Voting has opened for the 2017 list of the most influential women in UK technology, giving Computer Weekly readers the chance to choose who should take the top spot.
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Now in its sixth year, Computer Weekly's list of the 50 most influential women in UK IT aims to showcase role models in the technology sector and promote the positive difference diversity can make to the future of IT.
This year, Computer Weekly is working in partnership with Mortimer Spinks to deliver a diversity in tech event where attendees will discuss the common factors that affect diversity in the technology industry. During the event, which is due to take place on 4 October, the 2017 winner of the Most Influential Woman in UK Technology title will be announced.
Almost 160 women were nominated for the list, and a judging panel of experts has decided on a final shortlist of the 50 most influential women in UK technology (see below).
Hall of Fame
Computer Weekly and our panel of judges also added two of the industry’s most longstanding and successful women to its Hall of Fame, which is designed to showcase women who have made a lifetime contribution to the women in IT agenda.
This year, Tectre founder and former BCSwomen chair Gillian Arnold along with last year’s Most Influential Woman in Technology winner Maggie Philbin join the Hall of Fame, alongside Jacqueline de Rojas, Joanna Shields, Jane Moran, Dr Sue Black, Dame Wendy Hall, Dame Stephanie Shirley and Baroness Martha Lane Fox who are the Hall of Fame’s existing members.
Computer Weekly readers can now vote on who they feel is the most influential woman in UK technology in 2017.
Click on your choice and then on the "submit" button (or the arrow button on mobile) at the end of the list and your vote will be registered. Note that the list appears in a randomised order.
Voting closes at 5.00pm on Friday 8 September 2017.
Editor's note: The final list of the most influential women in UK IT will be chosen by combining the decision of the judging panel with the votes of our readers. The combined reader vote will carry the same weight as that of one judge, and will provide the UK IT professional input into the order of the list. The editor's decision on the list will be final.
Biographies of the shortlisted 50 (in alphabetical order):
Alex Depledge, Chair, Coadec; CEO, Buildpath.com; founder, Hassle.com
Alex Depledge is an entrepreneur who founded domestic cleaning marketplace Hassle.com. Until March 2016 Depledge was a board member for lobbying body The Sharing Economy, and currently acts as the venture partner for startup capital firm Ignite 100. Depledge is also the chair of not-for-profit The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec). Previously she worked as a management consultant for Accenture. Most recently Depledge is the founder and CEO of BuildPath.com which helps home owners complete building projects.
Alice Bentinck, Co-founder of Entrepreneur First
Bentinck is the co-founder of Entrepreneur First, a firm focused on supporting technology startups from around Europe. As part of the Entrepreneur First initiative, Bentinck also co-founded Code First: Girls, an organisation which provides part-time coding courses across university campuses. Bentinck was on the advisory board of Founders4Schools for two years, and is on the Computer Science Department Industrial Liaison Board for Imperial College London.
Alison Vincent, Chief information security officer, HSBC
Alison Vincent is a doctor of mathematics and cryptography and a fellow of the BCS. Having been involved with the technology industry for more than 20 years, Vincent began her career as a software engineer and then a performance analyst at IBM before moving on to tech-based management roles. Joining Cisco in 2001, Vincent was with the firm for 15 years ultimately becoming chief technology officer in February 2015 before leaving the firm in mid-2017. Vincent has most recently taken up the role of global CISO for HSBC where she hopes she can use her influence to further advance the diversity in tech agenda.
Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls
Amali de Alwis is the CEO for coding education initiative Code First: Girls which teaches students across university campuses how to code. De Alwis also acts as a CommonwealthFirst Mentor for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, providing mentorship and encouragement to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Working to align education, skills and employment, De Alwis also acts as the commissioner for the Doncaster Education and Skills Commission, and acts as a mentor for many startups.
Anna Barsby, Chief technology director, Morrisons
Anna Barsby became the chief technology director at supermarket Morrisons in 2016 after three years as CIO at Halfords, where she led a major IT overhaul and a cloud migration. She joined Halfords from TUI Travel where she was business change delivery director following a stint as director of IT projects and programmes. Barsby has also worked as head of infrastructure and service delivery at Whitbread, and IS transformation programme manager for the Financial Services Authority. She has an MBA from Warwick Business School.
Anne Marie Neatham, COO of Ocado Technology
Anne Marie Neatham began her career as a software engineer in software and retail firms around the world. After joining Ocado as a software engineer in 2001, Neatham worked to become the head of Ocado Technology in Poland in 2012 where she set up the firm’s Polish arm from scratch. In 2014 Neatham became the chief operating officer of Ocado Technology where she looks after infrastructure and operations for the UK and Poland. Neatham believes that to get young girls into technology careers the encouragement needs to start early in the education system.
Anne-Marie Imafidon, CEO, Stemettes
Imafidon founded volunteer organisation Stemettes to inspire the next generation of women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics via a series of panel events, hackathons and through the media. She is also an advisory board member for Redfield Asset Management, a board member at Inspirational You, a fellow of the RSA and director at Avisami. She won the FDM Everywoman Rising Star of the Year award 2014 and has featured in Computer Weekly’s list of the Most Influential Women in UK IT after being marked as a Rising Star in previous years. Prior to Stemettes, Imafidon started her career in IT as a business analyst intern and web designer before becoming an enterprise collaboration strategist at Deutsche Bank.
Bindi Karia, Advisor, entrepreneur
Bindi Karia is currently working on an entrepreneurial project which has yet to be announced. Prior to 2017, Karia led Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts as vice-president for its origination and entrepreneur commercial banking arm Accelerator. She has spent much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the venture capital/emerging business lead at Microsoft UK. For five years she led BizSpark in the UK (now known as Microsoft Ventures), concentrating on early-stage technology businesses, as well as being responsible for working alongside venture capitalists and angels on behalf of Microsoft. She sits on many industry advisory boards, has recently been appointed a trustee for Startup Weekend Europe and is an active supporter of many of London’s top incubators, including Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, Wayra, Entrepreneur First and Level39.
Carrie Anne Philbin, Director of education, Raspberry Pi Foundation
Named as one of Computer Weekly’s 2016 women in tech rising stars, Carrie Anne Philbin leads strategy, CPD programmes and learning resources at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Philbin has worked to advance technology education in schools, acting as a board member for the Python Software Foundation and Computing At School (CAS) and chair of CAS #include to make computer science education accessible to all.
Philbin is also a YouTuber, writer and secondary computing and ICT teacher and creates a number of online resources for teenagers to help them get started with Raspberry Pi technology. She has a YouTube series dedicated to making role models within the IT industry more visible to teenage girls.
Charlotte Finn, Vice-president, Programs-EMEA, Salesforce.org
Finn is the VP of Programs for Salesforce.org in EMEA and also works on sales strategy for corporate philanthropy programme the Salesforce Foundation. Finn is an advocate of mentorship, and used her position in the Salesforce Foundation to offer the 2015 Computer Weekly Rising Stars mentorship and advice to help the advancement of women and diversity in the IT industry. Prior to working at Salesforce, Finn held positions in business operations at VMware and head of global service centre for international wholesale at Verizon Business. Finn holds an MSc in corporate governance and studied business at Anglia Ruskin University.
Charlotte Holloway, Head of public innovation, Public Group
Charlotte Holloway was formerly policy director at IT industry body TechUK, where she worked alongside tech companies and policy makers to encourage innovation and digital transformation in the UK economy. Holloway also acts as a policy fellow for the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge, is now head of public sector innovation at the Public Group. She was part of the team supporting angel investor Sherry Coutu during the production of an independent report for government on the opportunities for economic growth in the UK. Prior to TechUK, Holloway held roles at research firm the Work Foundation where she worked on several research projects and co-authored a number of reports on economic growth and innovation.
Chi Onwurah, Shadow minister for industrial strategy, science & innovation; Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central
Chinyelu Onwurah is shadow Cabinet Office minister for industrial strategy, science & innovation. She led Labour’s pre-2015 election review of digital government policy. She was first elected at the 2010 general election as MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. A chartered engineer and former head of telecoms technology at UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, she is co-chair of the Parliamentary ICT forum (Pictfor) and former board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). Chi is an advocate for digital skills and digital enablement.
Christina Scott, Chief technology officer, News UK and Deputy CTO, News Corp
Christina Scott was appointed the chief technology officer for News UK at the beginning of 2016 to assist with its digital initiatives, and is also the deputy CTO for parent company News Corp. Prior to 2016, Scott was the CIO for the Financial Times for over three years, where she was responsible for technology across the FT Group, leading a 400+ global team responsible for building and operating the infrastructure, business applications, data and consumer products across multiple platforms. Scott has over 20 years’ experience across the media, IT and engineering industries - before joining the FT, she worked for the BBC, BT Vision, News International and ITV Digital, and as a consultant at Accenture.
Claire Cockerton, Founder & CEO at Plexal
Claire Cockerton is a serial entrepreneur and an industry leader in financial services. Cockerton is co-founder and ambassador of Innovate Finance, a City of London and Canary Wharf Group backed group promoting fintech startups. She is founder and chairwoman of Entiq, a firm delivering innovation strategy and product development programmes for large corporates. She also set the strategy and co-led the implementation of Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator dedicated to fintech, retail and smart cities technologies. Cockerton is an active member for Women in Tech, Tech London Advocates, Women Shift Digital, and is a member of the Mayor of London Tech Ambassador Group. Most recently Cockerton launched the 68,000ft2 Plexal innovation hub at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Clare Sutcliffe, CEO at Code Club; Executive director, communities and outreach, Raspberry Pi Foundation
Clare Sutcliffe has been the executive director of communities and outreach for Raspberry Pi Foundation since 2016 as well as leading Code Club. Sutcliffe has brought computing to primary schools without dumbing it down, negotiating to bring major stakeholders like ARM and Google on board, as well as harnessing the energy of individual volunteers through an open and social approach. Code Club is a nationwide network of free volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. In 2014, the organisation went global, with the aim of having coding communities in 50% of the world’s countries by the end of 2018. In 2015 Sutcliffe was awarded an MBE for her services to technology, and now also works as executive director communities and outreach for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, promoting both Raspberry Pi and Code Club initiatives.
Debbie Forster, Tech Talent Charter management group lead; tech leader and entrepreneur, Novel Design;
Debbie Forster is director at consultancy Novel Design, and leads the management group for the Tech Talent Charter initiative. During her time as co-CEO at Apps for Good, Forster inspired hundreds of students, teachers, industry experts and sponsors to engage with the organisation. As well as scaling at an impressive rate under Forster’s leadership, Apps for Good is working hard to tackle diversity in Stem education. The course has achieved and maintained a gender balance of close to 50/50. Over 50% of apps which have won at the organisation’s annual awards have been developed by all girl or mixed teams.
Forster recently recieved an MBE for digital innovation, and was named WISE woman of the year in 2016. She was also named one of the Most Influential Women in IT by Computer Weekly in 2014 and 2015.
Debbie Wosskow, Co-founder and CEO of Love Home Swap; government advisor on sharing economy
Debbie Wosskow is the chairman and co-founder of AllBright, a platform designed to help support and fund female entrepreneurs in the UK. Wosskow is also the co-founder of digital platform Lifestyler.me and co-founder and CEO of home-exchange platform Love Home Swap. Until March 2017 Wosskow acted as chairman for Sharing Economy UK, the trade body which represents the UK’s sharing economy businesses.
Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech City; partner, Passion Capital; government special envoy for fintech
Eileen Burbidge is a partner at Passion Capital, the London-based venture capital firm she established with Stefan Glaenzer and Robert Dighero. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product development roles at Yahoo, Skype, PalmSource, Openwave, Sun and Apple. She also serves as chair for Tech City UK and is the special envoy for fintech for HM Treasury, as well as member of the Prime Minister’s business advisory group.
Elizabeth Denham, Information commissioner
As information commissioner for the UK, Elizabeth Denham is responsible for ensuring information rights are in the public interest and leads the office dealing with the 1998 Data Protection Act. Prior to becoming information commissioner, Denham was the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia responsible for compliance with public and private sector privacy legislation and access to information law.
Elizabeth Varley, Co-founder and CEO of TechHub
TechHub is at the heart of the London Tech City movement to attract startups to East London and boost investment and innovation in UK IT, with Elizabeth Varley as its CEO. She has set up new TechHub operations in Bangalore, Bucharest, Berlin and Riga, as well as other UK sites in Manchester and Swansea. Previously, Varley set up Online Content UK as an organisation for online content professionals running an industry-focused community & regular events. She was one of the founding steering committee members of the DigitalEve women in technology organisation in the UK. Varley also sits on the board for the Digital City Exchange at Imperial College London.
Emma McGuigan, Group technology officer - communications, media & technology, Accenture
Emma McGuigan is the group technology officer responsible for communications, media and technology for Accenture. Until March 2017, McGuigan ran Accenture’s UK and Ireland technology business, which includes consulting and outsourcing for 70% of Accenture’s UK business. She joined Accenture in 1994 after graduating with a Master’s degree in Electronics from the University of Edinburgh. McGuigan leads Accenture’s work with Stemettes, a charity dedicated to increasing the number of women in Stem careers. In 2012, she was the technology category winner of Women in the City's Woman of Achievement Awards and in 2013 was made a fellow of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. McGuigan is a board member of industry body TechUK and is the treasurer of the Orchid Project.
Hannah Dee, Senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University and founder of the BCS Women Lovelace Colloquium
Hannah Dee set up the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, the UK's main conference for female undergraduates, which she has run for the last seven years. She has a degree in cognitive science, a masters in philosophy and a doctorate in computing, all from the University of Leeds. Her research areas are computer vision for the analysis of human behaviour, the detection of shadows and reasoning about shadows, and student attitudes to the study of computer science. She has held post-doctoral positions in Grenoble (France), Leeds and Kingston upon Thames. She is a women in computing activist and deputy chair of BCSWomen, the chartered institute for IT's group for women.
Harriet Green, Global leader, IBM Watson internet of things, customer engagement and education
Harriet Green is the vice president and general manager for internet of things, commerce and education at IBM, as well as a non-executive director for BAE Systems. Having studied business, strategy and leadership at Harvard Business School as well as business psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Green has many years of experience in business leadership, and has won several awards to reflect this. Prior to her current role, Green held CEO positions at Premier Farnell and Thomas Cook.
Helen Milner, Chief executive, Good Things Foundation
Helen Milner is founder and CEO of the Good Thing Foundation (formerly the Tinder Foundation), a not-for-profit, staff-owned social enterprise that aims to help the 11 million people on the wrong side of the UK’s digital divide to become confident with digital and online technologies. The Good Thing Foundation won a government contract in 2014 to support its digital inclusion strategy. Until May 2017 Milner was also a specialist government advisor of digital engagement for the Public Accounts Committee.
Heather Picov, UK managing director, Apps for Good
Heather Picov became the UK managing director for education technology movement Apps for Good after serving as its head of communications and communities for three years where she looked after the recruitment of over 1000 education partners and more than 1100 volunteers to help encourage children into tech. Picov was previously co-director at the Museum of Architecture where she partnered with organisations to create pop-up exhibits to engage the public with architecture.
Jennifer Arcuri, Founder, InnoTech Network and Hacker House
Jennifer Arcuri is a serial entrepreneur who most recently founded Hacker House, an expert community network dealing in cyber security and ethical hacking. Arcuri describes herself as a “cyber security ethical hacker guru” and has had previous digital experience in social media, e-commerce, social commerce, website development and mobile development & marketing. In January 2013 Arcuri launched the InnoTech Network, a firm running events, networking and startup funding to grow technology clusters worldwide. She was named one of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK Technology Rising Stars in 2016.
Jennifer Rigby, CIO, Lloyd's of London
Now CIO at Lloyd’s of London, previously Rigby looked after technology channels for telecoms provider O2, including channels such as the firm’s online, retail and voice channel offerings where she helped to deliver several large-scale IT programmes. Prior to her work at O2 she held several roles throughout government including director of corporate security at the Home Office, chair of the Green ICT Delivery Unit for UK government and CIO for the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Rigby started her IT career at the BBC where she acted as an executive producer for BBC Future Media & Technology.
Kate Russell, Tech journalist, gamer, author and BBC Click presenter
Journalist, reporter and author, Kate has been writing about technology and the internet since 1995. Appearing regularly on BBC technology programme Click she also speaks at schools and universities inspiring the next generation of technologists. She has regular columns in National Geographic Traveller magazine and BBC Focus magazine, and her website, KateRussell.co.uk , won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog. In June 2015 she was voted the 25th most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly.
Kathryn Parsons, Founder and Co-CEO, Decoded
Kathryn Parsons is co-founder of Decoded, which teaches people to code in a day. Having launched this entirely self-funded business in 2011, she is now overseeing its international expansion and launching new products. Over 50% of Decoded staff are female.
Kerensa Jennings, Director at Office of HRH The Duke of York
Kerensa Jennings is the director at the Office of the Duke of York, responsible for strategy and delivery of iDEA CIC, the inspiring digital enterprise award. Prior to this, Jennings spent 15 years with the BBC working on a variety of roles including programme editor for BBC Breakfast and executive editor for BBC News. Jennings spent two and a half years as programme executive for the BBC Academy, helping develop a leadership programme for senior creative leaders throughout the BBC. Jennings has also held roles at major broadcast organisations ITN and Sky.
Magdalena Krön, Head of Rise London and VP Open Innovation at Barclays; Co-founder Geek Girl Meetup UK
As head of Rise London and vicde-president of open innovation at Barclays, Magdelan Kron is responsible for connecting London startups with Barclays to encourage growth in the ecosystem. Kron also co-founded Geek Girl Meetup in the UK, a network for women and girls interested in technology and design startups. Prior to her work at Barclays, Kron helped more than 300 startups with early stage business strategy as head of operations and investment manager at Capital List and the London Co-Investment fund.
Marta Krupinska, Co-founder and general manager, Azimo
Marta Krupinska co-founded Azimo to make sending money easy and accessible for everyone. Named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Finance in 2016, Krupinska acts as Azimo general manager to help develop the social platform which allows customers to send money to banks, mobile phones and home delivery. In 2014 Krupinska was named one of the 100 most important women in UK fintech by Innovate Finance and acted as a women in tech mentor for DevelopHer UK in 2015.
Melissa Di Donato, Chief revenue officer, S/4 HANA Cloud, SAP
Prior to becoming the chief revenue officer for SAP, Melissa Di Donato was at Salesforce.com as area vice-president of Wave Analytics Cloud at Salesforce. Before her six years at Salesforce, Di Donato was the area vice president of ISV and channel programmes for Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC), during which she chaired a European ISV Advisory Innovation Board. Di Donato is a board member and advisor to various technology companies in the UK and in Silicon Valley. She is a philanthropist, focusing on Stem initiatives and mentoring women in business. She has recently been named as leader of the Tech Working Group of the 30% Club.
Monique Shivanandan, Group CIO, Aviva
Shivanandan joined Aviva as CIO in 2014, and has had a history of high-level technology roles. As well as her work at Aviva, Shivanandan is the non-executive director for J.P. Morgan Securities and is passionate about science and technology. Prior to her current role, Shivanandan spent time as chief technology officer for Capital One and was the managing director and CIO of BT Retail for four years. Shivanandan believes women should act as mentors and role models for other women in the IT industry.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-president EMEA, Facebook
Nicola Mendelsohn has been vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations at Facebook since 2013. She is responsible for growing Facebook's advertising revenue and improving relationships with brands across the region. She has served as the president of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications London). She was executive chairman and partner of Karmarama advertising agency for five years. She is chair of the corporate board of Women's Aid. Mendelsohn is currently director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, industry chair of the Creative Industries Council, non-executive director of consumer goods firm Diageo and co-president of charity Norwood.
Rachel Neaman, CEO, Corsham Institute
Before becoming CEO of not-for-profit Corsham Institute, Rachel Neaman was the CEO of digital skills charity Go On UK which joined forces with Martha Lane Fox’s Doteveryone initiative in 2016. Doteveryone is a new kind of public-value partnership organisation committed to showing what's possible: tech for good, at scale, for everyone. Neaman has extensive senior leadership experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and abroad, is chair of the Digital Leaders programme, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
Rioch Edwards-Brown, Founder, So You Wanna Be on TV?
Entrepreneur and founder of So You Wanna Be on TV?, Rioch Edwards-Brown, is an advocate for diversity and has extensive media experience. She began So You Wanna Be on TV? as a community outreach programme after her son was shot and stabbed at school, and uses the platform to tackle the lack of diversity and social mobility in TV by providing free employability skills through partnerships between TV, brands, corporates and the community.
Sarah Burnett, Vice president - research, Everest Group; Chair of BCSWomen
Burnett is an analyst in information technology services and business process outsourcing. Vice-president (VP) at Everest Group, Burnett uses her skills to lead the group on global service delivery automation research and European practice across its global services research areas. Prior to working for Everest Group, Burnett was VP of research at Nelson Hall covering areas such as infrastructure ITO, cloud, and government BPO. Burnett is now the chair of BCSWomen
Sarah Luxford, Director at Nexec Leaders & Co-Founder TLA Women in Tech
Luxford is the co-lead of the Tech London Advocate’s women in tech group and is also co-founder of Croydon Tech City, the second fastest-growing tech cluster in the capital, in charge of developing new relationships with investors, tech companies and potential stakeholders. In her role of director at Nexec Leaders, Luxford works with founders, investors and business leaders to find the talent they need. Luxford was noted as one of Computer Weekly's 2015 Rising Stars.
Sarah Turner, Founder, Angel Academe
Sarah Turner founded Angel Academe, a pro-women and pro-diversity angel investment group focused on technology. Turner is currently CEO of the group, and is also an external board member and chair of the investment committee for venture capital fund the Low Carbon Innovation Fund. Turner is also a board member of the trade association for early-stage investment, the UK Business Angels Association, and is the co-founder and director of consultancy Turner Hopkins which helps businesses create digital strategy.
Sarah Wilkinson, CEO, NHS Digital; ex-chief digital, data and technology officer at Home Office
In 2017 Sarah Wilkinson was appointed the new CEO of NHS Digital. Prior to this, Wilkinson was the chief technology officer at the Home Office where she led many of the most critical IT systems supporting UK borders and policing. Previously Wilkinson was managing director and head of corporate systems technology at Credit Suisse for over two years, having previously worked at HSBC, UBS and Deutsche Bank in various senior IT roles. She also sits on Telefonica’s startup accelerator Wayra as a board adviser, and is a non-executive director at the Police ICT Company.
Sarah Wood, Co-founder and CEO, Unruly Media
Wood is the co-founder and co-CEO of data-centric media promotion company Unruly Media, which was acquired by News Corp in 2015. Unruly uses emotional audience data and user-friendly video formats to massively increase viewer engagement, brand performance and publisher revenues across the web. Previously a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Sussex, Wood is now an associate lecturer and course convenor for the University of Cambridge focusing on devising and delivering the "Creation, Consumption, Revolution: Online Video Culture" module as part of the Screen Cultures MPhil course.
Sharon Moore, Industry technical leader for travel & transportation, IBM UK
Moore is the technical leader for the travel and transportation industry at IBM UK, focusing on designing technical solutions for IBM's clients in the travel and transportation industry, incorporating engagement, internet of things and analytics technologies, as well as building IBM’s technical community in this space. Moore is also a non-executive director for CENSIS - Innovation Centre, and deputy chair of BCSWomen.
Sharon White, CEO, Ofcom
Sharon White took over as chief executive of telecoms regulator Ofcom in March 2015 after spending two years as the second permanent secretary at HM Treasury, the first black person, and the second woman, to hold the position. Prior to working with the Treasury, White had board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development and was a civil service adviser at the Prime Minister's Policy Unit.
Sheila Flavell, Chief operating officer, FDM Group
Sheila Flavell was appointed chief operating officer of IT service firm FDM Group in 2008, and is an executive board director of the firm. She played an integral role in the group’s flotation on AIM in 2005 and was a key instigator of the management buy-out of the group in 2010 and the subsequent float onto the main FTSE market in June 2014. Sheila spearheads FDM’s Global Women in Tech campaign and FDM’s Getting Back to Business programme, aimed at providing opportunities for returners to work. She sits on the main Board of techUK and the Women in Tech Council and is frequently called to advise government committees on various issues, especially around the digital skills gap. She won Leader of the Year at the everywoman in Technology Awards, was recently recognised as one of the top 25 Most Influential Women of the Mid-Market by CEO Connection.
Sheree Atcheson, UK expansion director, Women Who Code
Sheree Atcheson became the UK expansion director of Women Who Code in 2016, responsible for advancing the Women Who Code networks across the UK, after founding the organisation in 2014. Atcheson is also a technical business consultant for technology, strategy and architecture at Deloitte UK acting as a “middle man” between clients and developers. Over the years Atcheson has held several tech roles, including software engineer for Kainos and product analyst for SR labs.
Sherry Coutu, Angel investor; founder of Founders4Schools; Silicon Valley Comes to the UK; Scaleup Institute
Sherry Coutu is one of Britain's most successful angel investors, working and investing with entrepreneurs to solve problems for patients in medical technology sectors and students and teachers in education technology. She advises and serves on the boards of companies, charities and institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, Cambridge University, LinkedIn, Raspberry Pi and Care.com. As an angel investor, she has made direct angel investments in more than 50 companies and holds investments in three venture capital firms. She founded and chairs the not-for-profit Founders4schools.org.uk, Silicon Valley Comes 2 The UK and serves on the board of the Francis Crick Institute.
Sophie Deen, CEO, Bright Little Labs
Sophie Deen is a former lawyer, and is the CEO of social enterprise Bright Little Labs, a children’s education company that makes educationally valuable, gender-neutral and ethically sourced toys and materials. Bright Little Labs is the creator of Detective Dot who is a developer by day and a detective by night, and the heroine of the organisation's stories. Everyday objects come to life around Dot and she can’t remember where they are from, so Dot helps them to discover their roots.
Susan Bowen, General manager & VP EMEA, Cogeco Peer 1; Chair of TechUK Women in Tech Council
Susan Bowen is the current chair of the TechUK Women in Tech Council, and is a non-executive director and trustee for higher education not-for-profit Jisc. In her position as vice president and general manager of Cogeco Peer 1, Bowen leads the EMEA region of the global web infrastructure and cloud company. Prevously Bowen was the chief of staff in UK and Ireland for Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she worked to increase the region’s team and take lead for the firm’s corporate and social responsibility activities.
Wendy Tan White, General partner Entrepreneur First; Board trustee at Alan Turing Institute
Tan White co-founded and is CEO of Moonfruit, a DIY website and online shop builder for small businesses. Tan White is a general partner at Entrepreneur First, a programme and fund focused on early stage deep tech companies, and is an advisory board member for the Government Digital Service. Tan White sits on several boards, including Tech City, the Alan Turing Institute, the Department of Computing Industrial Liason Board for Imperial College London, and the Advisory Board for the School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London/Royal College Art.
Thank you to our judges
The judges for the 2017 Most Influential Women in UK Technology, who selected this year’s 50 shortlisted names, are:
- Sharon Clews, director of people and talent management at TechUK
- Maggie Berry, founder of Women in Technology
- Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates
- Robin Beattie, director at Mortimer Spinks
- Wendy Devolder, CEO at Skills Matter
- Andrea Palmer, business change manager in IT and services at BP and treasurer of BCSWomen
- Fiona Williams, senior director, marketing strategy and communications for EMEA at Salesforce
- Clare McDonald, business editor of Computer Weekly
- Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly
Thank you to our sponsors Salesforce and Skills Matter.