My advice to girls: "You will make decisions, good and bad, some about life, some about career. Your path is unique to you and your choices are right, even if they're different to others. Take your time and do your research when you can... but give yourself time to grow."

Visionary Award: Someone having unusually keen insight & a strong vision of how to bring about positive change in the future.

Val Walsh is a dynamic and accomplished executive known for her exceptional leadership in the technology and real estate sectors. With a career marked by strategic vision and transformative impact, Val currently serves as the Vice President of Lease, Land Development, and M&A within Microsoft's prestigious Cloud Operations and Innovation department.

Prior to her role at Microsoft, Val held the distinguished position of Senior Vice President at Digital Realty, a globally renowned data center solutions provider. Her time at Digital Realty was characterized by her remarkable ability to drive growth, optimize operations, and foster innovation in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology infrastructure.

As Vice President at Microsoft, Val Walsh leads a high-performing team dedicated to propelling Microsoft's presence within the cloud infrastructure market to new heights. Her expertise in lease negotiations, land development, and mergers and acquisitions is instrumental in steering Microsoft's strategic initiatives in infrastructure expansion and optimization. Moreover, Val plays a pivotal role in spearheading collaborations that enable the integration of OpenAI's revolutionary technologies into Microsoft's cloud operations, reaffirming the company's status as a leader in innovation.

Val's academic journey includes an impressive array of accomplishments. She graduated with both a Masters and a Bachelor's degree from Birmingham City University, showcasing her commitment to academic excellence. However, her passion extends far beyond her professional and academic achievements.

Val Walsh is a fervent advocate for advancing women in leadership roles. She actively champions diversity and inclusion within the technology and real estate sectors, working to create environments where talented women can thrive and excel. Her dedication to empowering and mentoring women reflects her belief in the transformative power of diverse perspectives in driving innovation and success.