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Voting is now open to choose the most influential woman in UK technology for 2020, giving Computer Weekly readers the opportunity to submit their views on who should be this year's winner.
The list is now in its ninth year, and was launched in 2012 to make the UK’s female technology role models as accessible and visible as possible, as well as promote the importance of actively supporting diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.
The winner of this year’s Most Influential Woman in UK Tech accolade will be announced at an online event on 1 October 2020. Planned in partnership with recruitment specialist Spinks, this year’s diversity and inclusion event is promoting advocacy in the technology industry by supporting under-represented groups in tech.
Hall of Fame
Alongside the top 50, each year the judges also choose several women for the Computer Weekly Women in Tech Hall of Fame to recognise lifetime achievement and ongoing contributions to the technology sector.
Current members of the Hall of Fame are: Chi Onwurah, Sarah Wood, Hannah Dee, Sherry Coutu, Gillian Arnold, Maggie Philbin, Jacqueline de Rojas, Joanna Shields, Jane Moran, Dr Sue Black, Dame Wendy Hall, Dame Stephanie Shirley and Baroness Martha Lane Fox, Amali de Alwis Kate Russell, Kathryn Parsons, Maggie Berry, Max Benson, Karen Gill and last year’s winner Debbie Forster. This year’s additions will be announced soon.
Computer Weekly readers can now vote on who they feel is the most influential woman in UK technology in 2020. Biographies and links to Twitter accounts (where available) for all the 50 nominees are provided below the voting box.
Click on your choice below 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 5pm on 21 August 2020.
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.
The shortlisted 50 (in alphabetical order) are as follows - click on each name to visit their Twitter profile (where available):
In 2016 Osunsade founded Hustle Crew, a platform offering career development resources for groups who are under-represented in the technology sector, and she is currently also CEO.
Part time, Osunsade is a scout for venture capital (VC) firm Ada Ventures, a scout for Backed VC and an advisory board member for startup founder community Your Startup, Your Story.
Over the last few years she has appeared on several notable lists, including the Financial Times Top 100 Influential Leaders in Tech, Tech Nation Top 50 Influential Voices in Tech and the Dots 100 Trailblazers.
Morris is the founder and CEO of Compare Ethics, a platform which uses data to allow customers to compare ethical and sustainable fashion brands. The company is currently a resident of Google for Startups.
Morris is an advocate of both technology and sustainability despite not originally coming from a tech background. While working ethical policy and communications consultancy AEQ Global, Morris earned a masters in conflict, security and development.
Bentinck has co-founded several organisations, including Entrepreneur First, a firm that supports European technology startups, and not-for-profit coding training programme Code First: Girls.
She is on the Computer Science Department Industrial Liaison Board for Imperial College London, is a board trustee for Generation and is a member of the UK’s AI council.
Bentinck appeared on Computer Weekly’s rising star list in 2014.
Boden founded digital challenger bank Starling in 2014 to build an organisation focused on customer experience. She is currently its CEO and a member of its board.
Prior to Starling, Boden was COO at Allied Irish Bank, and was head of EMEA global transaction services for RBS.
Her book The Money Revolution, was released in 2019 and aims to help people manage their money in a digitally driven world.
Neatham leads Ocado Technology’s teams focused on robotics and automation in her role as commercial director for the office of the CTO at Ocado Technology. She has been with Ocado since 2001, originally as a software engineering, then head of Ocado Technology in Poland in 2012, where she set up the firm’s Polish arm. She became chief operating officer of Ocado Technology in 2014, and has previous been a software engineer in software and retail firms around the world.
She believes that to get young girls into technology careers, encouragement needs to start early in the education system.
Imafidon was originally named one of Computer Weekly’s Rising Stars, and has appeared on the top 50 list almost every year since.
As well as acting as a fellow of the RSA, a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland and a DCMS digital skills partnership board member, Imafidon hosts a podcast for the Evening Standard, Women Tech Charge, and is a trustee for the Institute for the Future of Work.
Imafidon is the CEO of Stemettes, which she founded to encourage young women to consider careers in science technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Before Stemettes, Imafidon has had roles at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.
Koby co-founded Technology Will Save Us in 2012 to educate people about technology and encourage them to creatively experiment. As the organisation’s CEO, she hopes Technology Will Save Us will encourage young people, through using digital tools, to grow to be tech creators rather than just tech consumers.
She is also a founding faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and before her current work was the social impact director for brand consultancy Wolff Olins. She has a background of creativity and innovation.
As director of the Ada Lovelace Institute, Kind is responsible for leading the institute’s strategy to increase the public’s understanding on the impact artificial intelligence (AI) has on society.
Her background is in human rights law, and she currently acts as a consultant for several organisation including Unicef UK, Ranking Digital Rights and the European Centre for Not-For-Profit Law.
She is a board member for GeneWatch UK, and is the team leader and data protection expert for Asia on a project promoting the EU’s approach to data protection in Asia and Latin America for consulting firm B&S Europe.
As the minister of state for digital and culture for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Dinenage is responsible for online harms and security, digital and tech policy including digital skills, and the creative industries, among other things.
She has had a long-standing career in politics having previously been minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and parliamentary under secretary of state for Women, Equalities and Early Years at the Department for Education in previous roles.
Before university, where she studied politics and English, she was an entrepreneur who launched her own manufacturing company.
Named as one of Computer Weekly’s 2016 women in tech rising stars, Philbin leads strategy, CPD programmes and learning resources at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Her team are currently working on a Department of Education (DoE) funded project to develop a computing curriculum programme for England.
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 school computing and ICT teacher, and creates a number of online resources for teenagers to help 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.
Warner is prolific in the venture capital space, acting as a partner Ada Ventures and as co-founder at Diversity VC, both of which aim to improve diversity in the venture capital industry.
She has previously held roles at venture capital fund Seraphim Capital which invests in startups in the space industry and seed fund Downing Ventures which focuses on early-stage companies.
Warner is very vocal about the need for diversity in the venture capital sector, and the importance of investing in companies and founders who might otherwise be overlooked.
Rose was appointed CEO of Microsoft in the UK in 2016, responsible for the firm’s product, service and support offering across the region.
Previously, Rose worked in senior roles across the technology industry in firms such as Vodafone and Virgin Media.
Formerly a barrister, Abiola is the head of global innovation at British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) where she works in the digital transformation team.
She has a history as an entrepreneur, founding and acting as CEO for recruitment platform Intern Avenue, for which she was offered investment on Dragon’s Den which she then turned down.
Abiola acts as an advisor and entrepreneur in residence for London-based Beast Ventures, and is an advisor board member for F-Lane Global Social Impact Accelerator for Female Founders in Germany.
Edwina Dunn, chairperson, Starcount; non-executive director, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; commissioner, Geospatial Commission
Representing the Dunn in the name of customer data company Dunnhumby, Dunn co-founded the firm in 1989 which later went on to be bought by Tesco for use with its Clubcard.
Now, Dunn is the chairperson of data consultancy Starcount, the commissioner of the government’s Geospatial Commission, and a non-executive director for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.
In 2015 she founded The Female Lead, a not-for-profit project which aims to make female role models more visible and accessible.
Eileen Jennings-Brown, head of technology, Wellcome Trust
Jennings-Brown is the head of technology for research-based charity Wellcome Trust, leading a team which aims to implement new ways of working across the organisation to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
She is also the director and owner of a consultancy firm, Emerge Technical Solutions, which advises on digital and technology transformation.
She has held a number of technical roles in the past, including ICT manager at POhWER, head of managed services at Modern Networks, an IT business consultant for BCS and service delivery manager at Thales.
Sinel founded Teens in AI and Acorn Aspirations to help young people who want to solve real-world problems using technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
She has won awards for her work, including CogX 2017 Award in Using AI for Social Good Projects, and was a finalist in MassChallenge 2016 and the Women In IT Awards in 2018.
Before working on Acorn Associates and Teens in AI, Sinel was a consultant for several firms, including the British Council, NGOs, Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Ethiopian Cultural Heritage Project.
As information commissioner for the UK, Denham is responsible for ensuring that information rights are in the public interest and leads the office dealing with the Data Protection Act 2018 – the UK’s implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Before becoming information commissioner, Denham was the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia, Canada, responsible for compliance with public and private sector privacy legislation and access to information law.
Fongang is a strategist brand specialists aimed at helping technology companies with brand engagement. She is the managing director of creative agency 3 Colours Rule, a brand advisor at the BBC, a brand specialist for Consilience Ventures and an entrepreneurship expert with the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
She founded the Tech London Advocates Black Women in Tech group which aims to support and accelerate diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.
Sillem worked for the Royal Academy of Engineering for 12 years before being appointed its CEO in 2018.
Previous roles at the Academy include deputy CEO and director of strategy, director of programmes and fellowship, and head of international activities.
As well as her work for the Academy, Sillem is the commissioner and chair, expert stakeholders panel for Made Smarter UK, chair of judges for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, and a trustee of EngineeringUK.
Milner is founder and CEO of the Good Things 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 Foundation won a government contract in 2014 to support its digital inclusion strategy. Until May 2017, Milner was also a specialist government adviser of digital engagement for the Public Accounts Committee.
Wollaston has been chief executive of not-for-profit WISE since 2012, focused on helping more women to take roles in STEM. In her role, Wollaston has led campaigns to encourage young girls into STEM subjects, and helped companies to ensure women have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
As well as her work at WISE, Wollaston owns a consultancy company, Equal to the Occasion, and is a non-executive director for Zero Waste Scotland.
Joshi joined NHSX in summer 2019 as the head of digital health and AI, before becoming director of AI five months later, overseeing the development of the NHS AI lab.
As a subject matter expert for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Joshi is part of a technical advisor group which helps the WHO with advice around digital health.
She is also a founding ambassador for volunteer community One HealthTech and the vice-chair for equality, diversity and inclusion (health executive) at the BCS.
Coyle has held several roles at London & Partners, including principal advisor and director of trade and growth, leading the export and growth strategy for the firm, before being made managing director of business in mid-2020.
She has several other roles, non-executive director for Rocketseed, and acts as co-chair for the Tech London Advocates Scale Up Group.
In the past she was the managing director of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, and was an adviser for charity Founders4Schools.
Tennison was recently appoint the Open Data Institute’s (ODI) vice president and chief strategy adviser.
Prior to her current role she was CEO of the ODI, and was awarded an OBE for services to technology and open data in 2014. Previously, Tennison was technical architect and lead developer for Legislation.gov.uk and acts as executive director for Open Addresses UK.
Until 2015, Tennison was a member of the Open Data User Group, an independent ministerial advisory group for the Cabinet Office.
Twist is CEO of UKIE, the games industry trade body that aims to make the UK the leader in games and interactive entertainment.
With a long career in entertainment, Twist was previously commissioning editor for education at Channel 4, responsible for commissioning digital games across several platforms.
She was also the multi-platform commissioner of entertainment and Switch for the BBC in the early 2000s.
Davinson is the chief digital, data and technology officer at the Home Office where she is responsible for delivering the department’s digital, data and technology solutions, including high-profile projects such as the UK border systems.
Prior to this role she spent time working on public sector ICT projects at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM.
Previously chosen as a Computer Weekly women in UK technology Rising Star, Angelides is founder of Mums in Technology, which partners with industry to provide an immersive learning experience that encourages new mothers to take their children to school with them while they learn to code, where she was also CEO until 2017.
She founded the company in 2015 when on maternity leave from Silicon Valley Bank, where she held roles as an associate for accelerator growth and an associate for entrepreneur banking.
Angelides is also an investor at Samos Investments, a board advisor for Cajigo App and is a founding ambassador of the FiftyFiftyPledge.
Sharma is the vice president of product for market researcher GfK and founded tech company AI for Good in 2018 to provide ethical AI-driven tech.
Named one of the Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017, Sharma is an advisor for the United Nations and a board member for the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.
Previously she was vice-president for AI at Sage, during which time she founded Messaging Bots London, a community of chatbot developers.
Before joining Sage, Sharma was vice-president, head of product, real-time big data analytics at Barclays.
Williams is the CEO of inclusion campaign FutureDotNow which aims to ensure people aren’t left behind by the growing skills gap caused by digital adoption.
She is the social mobility commissioner at the Social Mobility Commission, is a member of the board of trustees for Transport for London and is the chair of the Good Things Foundation.
Prior to her current work she spent more than 20 years at BT in a number of different roles including programme director for sustainable business, director of tech literacy and education programmes, and director of digital society.
Butkovic is CEO of Women of Wearables, an organisation which aims to act as a bridge for women involved with technologies such as wearable tech, fashion tech, internet of things (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) fields. She is a digital marketing, technology and business consultant, as well as a serial entrepreneur, startup mentor and an advisory board member for the Independent Fashion Advisory Board (IFAB).
Marta Krupinska has run Google’s UK startup support organisation since December 2018. Previously, she co-founded fintech startup Azimo in 2012, to make sending money easy and accessible for everyone. She has also been entrepreneur in residence for govtech accelerator Public and co-founded FreeUp.io, an “ethical fintech” firm that was acquired by fintech investor Greensill in October 2019.
Timperley is currently the interim chair for Future Everything which aims to draw communities of digital experts and artists together through labs, commissions and events.
One of Computer Weekly’s 2017 women in technology Rising Stars, Timperley is a freelance consultant, and co-founder of Tech North Advocates, a private sector-led collection of tech experts who champion the technology sector in the north of England.
She is also an honorary industry fellow at the University of Salford Business School, and chair of the Salford Business School Industry Advisory Board. In the past she co-founded Enterprise Lab.
Patel heads up the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, an entrepreneur development programme to help develop the UK’s next generation of leaders through a one-year programme that combines access to networks, work experience and training workshops.
She is also CEO of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, which became part of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation in 2017 and is a think tank for entrepreneurship. She also acts as an advisor for Tech London Advocates, and is an entrepreneur-mentor in residence at the London Business School. She acts as a board advisor, mentor and investor for several startup organisations.
In 2014, Jamieson founded The Dots, a network designed to help professionals such as creatives, freelancers and freelancers, where she is also CEO. The network will use data about teams to make personalised recommendations to clients.
The Dots has been developed as a highly diverse platform – the community is made up of more than 68% women, 31% BAME, and 16% LGBT+ members.
Gustafsson has been at cyber security and AI firm Darktrace since 2013, holding several roles, including CFO and COO, before becoming co-CEO in 2016.
She has been featured in lists such as the Management Today 30 under 35 list, and was a winner in the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards in 2019.
Before joining Darktrace, Gustafsson held roles as corporate controller for HP Autonomy, fund accountant at Amadeus Capital Partners, and assistant manager at Deloitte.
Guha took the role of venture partner at Merian Ventures at the beginning of 2019, having previously been ecosystem general manager for the London campus of Silicon Valley-born co-working space RocketSpace.
At the end of 2018, she became chair of the board of trustees for Everywoman-backed charity Modern Muse, which aims to help girls become more informed about possible career choices.
Guha also acts as an adviser for Tech London Advocates and The Youth Group, as well as a council member for InnovateUK and an ambassador for London Tech Week 2019.
George is the managing partner for government and public services at Deloitte, leading the firm’s public sector practices in 13 European countries.
Prior to this role she was lead public sector partner at Deloitte, where she was responsible for projects such as improving citizen outcomes, helping public sector improve efficiency and developing best practice.
She is an advocate for women in technology, acts as a non-executive chair for the DoE for its T-Level reform programme, and is the current president of the BCS.
She was awarded an OBE in 2006 for her work on sustainable communities.
Edwards-Brown, entrepreneur and founder of So You Wanna Be on TV?, 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. Based on her already successful model, she launched So You Wanna Be In Tech? in 2016.
As head of the UK government's Office for Artificial Intelligence, for theDepartment for Digital, Culture, Media, Sport (DCMS) & Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Khareghani is responsible for the joint office and its aim to make the UK a global centre for AI.
She has a history in technology including roles such as software engineer for MDA, product manager for Viisage Technology, and systems engineer and QA for Hemedex.
Burnett is an analyst in information technology services and business process outsourcing. She is currently the founding partner, and head of technology immersion and market insights at Emergence Partners.
Prior to her current role, she was executive vice-president (VP) at Everest Group, where she used her skills to lead on global service delivery automation research and European practice across its global services research areas.
Before joining Everest Group, Burnett was VP of research at Nelson Hall, covering areas such as infrastructure ITO, cloud, and government BPO. Burnett is now chair of BCSWomen and in 2017 launched the BCSWomen AI Accelerator.
Luxford is co-lead of Tech London Advocates’ women in tech group and was 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. She is now director at recruitment company Global Resourcing.
Previously, as director at Nexec Leaders, Luxford worked with founders, investors and business leaders to find the talent they need. She was noted as one of Computer Weekly’s 2015 Rising Stars.
Turner founded Angel Academe, a pro-women and pro-diversity angel investment group focused on technology. She is currently CEO of the group, and until 2019 was 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 UK Business Angels Association, the trade association for early-stage investment, and in 2007 co-founded consultancy Turner Hopkins, which helps businesses create digital strategy.
In 2017, Wilkinson was appointed CEO of NHS Digital, where this year she has led much of the health service's digital response to the coronavirus pandemic. Before this, she was CTO 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 acts as a non-executive director for NatWest Markets and King’s College London.
Moore is CTO for public sector at IBM UK, having previously focused on designing technical solutions for IBM’s clients in the travel and transportation industry, incorporating engagement, IoT and analytics technologies, in her role as industry technical leader for travel and transportation. Moore is also a non-executive director for Censis – Innovation Centre, board member of Scotland Women in Technology, and deputy chair of BCSWomen.
A past Computer Weekly Rising Star, Atcheson is the head of diversity and inclusion at Monzo as well as an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion both in and outside of the tech sector.
Previously she was the UK expansion director of Women Who Code, responsible for advancing the Women Who Code networks across the UK, after founding the organisation in 2014.
Over the years Atcheson has held several tech roles, including a technical business consultant for technology, strategy and architecture at Deloitte, software engineer for Kainos and product analyst for SR Labs.
Deen, a former lawyer, is 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 and Agent Asha, a series of children’s stories and digital resources aimed at helping children gain the digital skills they need for a digital future.
Prior to Bright Little Labs, Deen was head of Code Club World and Code Club Pro, and worked alongside several organisations with the DoE to developing the computing curriculum introduced in 2014.
Daley leads TechUK’s innovation strategy including work programmes on cloud, data, analytics, internet of things (IoT) and AI and has been recognised in the UK Big Data 100 as a key influencer in driving forward the big data agenda.
As well as being a regular industry speaker, Daley is also a judge in the annual UK Cloud Awards. Before joining TechUK in January 2015, she was responsible for Symantec’s government relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA, on issues such as data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety.
Fuller founded Miribure in 2015. The company uses data gathering and analytics to promote strategic decision-making in firms.
She is also a founding ambassador of the FiftyFiftyPledge, an advisory board member of Tech London Advocates and Tech Global Advocates, and a mentor ambassador for TLA Women in Tech.
Fuller co-founded, and until 2019 was CEO of, incubator and accelerator Salaam Ventures, which focuses on assisting ethical startups.
Goldstaub is an expert in the impact that AI has on society, co-founding CognitionX, a platform and network that helps to build AI and data-driven systems.
She is the chair of the government’s AI Council, which aims to offer advice and guidance to the government in the ongoing use and development of AI.
She also acts as marketing counsel for Founders4Schools, adviser for The Prince’s Trust and is the co-founder of Future Girl Corp, an organisation that runs free events for future female CEOs. She also acts as a judge for Teens in AI.
Norris-Grey is chair of WISE (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology) and until 2019 was global managing director of local regional government, smart cities and connected infrastructure for Microsoft in Seattle, followed by a role as deputy CEO of enterprise and global partnerships at AXA.
The WISE campaign is aimed at encouraging more girls and women to pursue STEM careers. Previously, Norris-Grey held senior executive posts at BT, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Eastman Kodak. She has also chaired the CBI Innovation, Science & Technology Committee and was chair of UKRC before it merged with WISE.
The judges for the 2019 Most Influential Women in UK Technology, who selected this year’s 50 shortlisted names, are:
- Maggie Berry, founder, Women in Technology
- Russ Shaw, founder, Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates
- 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
- Vinous Ali, associate director for policy, TechUK
- Lynda Feeley, representative for WISE
- Clare McDonald, business editor, Computer Weekly
- Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief, Computer Weekly