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Nominations are now open for the 2021 Computer Weekly list of the most influential women in UK technology.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the list, aimed at showcasing women in the technology sector to make female and non-binary role models more visible and accessible.
Originally launched in 2012, the first version of the list comprised of only 25 women, and was eventually expanded to recognise 50 women each year, as well as Rising Stars and additions to the Hall of Fame.
The list and its winner will be announced during a Computer Weekly online event, in partnership with Spinks, in September 2021, celebrating 10 years of diversity and inclusion in the technology sector.
Once the list of nominations has been compiled, a group of judges will use various criteria, including achievements, potential, leadership skills and the influence of each nominee, to decide a shortlist of 50 women. Readers will then be invited, via an online Computer Weekly article, to vote for who from the 50 shortlisted they think should be awarded the title of the 2021 most influential woman in UK tech.
The order of the top 50 is then decided by the judges, taking into consideration the reader’s votes, and announced during the Computer Weekly/Spinks online diversity and inclusion event.
Last year’s winner, Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder and CEO of social enterprise Stemettes, warned against an “all talk, no action” approach to diversity in the technology sector. “Who are you hiring? Who are you promoting? Who are you listening to? Who are you valuing? Who do you have in your supply chain?” she asked. “Talk is great, but where’s the action? What are we committing to do?”
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 09:00 on 12 July 2021.
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.
- Debbie Forster, CEO, Tech Talent Charter.
- Lynda Feeley, representative for WISE.
- Clare McDonald, business editor at Computer Weekly.
- Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly.
- A representative from Spinks.
- Jo Stansfield, founder and director, Inclusioneering; treasurer, BCSWomen
Lynda Feeley, representing WISE, the campaign for greater gender diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), said: “WISE is honoured to once again be part of the judging for Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK IT.
“Today, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate women in tech and highlight their work to demonstrate that this is a great career that women can aspire to,” she said.
“The pandemic has driven an acceleration of innovation which along with our increasing reliance on it means there is currently high demand for tech and digital talent; this is the ideal time to push even harder to improve diversity and inclusion and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be part of this thriving profession.”
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 Doteveryone.org.uk, 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 for 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
- Eileen Burbidge, partner, Passion Capital
- Margaret Ross, emeritus professor of software quality, Southampton Solent University
- Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president EMEA, Facebook
- Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer, FDM Group
- Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder and CEO, Stemettes