my business knowledge and leadership skills along the way. My motivation stems back to the origins of the company. Alps is a family business, set up and originally run by my father, Kevin Conway. It is the vehicle for spreading best practice and a message of aspiration and progress for students, developed by my father when he was principal at Greenhead Sixth Form College.

At Alps, we work with schools and colleges in England, Wales and Internationally. I am driven to continue to spread the message of Alps; that all students should be supported to achieve outcomes at the top 25%, and to give teachers the tools to do this. Protecting the original mission and legacy has been core to my role for the past 12 years. Alongside this, I have needed to ensure that we remain at the forefront of service and excellence to schools and colleges. Growing the company and recently pivoting how we deliver our analysis into a SaaS platform over the past 3 years has been part of the exciting journey.

It is only recently that I have been aware that my experience and position as CEO of an EdTech company could be used positively as a role model to other women in business.

Up until this point, my focus has been predominantly within my company. As CEO, I am keen to demonstrate to all my team the positive impact of my (female) perspective on what good leadership looks like, what effective teamwork looks like and instilling a culture based on ambition and collaboration. It is an important part of my role to mentor and coach my team. Ultimately, I want my female co-workers to see and feel that being a leader is both rewarding and achievable.

Talking with female peers as part of a network group over the past 12 months has reinforced the power of reaching out to support each other in business, and I will be looking to positively extend this over the next 12 months.”

Roll on the awards show on the 24th November! Find out more about the Women in Tech Excellence Awards here.

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