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Computer Weekly announces the Most Influential Women in UK Tech 2022
Computer Weekly has revealed who is on the 2022 list of the 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech, including this year’s winner, Flavilla Fongang
Computer Weekly has announced the 2022 list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology, including this year’s winner, Flavilla Fongang, founder of both 3 Colours Rule and the Global Tech Advocates Black Women in Tech group.
The list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology has grown significantly since it was launched in 2012, when it was originally a list of only 25 women.
In 2015, it was expanded to include 50 women each year, and now in its 11th year, the coinciding Hall of Fame list, which recognises women for their lifetime contribution to the tech sector, has grown to feature 45 women.
Since the accolade’s inception, Computer Weekly has also introduced an annual list of Rising Stars to ensure as many women in the sector as possible are recognised for their work and their potential in the IT industry.
This year’s winner, Flavilla Fongang, founder of both 3 Colours Rule and the Global Tech Advocates Black Women in Tech group, chose to move into the technology sector from the fashion industry because of the tech sector’s potential to work with “disruptors” and “game changers”.
As part of her work to make role models in the sector more visible, Fongang founded the GTA Black Women in Tech group, giving black women a platform to speak about technology-based subjects. She eventually publishing a book about these women, The Voices in the Shadow, aimed at educating school-aged children about some of the more under-represented people in the industry.
1. Flavilla Fongang, managing director, 3 Colours Rule; founder, TLA Black Women in Tech
Fongang is a strategic brand specialist aiming to help technology companies with brand engagement. She is managing director of creative agency 3 Colours Rule, as well as a branding, neuromarketing and social selling course instructor for the agency.
She is a brand adviser 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.
2. Sarah Turner, CEO and co-founder, Angel Academe
Turner founded Angel Academe, a pro-women and pro-diversity angel investment group focused on technology, and is currently CEO of the group.
She is also an advisory board member of tech recruiter Spinks, and in 2007 co-founded consultancy Turner Hopkins, which helps businesses to create digital strategy.
Previously, Turner was an external board member and chair of the investment committee for venture capital fund the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and a board member of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade association for early-stage investment.
3. Charlene Hunter, CEO and founder, Coding Black Females
Hunter founded Coding Black Females in 2017 to help black female software developers meet each other and network. Alongside her work at Coding Black Females, Hunter is a software developer.
She is an advisory board industry representative in the University of Essex Online’s computing department, is technical director at SAM Software Solutions, and technical director at full-stack and front-end training organisation Black Codher Bootcamp.
Previously, Hunter was lead software engineer at Made Tech, and held roles such as senior software developer, lead Java developer, app developer and technical consultant at various firms.
She was named a Computer Weekly Women in UK Tech Rising Star in 2020.
4. Naomi Timperley, co-founder, Tech North Advocates; growth and innovation consultant, We Are GSI; innovation and growth lead, Manchester Tech Festival
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.
Last year, she co-founded advisory firm Growth Strategy Innovation, which helps to grow startup and scaleup organisations.
Named a Computer Weekly Women in Tech Rising Star in 2017, Timperley is also a board trustee of charity Digital Advantage, a board member of community initiative WILD Digital and, until last year, was a board member of FutureEverything. In the past, she co-founded Enterprise Lab.
5. Suki Fuller, founder, Miribure
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 the TLA Women in Tech co-lead.
Fuller co-founded, and until 2019 was CEO of, incubator and accelerator Salaam Ventures, which focuses on assisting ethical startups.
6. Janet Coyle, managing director business growth, London & Partners
Coyle has held several roles at London & Partners, including principal adviser, director of trade and growth, leading the export and growth strategy for the firm, and managing director of growth, before being made managing director of business growth in early 2021.
She has several other roles, including non-executive director for Rocketseed, and acts as co-chair for the Tech London Advocates Scale Up Group.
In the past, she was managing director of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, and was an adviser for charity Founders4Schools.
7. Hayaatun Sillem, CEO, Royal Academy of Engineering
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 a trustee and judge for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, a trustee of EngineeringUK and the Foundation For Science and Technology, and CEO of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
8. Sheridan Ash, technology innovation leader, PwC UK; co-CEO and founder, Tech She Can
Ash has two major roles – as technology innovation leader at PwC UK, and co-CEO and founder of the charity Tech She Can. She is a board member of the Institute of Coding and, in 2020, received an MBE for services to young girls and women through technology.
Tech She Can is an award-winning charity with over 240 member organisations, which together work with industry, government and schools to improve the ratio of women in technology roles. It provides initiatives and pathways into tech careers across all the different stages of girls’ and women’s lives.
At PwC, Ash led change in the technology workforce, pioneering initiatives that saw the percentage of women in tech more than double to reach 32%.
9. Anna Brailsford, CEO, Code First Girls
An entrepreneur and co-founder, Brailsford joined Code First Girls as CEO in 2019, where she works to encourage more women into the tech sector by providing software development skills and education.
She is also a board member at the Institute of Coding, where she is focused specifically on diversity and inclusion, and is a self-employed commercial and strategy consultant.
Prior to her work at Code First Girls, Brailsford co-founded and was CEO of performance management firm Frisbee, which was part of venture capital fund Founders Factory.
10. Kike Oniwinde Agoro, founder, BYP Network
Oniwinde Agoro founded BYP Network in 2016 to help black professionals network and have easier access to jobs after a trip abroad confirmed the challenges young black people face in getting jobs both in and outside the UK.
She is board trustee for volunteer organisation Getting On Board and has received several awards and accolades, including Forbes 30 Under 30 and Financial Times Top 100 BAME Leaders in Technology.
11. Lindy Cameron, CEO, National Cyber Security Centre
As part of her role at the National Cyber Security Centre, Cameron helps the UK to plan for, and respond to, risks and opportunities posed by emerging technologies.
She has a long history of roles in the public sector, including at organisations such as the Department for International Development, the Northern Ireland Office, the Cabinet Office, and the Government’s Stabilisation Unit.
12. Beckie Taylor, CEO and co-founder, TechReturners
Taylor co-founded TechReturners, where she is currently CEO, to give skilled individuals who have had a career break the opportunity to connect with firms and help them back into mid-to-senior-level tech roles.
She is also co-founder and CEO of The Confidence Community, which aims to provide resources, training information and events to give people more career confidence. Taylor is co-founder of community WIT North, and co-founder of ReframeWIT.
13. Lopa Patel, founder, Asians in Tech; chair, Diversity UK
Patel has an extensive background in both diversity and STEM, currently holding positions as non-executive director of UK IPO, a trustee of the Science Museum Group, and chair of Diversity UK.
She also founded Asians in Tech, which annually showcases the top 100 people from Asian backgrounds working in the technology and digital sectors in the UK.
14. Clare Barclay, CEO, Microsoft UK
Barclay has been with Microsoft for more than 10 years, holding several roles including director of SMB, general manager of small and mid-market solutions and partners, and chief operating officer (COO).
She is now CEO of Microsoft in the UK, responsible for the firm’s product and service offerings in the region.
15. Emma Wright, director, The Institute of AI
With a background in law surrounding telecoms, the internet and media, Wright now uses her expertise as director of not-for-profit The Institute of AI, as well as non-executive director of Playfinder and partner at Harbottle & Lewis, heading up the tech, data and digital group. She has worked in the tech sector for over 20 years. Her team at Harbottle & Lewis is comprised of 66% female and 66% ethnic minority members.
As director and counsel at not-for-profit The Institute of AI and Emerging Technology, she has built a global network of legislators focused on the legislative framework applicable to AI and other emerging technology. This year she has been working with the OECD, WEF and the ITU and is building a reputation in relation to the regulation of AI.
She is also working with the Ditchley Foundation, considering whether the collaborative approach in relation to telecoms can work for AI regulation. She is a champion for the Digital Poverty Alliance and is working with the UK government on how the mandatory social purpose scoring can support greater access to the internet and high-speed data for those in digital poverty.
16. Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder, CognitionX; chair, government's AI Council
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 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 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, and is an advisory board member for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
17. Efua Akumanyi, co-CTO, Coding Black Females
Akumanyi is a serial founder and software developer, and is currently co-chief technology officer (CTO) at community network Coding Black Females.
She is also co-founder, CTO and lead developer of AI shopping site Furnishful, and founder of training course provider DigiBright.
18. Liz Williams, CEO, FutureDotNow; chair, GoodThingsFoundation
Williams is CEO of inclusion campaign FutureDotNow, which aims to ensure people are not left behind by the growing skills gap caused by digital adoption.
She is a member of the UK government’s Digital Skills Council, is a member of the board of trustees for Transport for London and is chair of the Good Things Foundation.
Prior to her current work, Williams spent more than 20 years at BT in a number of roles, including programme director for sustainable business, director of tech literacy and education programmes, and director of digital society.
19. Elena Sinel, founder, Acorn Aspirations and Teens in AI; business mentor, Microsoft for Startups
Sinel founded Teens in AI and Acorn Aspirations to help young people who want to solve real-world problems using technology such as AI, virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
She has won awards for her work, including CogX 2017 Award in Using AI for Social Good Projects, and is currently an education taskforce committee member for the All Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, and a business mentor at Microsoft for Startups.
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.
20. Bindi Karia, venture partner, Molten Ventures
Karia has spent much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as a venture partner for venture capital firm Molten Ventures.
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, including CognitionX, Humanity, Bootstrap Europe SCsp, The Work Crowd and Wrisk.
21. Bev White, CEO, Nash Squared
As CEO of Nash Squared, White heads up the global firm that provides IT recruitment, technology solutions and leaderships services out of 36 offices across the world.
White has a long background in the tech sector, having previously held roles as CIO and director of IT, as well as completing a degree in computer science.
22. Claire Thorne, co-CEO, Tech She Can
Thorne is co-CEO of Tech She Can, a charity aimed at increasing the number of women in the technology sector, as well as a venture partner at Deep Science Ventures.
She has a background in the education sector, previously holding roles as director of innovation strategy for the University of Surrey, and executive officer to the vice-president (innovation) at Imperial College London.
23. Vickie Allen, founder, DevelopHER Awards; senior software developer, Certua
As well as a background in web development, Allen founded the DevelopHER awards in 2013 to help increase the number of women working in technology roles.
The awards eventually grew to include a coding club in 2016 to teach teens HTML and CSS.
Allen currently works as a senior software developer in the user experience (UX) team at Certua, and has had developer roles in several other organisations, including Brisk, Proteo UK and Liftshare.com.
24. Sheree Atcheson, global VP of diversity and inclusion, Valtech
A past Computer Weekly Rising Star, Atcheson is the global vice-president of diversity and inclusion at Valtech, as well as an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion both in and outside the tech sector.
Previously, she has been global director of diversity, equity and inclusion, and head of diversity and inclusion at Monzo, and prior to that, 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. She is now an advisory board member.
Over the years, Atcheson has held several tech roles, including as a technical business consultant for technology, strategy and architecture at Deloitte, software engineer for Kainos and product analyst for SR Labs.
25. Priya Lakhani, founder and CEO, Century Tech
Lakhani founded Century Tech as a teaching and learning platform focused on subjects such as AI, cognitive neuroscience, big data analytics and blockchain, where she is also CEO.
A frequent speaker, Lakhani is a board member for the Foundation for Education Development, a board member for unboxed2022, a member of the UK’s AI Council, and a non-executive director for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
She was awarded an OBE in 2014.
26. Emma Sinclair, co-founder, Enterprise Alumni
A serial entrepreneur, Sinclair is co-founder and CEO of software company EnterpriseAlumni, and is the youngest person in the world to have floated a company on the London Stock Exchange.
In 2016, she was awarded an MBE for services to entrepreneurship, and as well as acting as an adviser for Unicef, helping the charity to launch its first crowdfund in 2017, Sinclair is a columnist for The Telegraph and an advisory council member for G7.
27. Alison McLaughlin, chair, ScotlandIS
McLaughlin is chair of ScotlandIS, an organisation offering IT services and consulting with the aim of developing and growing the technology ecosystem across Scotland.
She has a long background in digital transformation, including almost three years as head of digital transformation manager for the Scottish government.
28. Arfah Farooq, angel investor, Ada Ventures; founder, Muslamic Makers
An expert in diversity, inclusion and community building, Farooq co-founded Muslamic Makers in 2016 as a networking group for Muslims in tech, design and development.
As well as a freelance diversity and inclusion consultant, Farooq is an angel investor for Ada Ventures with special interest in edtech, healthtech and fintech.
She has an extensive background in digital and artificial intelligence in both the private and public sector.
29. Abbie Morris, CEO and co-founder, Compare Ethics
Morris is the founder and CEO of Compare Ethics, a platform that uses data to allow customers to compare ethical and sustainable fashion brands. Until the beginning of 2020, the company was 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 at ethical policy and communications consultancy AEQ Global, Morris earned a masters in conflict, security and development.
30. Nicola Martin, head of quality engineering, Adarga; BCS Women committee member and BCS Pride vice-chair
Currently the head of quality at Adarga, Martin has a history of working as a test consultant at firms such as Barclays, Sony, the UK Home Office, Shazam and Sky.
She is currently a committee member and inclusion officer for the BCS Special Interest Group in Software Testing, and is vice-chair of the BCS LGBTQIA+ tech specialist group.
31. Pip Jamieson, founder and CEO, The Dots
Jamieson founded, and is CEO of, The Dots, a network designed to help people connect with creative professionals.
She is an advocate for diversity and describes herself as “delightfully dyslexic”. The community at The Dots is made up of more than 68% women, 31% BAME and 16% LGBT+ members.
32. Tristi Tanaka, head of the CMO Office, NHS Black Country ICB; BCS Women committee member; fellow, ForHumanity
Tanaka is currently part of the programme team for All4Health&Care, a community launched during the pandemic to connect digital healthcare providers with the public sector.
She is also head of the CMO Office for NHS Black Country ICB, a fellow, independent audit for AI systems for ForHumanity, and a BCS Women membership secretary.
33. Bina Mehta, chair, KPMG UK
In her 30 years at KPMG, Mehta has had many responsibilities, including building the firm’s focus on trade and investment, and helping scaleup clients to access financial support.
She is now chair of the organisation, and this year was awarded an MBE for services to UK trade and investment and supporting female entrepreneurs.
34. Claudia Natanson, head of information security, AccuWeather; chair, UK Cyber Security Council
An expert in cyber security, Natanson has had more than 15 years in the sector, with past roles including security strategic adviser for Smiths Group, Aramark and Intercept Parmaceuticals, as well as CISO at Diageo and chief security officer for the Department for Work and Pensions.
She is currently head of information security at AccuWeather, and chair of the UK government’s Cyber Security Council.
35. Abadesi Osunsade, founder and CEO, Hustle Crew; VP global community and belonging, Brandwatch
In 2016, Osunsade founded Hustle Crew, a platform offering career development resources for groups that are under-represented in the technology sector, and she is currently also CEO.
The summer of 2020 saw her start a new role as VP of global community and belonging at consumer insight firm Brandwatch, where she is focused on developing and sticking to inclusion practices for the firm.
Part time, Osunsade is a scout for venture capital (VC) firm Ada Ventures and, until last year, was 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.
36. Marta Krupinska, head, Google for Startups UK
Krupinska has run Google’s UK startup support organisation since December 2018, and is the chair of Youth Business International, which helps young people from under-represented backgrounds to start businesses.
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.
37. Susie Hargreaves, CEO, Internet Watch Foundation
For the last 11 years, Hargreaves has been CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that works with about 170 members to report and remove online child sexual abuse images and videos.
She is also an advisory board member for several organisations, including the WeProtect Global Alliance Threat Assessment, the International Justice Mission and the World Economic Forum’s Coalition for Digital Safety.
38. Adelina Chalmers, founder and CTO, The Geek Whisperer
Chalmers founded The Geek Whisperer in 2015 to advise IT decision-makers on how to better communicate with non-technical members of businesses to drive better outcomes.
She is also co-host of the Scaling, Failing & Prevailing Podcast, and has won several awards for her skills in public speaking.
39. Janine Hirt, CEO, Innovate Finance
Hirt joined Innovate Finance in 2015 as the industry body’s head of community, before eventually becoming its CEO six years later. She now heads up the organisation, aiming to drive innovation and transformation in the fintech sector to make it more inclusive.
She has worked around the world in a variety of roles, including acting head of corporate relations for Chatham House in the UK, head of membership for the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, and head new hire trainer for an English language training programme in Japan.
40. Kerensa Jennings, director, data platforms, BT Group
Jennings began a new role at BT this year heading up the group’s data platforms, helping to create new business models using data and AI. At BT, she has led the BT Skills for Tomorrow programme, which helps people across the UK to use digital to their advantage. The programme has helped 10 million people learn digital skills and confidence with technology.
She was previously the director at the Royal Household, and chief executive responsible for strategy and delivery of iDEA CIC, the inspiring digital enterprise award, and before that spent 15 years with the BBC in a variety of roles, including programme editor for BBC Breakfast with Frost and executive editor for BBC News.
She 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.
41. Reshma Sohoni, founding partner, Seedcamp
Sohoni co-founded Seedcamp in 2007, an early-stage venture capital firm that has invested in more than 200 companies since its inception, where she is also a partner.
A regular in the startup and venture capital space, Sohoni is also an adviser with Credo Ventures in the Czech Republic, a fellow of the Kauffman Fellows Program, and a senior adviser with Anthemis Group SA.
42. Diana Kennedy, CTO, Bupa
Kennedy is currently CTO for healthcare provider Bupa, where she is also heavily involved in the organisation’s women in tech network, TechX.
Prior to her current role, she was at BP for 11 years, working in roles such as head of strategy and architecture for enterprise systems, IT&S director for upstream strategy and architecture, and VP of strategy, architecture and planning.
She is a volunteer for the Modern Muse project, part of Everywoman, which seeks to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) role models to young women to encourage then to pursue careers in technology.
43. Sharmadean Reid, founder, The Stack World
After founding WAH Nails and using social media to grow the community and AR-driven salon, Reid founded Beautystack to provide beauty professionals with better booking software, also allowing users to develop networks. This eventually grew into The Stack World, a community-building platform for women-led brands and businesses.
In March 2022, The Stack World was chosen to be part of the investment strategy Launch with Goldman Sachs.
44. Christina Scott, chief product and technology officer, Ovo
Scott joined Ovo as chief product and technology officer in 2021 to lead the energy provider’s technology teams. The firm recently launched a Tech Academy aimed at supporting people at apprenticeship level to pursue careers in technology.
Prior to Ovo, Scott was chief technology officer for News UK and deputy CTO for parent company News Corp, and has also been CIO at the Financial Times, where she was responsible for technology across the FT group, leading a 400-plus 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.
45. Debbie Wosskow, co-founder, AllBright; former CEO, Love Home Swap
Wosskow is non-executive director and co-founder of AllBright, a careers network designed to help provide female entrepreneurs with connections, skills and funding in the UK. She is also a board member of London’s Business Advisory Board, The Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.
Until March 2017, Wosskow acted as chairman for Sharing Economy UK, the trade body that represents the UK’s sharing economy businesses.
46. Caroline Gorski, CEO, R² Factory at Rolls-Royce
In her 25-year-career, Gorski has had many focuses, including strategy consulting, marketing development and commercial decision-making.
She is currently CEO of the CEO of R² Factory, the part of Rolls-Royce that develops data and AI. She is also co-founder of Emergent Alliance, a not-for-profit focused on using data to help firms and small businesses plan their futures in a post-Covid era.
47. Emma Stace, chief digital information officer, The Open University
As part of her role as chief digital information officer at The Open University, Stace hopes to use technology to improve student experience.
An expert in transformation, prior to her current role, she spent time as chief digital and technology officer at the Department for Education, and before that was chief digital and technology officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
48. Louise O’Shea, CEO, Confused.com; chair, Fintech Wales
O’Shea has a background in both technology and the insurance industries, having worked at Admiral Group before joining Confused.com in 2016, where she is now CEO. To increase diversity and inclusion internally, she created a tech skills programme which pairs technical and non-technical workers to take part in a skills exchange.
As well as non-executive director for CFC Underwriting, she is chair of Insurtech Board 2.0 and chair of FinTech Wales.
49. Jess Wade, postdoctoral research associate, Imperial College London
Wade, a research fellow at Imperial College London, works in the University’s SPIN-Lab investigating the quantum mechanical effects of light on chiral organic semiconductors, and has been published in several scientific journals.
She was previously a postdoctoral research associate, conducting research into polymer-based light emitting diodes (LEDs).
To help tackle gender imbalance on Wikipedia, and to shine a light on women in STEM, Wade ran a year-long campaign to add profiles of women in STEM to Wikipedia.
Previously, Wade served on the WISE Campaign Young Women’s Board and the Women’s Engineering Society Council.
50. Charlotte Light, advisory board member, Institute of Coding; group CTO, Aztec Group
Light has held many high-level tech positions throughout her career, including IT director of corporate for Specsavers and controller of system delivery (CIO) for Channel 4. A specialist in technology transformation, she is currently CTO of Aztec Group, where she is responsible for strategy, change delivery and service management.
She is also an advisory board member of the Institute of Coding, where she helps ensures digital skills provision matches the needs of businesses.