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Nominations open for Most Influential Women in UK Technology 2020

Computer Weekly is looking for nominations for its 2020 list of the most influential women in UK technology

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Computer Weekly list of the most influential women in UK technology.

Computer Weekly, in partnership with Mortimer Spinks, assembles the list each year to recognise the accomplishments of women in the UK tech sector and to make them more visible and accessible as role models in the space.

Now in its ninth year, the original list in 2012 only recognised 25 women, and has now grown to shine a light on 50 women in each year.

After initial nominations are received, a group of expert judges use criteria such as achievements, potential, leadership skills and influence of each nominee to decide a shortlist of 50 women.

Computer Weekly readers will then be given the opportunity to vote via online poll to indicate who on the shortlist they believe should be named the 2020 Most Influential Woman in UK tech.

The final order of the top 50, as decided by the judges while taking into consideration the reader’s vote, and the winner of the most influential woman accolade will be announced as part of an online event in October 2020.

Last year’s winner was CEO of the Tech Talent Charter, Debbie Forster, who pointed out that inclusion can be a benefit to everyone, not just the under-represented.

The Tech Talent Charter is focused on “connecting the dots” when it comes to diversity in the tech sector, with Forster saying “the pieces of the puzzle are out there”, but firms need help to get the ball rolling.

Each year, Computer Weekly also recognises the technology sector’s Rising Stars alongside the top 50, as well as adding several great women in tech to its Hall of Fame.

The deadline for submission of nominations is 9.00am on 22 June 2020.

Judging panel

The judging panel that will decide the shortlist and order of the top 50 alongside the readers’ vote comprises industry professionals and experts, including:

  • Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates.
  • Maggie Berry, founder of Women in Technology.
  • Dania Lyons, head of partnerships and customer engagement at Mortimer Spinks.
  • Andrea Palmer, business change manager in IT and services, BP and treasurer of BCSWomen.
  • Lynda Feeley, representative for WISE.
  • Clare McDonald, business editor at Computer Weekly.
  • Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly.

Those chosen for Computer Weekly’s most influential women in UK IT list will also be added to the nominations for UKtech50, our annual search for the most influential people in the UK technology scene.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates, who has been a judge for the list for several years, said: “It is always a privilege to be a part of the judging panel for Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK IT. To hear about such a range of inspirational women making a difference is a testament to the value of a diverse workforce in the UK tech industry.

“In an era of unprecedented uncertainty, we can’t afford to lose the progress that the sector has made with gender diversity in recent years. It is initiatives such as these that ensure talented female entrepreneurs and business leaders receive the credit they are due, but more importantly, remind us all that a non-inclusive digital economy has no future.

“Industry leaders, whether corporates or government, have a responsibility to ensure the conversation is not only sustained in the current climate, but continues to progress so that diversity and inclusion sits at the very heart of the tech industry.”

The Computer Weekly women in IT Hall of Fame

Each winner of the Most Influential Woman in UK Tech award is inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with any other women who the judges feel deserve such recognition for their lifetime contribution to the sector.

The aim is to celebrate the most successful women in tech, as well as give our judges the opportunity to introduce new entrants to the top 50 list as emerging role models.

Current members of the Hall of Fame are:

  • Jacqueline De Rojas, president of TechUK.
  • Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI.
  • Jane Moran, global CIO of Unilever.
  • Sue Black, founder of TechMums; Bletchley Park campaigner.
  • Wendy Hall, Regius professor of computer science at the University of Southampton.
  • Stephanie Shirley, entrepreneur, philanthropist, legend.
  • Martha Lane Fox, founder of; entrepreneur.
  • Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech.
  • Gillian Arnold, managing director at Tectre.
  • Sherry Coutu, founder and executive chairman of social enterprise Founders4Schools.
  • Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central; shadow minister, digital, science and tech.
  • Hannah Dee, senior lecturer at Aberystwyth University and founder of the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium.
  • Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly Media; author.
  • Amali de Alwis, managing director at Microsoft for Startups UK.
  • Kate Russell, author, tech reporter, speaker, educator.
  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded.
  • Maggie Berry, executive director for Europe at WEConnect International.
  • Max Benson and Karen Gill, co-founders of Everywoman.
  • Debbie Forster, CEO of Tech Talent Charter.

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