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The winners of the first annual Women in Software Powerlist have been announced by software academy Makers.
Makers launched the list in partnership with tech community hub Level 39 to shine a light on some of the women in the software development space.
Out of the applications, 30 women – considered rising stars who have been in the software sector for less than 10 years – have been chosen to represent the best of the coding community.
Evgeny Shadchnev, CEO of Makers Academy, said: “The high calibre women that have made this year’s power list is a testimony to the extraordinary talent that makes up the UK’s digital economy.
“We hope that by publishing and celebrating the winners, we will encourage more women to enter the software developing profession and to make a significant contribution to the future of technology and innovation.”
The top 30 was decided by a panel of independent judges, and aims to showcase some of the women in technical roles across various industries, including media, financial technology (fintech) and academia.
Since a recent Tech Nation report found only 19% of digital tech roles in the UK are held by women, and 3.9% of programmers and software developers in tech and telecoms are female, Makers Academy and Level 39 aimed to use the Women in Software Powerlist to ensure more of these women are recognised for their achievements.
The women on this year’s list, in no particular order, are:
- Victoria Carr – PhD student and director of Researc/hers Code, King’s College London and Researc/hers Code.
- Grace Chang – software development engineer, tech lead at GoCardless.
- Phoebe Thacker – global senior manager of applied technology of Unilever.
- Nancy Fechnay – co-founder of BedrockX.
- Meha Nelson – co-founder and chief technology officer of Predina.
- Jaycee Cheong – developer manager at Immersive Labs.
- Poppy Rainer – head of technology at Thrift+.
- Grace Stuart – marketing manager at Revolut.
- Flora Tasse – chief technology officer of Selerio.
- Kavita Kalaichelvan – software engineer at Ascential plc.
- Sarah-Beth Amos – PhD student at University of Oxford.
- Kayla Shapiro – software engineer at BBC.
- Sarah Rench – advanced analytics, robotics and AI senior manager at EY.
- Ella Schofield – software developer at Bloom & Wild.
- Isabel Lewis – associate engineer L2 experience technology at Publicis Sapient.
- Sophie Koonin – web engineer at Monzo.
- Clare Joy – expansion strategy manager at Onfido.
- Ariane Gadd – lead DevOps engineer at KPMG.
- Nathalie Christmann-Cooper – chief technology officer/product engineer at Treat Out.
- Stephanie Itimi – cyber analyst at UK government.
- Elin Ng – co-founder and chief operating officer of @salvehealth.
- Jessica Falk – software engineer at Improbable.
- Pip Jamieson – founder and CEO of The Dots.
- Jessica Sapick – DeepMind marketer at Google.
- Anna Holland-Smith – programme manager, THG’s technology and innovation accelerator at The Hut Group.
- Misa Ogura – research and development (R&D) software engineer of BBC R&D.
- Rachelle Mills – chief executive officer of KareInn.
- Charlotte Zhao – director of codebar.
Many claim a lack of visible and accessible role models is a key reason why young women don’t choose to take roles in software engineering or other technology disciplines. Young women have also claimed they want more encouragement from women in the industry to pursue tech careers.
The Women in Software Powerlist aims to make some of these role models more visible, much like some of the other initiatives aimed at showcasing women in digital roles, such as Computer Weekly’s annual list of the Most Influential Women in UK Tech.
Encouraging more women into the technology industry also makes business sense, as having a mixture of people on a team can help make sure software is unbiased and products are more likely to be suitable for their intended audience.
Ben Brabyn, head of Level39, said: “The Women in Software Powerlist is a much-needed recognition of the work that exceptional women are doing in coding and developing digital innovation.
“Level39 is home to the UK’s most ambitious and fastest growing tech startups, we encourage businesses to address diversity from the outset – the social and commercial case for doing so is undeniable.”