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Vote for the most influential woman in UK IT 2016

Who deserves to win the 2016 title of the most influential woman in UK IT?

Voting has opened for your chance to help choose the most influential woman in UK IT for 2016.

Computer Weekly's list of the 50 most influential women in UK IT, now in its fifth year, aims to showcase role models in the IT sector and discuss how diversity can make a huge difference to the future of IT.

This year's winner of the title will be announced during a special event as part of London Technology Week on June 23, during which guests can hear talks by industry leaders on the best practices and successful strategies for delivering a more diverse tech workforce.

A judging panel has decided the shortlist of 50 of the most influential women in the UK IT industry from a longlist of more than 150 women nominated by our readers  - the highest entry we have seen, reflecting the growth in the number of successful and influential women in the sector.

Hall of Fame

In advance of our reader vote on the top 50 list of the most influential women in UK IT, Computer Weekly has also added four of the industry’s most longstanding and successful women to its Hall of Fame, which is designed to showcase women who have made a lifetime contribution to the women in IT agenda.

These women have featured prominently on the list over the last five years, and have been recognised for their contribution to the industry.

This year, Jacqueline De Rojas, Baroness Joanna Shields, Jane Moran and Dr Sue Black join the Hall of Fame, alongside Dame Wendy Hall, Dame Stephanie Shirley and Baroness Martha Lane Fox who were the Hall of Fame’s inaugural entrants.

Vote Now

Computer Weekly readers can now vote on who should be recognised as the 2016 most influential woman in UK IT from the list of names below.

Click on your choice 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 20 May 2016.

Find out the winner and the full list of the 50 most influential women in  2015, and read the coverage from our event last year.

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.

Biographies of the 50 nominations 

Alex Depledge, entrepreneur, chair of Coadec

Alex Depledge is an entrepreneur who founded domestic cleaning marketplace Until March 2016 Depledge was a board member for lobbying body The Sharing Economy, and currently acts as the venture partner for startup capital firm Ignite 100. Depledge is also the chair of not-for-profit The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec). Previously she worked as a management consultant for Accenture.

Alice Bentinck, Co-founder of Entrepreneur First

Bentinck is the co-founder of Entrepreneur First, a firm focused on supporting technology startups from around Europe. As part of the Entrepreneur First initiative, Bentinck also co-founded Code First: Girls, an organisation which provides part-time coding courses across university campuses. Bentinck is also on the advisory board of Founders4Schools and the Computer Science Department Industrial Liaison Board for Imperial College London.

Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls 

Amali de Alwis is the CEO for coding education initiative Code First: Girls which teaches students across university campuses how to code. De Alwis also acts as a CommonwealthFirst Mentor for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, providing mentorship and encouragement to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Working to align education, skills and employment, De Alwis also acts as the commissioner for the Doncaster Education and Skills Commission, and acts as a mentor for many startups.

Anna Barsby, CIO, Halfords

Anna Barsby has been CIO at Halfords since March 2013, where she has led a major IT overhaul and a cloud migration. She joined from TUI Travel where she was business change delivery director following a stint as director of IT projects and programmes. As of autumn 2016, Barsby will move to be the chief technology officer at Morrisons to take on the retailer’s digital and IT challenges. Barsby has also worked as head of infrastructure and service delivery at Whitbread, and IS transformation programme manager for the Financial Services Authority. She has an MBA from Warwick Business School. 

Anne-Marie Imafidon, head stemette, Stemettes

Imafidon founded volunteer organisation Stemettes to inspire the next generation of women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics via a series of panel events, hackathons and through the media. She is also an advisory board member for Redfield Asset Management, a board member at Inspirational You, a Fellow of the RSA and director at Avisami. She won the FDM everywoman Rising Star of the Year award 2014 and has featured in Computer Weekly’s list of the Most Influential Women in UK IT after being marked as a Rising Star in previous years. Prior to Stemettes, Imafidon started her career in IT as a business analyst intern and web designer before becoming an enterprise collaboration strategist at Deutsche Bank. 

Beverley Bryant, Director of Strategic Systems and Technology, NHS England

Beverley Bryant has been the director of strategic systems and technology for NHS England since 2013, working to lead technical initiatives in the NHS such as Integrated Digital Care Records, NHS E-referrals, Patient Online and electronic prescriptions. Prior to her work at the NHS, Bryant acted as the managing director for Capita Health and was the CIO of the Department of Health for three years.

Bindi Karia, Entrepreneur

Bindi Karia is currently working on an entrepreneurial project which has yet to be announced. Prior to 2016, Karia led Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts as vice-president for its origination and entrepreneur commercial banking arm Accelerator. She has spent much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the venture capital/emerging business lead at Microsoft UK. 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, has recently been appointed a trustee for Startup Weekend Europe and is an active supporter of many of London’s top incubators, including Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, Wayra, Entrepreneur First and Level39.

Catherine Doran, CIO, Royal Mail Group

Catherine Doran joined Royal Mail in 2011, and inherited a controversial IT transformation programme, as well as the government’s sell-off of the postal service. Her five-year IT strategy has successfully improved the technology estate. So far the project has seen Royal Mail replace large legacy systems, begin the introduction of 76,000 next generation PDAs and optimise internal operations. In a large-scale recruitment initiative, Doran targeted 30% of new starters to be women, and now 31% of her 500 IT staff are female. She joined Royal Mail from Network Rail where she led a company-wide transformation programme.

Charlotte Finn, VP, Programs-EMEA, Salesforce

Finn is the VP of Programs for Salesforce in EMEA and also works on sales strategy for corporate philanthropy programme the Salesforce Foundation. Finn is an advocate of mentorship, and used her position in the Salesforce Foundation to offer the 2015 Computer Weekly Rising Stars mentorship and advice to help the advancement of women and diversity in the IT industry. Prior to working at Salesforce, Finn held positions in business operations at VMware and head of global service centre for international wholesale at Verizon Business. Finn holds an MSc in corporate governance and studied business at Anglia Ruskin University.

Charlotte Holloway, Associate director of Policy, TechUK

Charlotte Holloway is the associate director for policy at industry body TechUK, and works alongside tech companies and policy makers to encourage innovation and digital transformation in the UK economy. Holloway also acts as a policy fellow for the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge and was part of the team supporting angel investor Sherry Coutu CBE during the production of an independent report for government on the opportunities for economic growth in the UK. Prior to TechUK, Holloway held several roles at research firm the Work Foundation where she worked on several research projects and co-authored a number of reports on economic growth and innovation. 

Chi Onwurah, Shadow digital economy minister, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Chinyelu Onwurah is shadow Cabinet Office minister for digital government, including cyber security. She led Labour’s pre-election review of digital government policy. She was first elected at the 2010 general election as MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. A chartered engineer and former head of telecoms technology at UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, she is co-chair of the Parliamentary ICT forum (Pictfor) and board member of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. Chi is an advocate for digital skills and digital enablement.

Christina Scott, Chief Technology Officer, News UK

Christina Scott was appointed the chief technology officer for News UK at the beginning of 2016 to assist with its digital initiatives. Prior to 2016, Scott was the CIO for the Financial Times for over three years, where she was responsible for technology across the FT Group, leading a 400+ 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.

Christine Ashton, SVP Technology, Thomson Reuters

Christine Ashton is senior vice-president of Thomson Reuters. She joined the company in 2013 as global vice-president for MIS centres of delivery. Previously, she was the regional CIO for BG Group, responsible for IT strategies across this global energy company. Prior to joining BG, she was group strategy and technology director at Transport for London. From 2001 to 2008, she held senior IT positions at BP. She is a fellow of the BCS, and has appeared in the Computer Weekly UKtech50 list twice in the past.

Claire Cockerton, CEO, ENTIQ

Claire Cockerton is a serial entrepreneur and an industry leader in financial services. Cockerton is co-founder and ambassador of Innovate Finance, a City of London and Canary Wharf Group backed group promoting fintech startups. She is founder and chairwoman of Entiq, a firm delivering innovation strategy and product development programmes for large corporates. She also set the strategy and co-led the implementation of Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator dedicated to fintech, retail and smart cities technologies. Cockerton is an active member for Women in Tech, Tech London Advocates, Women Shift Digital, and is a member of Boris Johnson's London Tech Ambassador Group.

Clare Sutcliffe, Co-founder of Code Club, Executive Director Communities and Outreach at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Clare Sutcliffe has brought computing to primary schools without dumbing it down, negotiating to bring major stakeholders like ARM and Google on-board, as well as harnessing the energy of individual volunteers through an open and social approach. Code Club is a nationwide network of free volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. In 2014, the organisation went global, with the aim of having coding communities in 50% of the world’s countries by the end of 2018. In 2015 Sutcliffe was awarded an MBE for her services to technology, and now also works as executive director communities and outreach for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, promoting both Raspberry Pi and Code Club initiatives.

Debbie Forster, co-CEO, Apps for Good

Debbie Forster is the co-CEO of Apps for Good, and has a passion for education and using technology to give young people of every background the best life chances. As co-CEO Forster has inspired hundreds of students, teachers, industry experts and sponsors to engage with Apps for Good. As well as scaling at an impressive rate under Forster’s leadership, Apps for Good is working hard to tackle diversity in STEM education. The course has achieved and maintained a gender balance of close to 50/50. Over 50% of apps which have won at the organisation’s annual Awards have been developed by all girl or mixed teams.

Outside of Apps for Good, Forster’s leadership has drawn attention, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the UK Forum for Computing Education. She was also named one of the Most Influential Women in IT by Computer Weekly in 2014 and 2015.


Dido Harding, CEO, TalkTalk

Dido Harding is chief executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group. Prior to her appointment she was Sainsbury's convenience director, having been appointed to Sainsbury's operating board in March 2008. Harding joined Sainsbury's from Tesco where she held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and international businesses. Prior to this, she worked at Kingfisher and Thomas Cook where she gained considerable retail experience. She was appointed as a non-executive director on The Court of The Bank of England in July 2014. She has also served on the boards of The British Land Company and Cheltenham Racecourse. In August 2014 Harding was offered a peerage and now sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer.

Dr Hannah Dee, Lecturer in Computer Science at Aberystwyth University

Hannah Dee set up the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, the UK's main conference for female undergraduates, which she has run for the last seven years. She has a degree in cognitive science, a master’s in philosophy and a doctorate in computing, all from the University of Leeds. Her research areas are computer vision for the analysis of human behaviour, the detection of shadows and reasoning about shadows, and student attitudes to the study of computer science. She has held post-doctoral positions in Grenoble (France), Leeds and Kingston upon Thames. She is a women in computing activist and deputy chair of BCSWomen, the chartered institute for IT's group for women. 

Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech City; partner, Passion Capital; government special envoy for fintech

Eileen Burbidge is a partner at Passion Capital, the London-based venture capital firm she established with Stefan Glaenzer and Robert Dighero. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product development roles at Yahoo!, Skype, PalmSource, Openwave, Sun and Apple. She also serves as chair for Tech City UK and is the special envoy for FinTech for HM Treasury, as well as member of the Prime Minister’s business advisory group.

Eileen Naughton, Managing Director and VP, UK-Ireland Sales & Operations at Google

Eileen Naughton is responsible for sales and business operations in Google’s second-largest market. She was earlier vice president of global sales, responsible for Google’s largest advertising and agency clients, and led Google's high-growth display advertising business in the Americas, responsible for sales, development, media strategy and operations across YouTube and the Google Display Network. She led the integration of DoubleClick's platform, rich media and AdExchange businesses into Google. Before joining Google in 2006, she had a distinguished career at Time Warner. 

Elizabeth Varley, Co-founder and CEO, TechHub

TechHub is at the heart of the London Tech City movement to attract startups to East London and boost investment and innovation in UK IT, with Elizabeth Varley as its CEO. She has set up new TechHub operations in Bangalore, Bucharest, Berlin and Riga, as well as other UK sites in Manchester and Swansea. Previously, Varley set up Online Content UK as an organisation for online content professionals running an industry-focused community & regular events. She was one of the founding steering committee members of the DigitalEve women in technology organisation in the UK. Varley also sits on the board for the Digital City Exchange at Imperial College London.

Emma McGuigan, Managing Director, Accenture's UK and Ireland Technology Group

Emma McGuigan runs Accenture’s UK and Ireland technology business, which includes consulting and outsourcing for 70% of Accenture’s UK business. She joined Accenture in 1994 after graduating with a Master’s degree in Electronics from the University of Edinburgh. McGuigan leads Accenture’s work with Stemettes, a charity dedicated to increasing the number of women in Stem careers. In 2012, she was the technology category winner of Women in the City's Woman of Achievement Awards and in 2013 was made a fellow of The Chartered Institute for IT. McGuigan is a board member of industry body TechUK and is the treasurer of the Orchid Project. 

Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen, Founder of Tectre

Gillian Arnold is chair of BCSWomen, part of BCS, the chartered institute for IT. She has 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, including 22 with IBM, and has undertaken customer-facing technical, sales, business development, strategic marketing and consultancy roles. She has managed and established teams for new products, and built teams with cross-industry and cross-platform experience across Europe and the UK. She has now retired from IBM. She has significant interest in encouraging more women into the science and technology sectors and has chaired a forum for IT trade body Intellect. She sits on the board of directors for the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and is a non-executive director for WISE.

Harriet Green, VP & general manager, Internet of Things, Commerce & Education, IBM

Harriet Green is the vice president and general manager for internet of things, commerce and education at IBM, as well as a non-executive director for BAE systems. Having studied business, strategy and leadership at Harvard Business School as well as Business Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Green has many years of experience in business leadership, and has won several awards to reflect this. Prior to her current role, Green held CEO positions at Premier Farnell and Thomas Cook.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive, Tinder Foundation

Helen Milner is founder and CEO of 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 Tinder Foundation won a government contract in 2014 to support its digital inclusion strategy.

Jennifer Rigby, Head of IT Channels and Innovation at O2

Rigby looks after technology channels for telecoms provider O2, including channels such as the firm’s online, retail and voice channel offerings where she has helped to deliver several large scale IT programmes. Prior to her work at O2 she held several roles throughout government including director of corporate security at the Home Office, chair of the Green ICT Delivery Unit for UK Government and CIO for the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Rigby started her IT career at the BBC where she acted as an executive producer for BBC Future Media & Technology.

Kate Russell, Tech Journalist, gamer, author and BBC Click presenter

Journalist, reporter and author, Kate has been writing about technology and the Internet since 1995. Appearing weekly on BBC technology programme Click she also speaks regularly at schools and universities inspiring the next generation of technologists. She has regular columns in National Geographic Traveller magazine and BBC Focus magazine, and her website, , won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog. In June 2015 she was voted the 25th most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly.

Kathryn Parsons, Founder, Decoded

Kathryn Parsons is co-founder of Decoded, which teaches people to code in a day. Having launched this entirely self-funded business in 2011, she is now overseeing its international expansion and launching new products. Over 50% of Decoded staff are female.

Lucy Neville Rolfe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, BIS

Baroness Neville-Rolfe is the parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and minister for Intellectual Property for the UK Government. As part of her work with BIS, Neville-Rolfe is responsible for regulation, intellectual properly and the EU digital single market. Neville-Rolfe works with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on data protection. Prior to her work in government, Neville-Rolfe worked at Tesco from 1997 to 2013.

Maggie Philbin, CEO, Teen Tech

Maggie Philbin has worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes. She is co-founder and CEO of TeenTech, an award-winning organisation helping young people, their parents and teachers understand more about the real opportunities in science and technology. Reporting on science and technology for the BBC’s Bang Goes The Theory, providing analysis and comment on technology for BBC Webwise and a regular reporter on BBC 1’s Inside Out, she has a unique resonance with audiences, having grown up with them on much-loved shows such as Swap Shop and Tomorrow’s World.

Margaret Ross, Professor of Software Quality and a Principal Lecturer at Southampton Solent University

Ross is an Emeritus Professor of Software Quality for Southampton Solent University, and is part of team of lecturers who teach a top-up course in International Construction, Design and Management for international students. Ross is part of the BCSWomen group and is a fellow of the British Computer Society.

Melissa Di Donato, Area Vice President, Channels and ISVs, EMEA and APAC

Melissa Di Donato joined in 2010 and is area VP of Wave Analytics Cloud at Salesforce. Prior to her current role, Di Donato was the area vice president of ISV and channel programmes for Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC), during which she chaired a European ISV Advisory Innovation Board. Di Donato is a board member and advisor to various technology companies in the UK and in Silicon Valley. She is a philanthropist, focusing on Stem initiatives and mentoring women in business. She has recently been named as leader of the Tech Working Group of the 30% Club.

Monique Shivanandan, Group CIO, Aviva

Shivanandan joined Aviva as CIO in 2014, and has had a history of high-level technology roles. As well as her work at Aviva, Shivanandan is the non-executive director for J.P. Morgan Securities PLC and is passionate about science and technology. Prior to her current role, Shivanandan spent time as chief technology officer for Capital One and was the MD & CIO of BT Retail for four years. Shivanandan believes women should act as mentors and role models for other women in the IT industry.

Naomi Climer, President of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology)

Climer became the first female IET president in October 2015 after acting as deputy president for the institution for three years. Climer joined Sony Europe in 2002 as director of Sony Professional Services, managing a team of around 100 staff, based in 15 countries and operating in 108 territories across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She was then the president of Sony Media Cloud Services for over two years where she was responsible for creating a global start-up SaaS cloud business inside Sony for professional media workflows.

Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA Facebook, non-executive director at Diageo and co-president at Norwood

Nicola Mendelsohn has been vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations at Facebook since 2013. She is responsible for growing Facebook's advertising revenue and improving relationships with brands across the region. She has served as the president of the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications London). She was executive chairman and partner of Karmarama advertising agency for five years. She is chair of the corporate board of Women's Aid. Mendelsohn is currently director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, industry chair of the Creative Industries Council, non-executive director of consumer goods firm Diageo and co-president of charity Norwood.

Rachel Neaman, Doteveryone / CEO Go On UK

Until April,  Rachel Neaman was the CEO of digital skills charity Go ON UK which has now joined forces with Martha Lane Fox’s Doteveryone initiative. Doteveryone is a new kind of public-value partnership organisation committed to showing what's possible: tech for good, at scale, for everyone. Neaman has extensive senior leadership experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and abroad, is chair of the Digital Leaders programme, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).

Regina Moran, CEO, Fujitsu UK & Ireland

Moran was appointed CEO of Fujitsu UK & Ireland in 2015 after spending almost 10 years as CEO of the firm in Ireland. With skills in leadership and management, Moran is a non-executive director of electricity company Eirgrid in Ireland, is a member of the DCU Governing Authority for Dublin City University and is the president of networking group Engineers Ireland.

Rioch Edwards-Brown, founder, So You Wanna Be on TV?

Entrepreneur and founder of So You Wanna Be on TV?, Rioch Edwards-Brown, is an advocate for diversity and has extensive media experience. She began So You Wanna Be on TV? as a community outreach programme after 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.

Sarah Burnett, Vice President, Everest Group

Burnett is an analyst in information technology services and business process outsourcing. VP at Everest Group, Burnett uses her skills to lead the Group on global service delivery automation research and European practice across its global services research areas. Prior to working for Everest Group, Burnett was the VP of research at Nelson Hall covering areas such as infrastructure ITO, cloud, and government BPO. Burnett is the deputy-chair of BCSWomen.

Sarah Luxford, Director at Nexec Leaders and lead of Women in London Tech Group

Luxford is the co-lead of the Tech London Advocate’s women in tech group and is also co-founder of Croydon Tech City (2nd fastest growing tech cluster in the Capital) in charge of developing new relationships with investors, tech companies and potential stakeholders. In her role of director at Nexec Leaders, Luxford works with founders, investors and business leaders to find the talent they need. Luxford was noted as one of Computer Weekly 2015 Rising Stars.

Sarah Wilkinson, CTO at the Home Office

The Home Office appointed Credit Suisse's head of corporate systems technology, Sarah Wilkinson, as its chief technology officer (CTO) in February 2015. At the Home Office she is responsible for many of the most critical IT systems supporting UK borders and policing. 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 sits on Telefonica’s startup accelerator Wayra as a board adviser, and is a non-executive director at the Police ICT Company.

Sarah Wood, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Unruly Media

Wood is the co-founder and co-CEO of data-centric media promotion company Unruly Media. Unruly uses emotional audience data and user-friendly video formats to massively increase viewer engagement, brand performance & publisher revenues across the web. Previously a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Sussex, Wood is now an associate lecturer and course convenor for the University of Cambridge focusing on devising and delivering the "Creation, Consumption, Revolution: Online Video Culture" module as part of the Screen Cultures MPhil course.

Sharon Moore, Industry Technical Leader for Travel & Transportation, IBM UK

Moore is the technical leader for the travel and transportation industry at IBM UK, focussing on designing technical solutions for IBM's clients in the travel and transportation industry, incorporating engagement, internet of things and analytics technologies, as well as building IBM’s technical community in this space. Moore is also a non-executive director for CENSIS - Innovation Centre.

Sharon White, CEO, Ofcom

Sharon White took over as Chief Executive of Ofcom in March 2015 after spending two years as the Second Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury, the first black person, and the second woman, to hold the position. Prior to working with the Treasury, White had board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development and was a civil service adviser at the Prime Minister's Policy Unit.

Sheila Flavell, COO, FDM Group

Sheila Flavell was appointed chief operating officer of IT service firm FDM Group in 2008. She played an integral role in the group’s flotation on AIM in 2005 and was a key instigator of the management buy-out of the group in 2010 and the subsequent float onto the main FTSE market in June 2014. Flavell campaigns for promoting women in IT and spearheads FDM’s global women in IT campaign. She won the Corporate Leader of the Year award at the Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards 2012 and is the driving force behind FDM’s Global Women in IT initiative.

Sherry Coutu, Angel Investor and founder of Founders4Schools

Sherry Coutu is one of Britain's most successful angel investors, working and investing with entrepreneurs to solve problems for patients in medical technology sectors and students and teachers in education technology. She advises and serves on the boards of companies, charities and institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, Cambridge University, LinkedIn, Raspberry Pi and  

As an angel investor, she has made direct angel investments in more than 50 companies and holds investments in three venture capital firms. She founded and chairs the not-for-profit, Silicon Valley Comes 2 The UK and serves on the board of the Francis Crick Institute.

Susan Cooklin, Route Services Director and CIO, Network Rail

In 2016 Cooklin was appointed route services director for Network Rail, responsible for supplying services to each of Network Rail’s eight routes. She has been the CIO and director of Shared Services at Network Rail since 2009. Her career spans over 20 years in financial services, leading business, technology and operational teams across global organisations. In 2015 she launched Could IT Be You?, a competition for girls aged between 16 and 18, that asks them to explain how technology can improve their lives and make things better. The winning girl had her first-year university fees paid for by Network Rail. Three runners-up received two weeks of paid work experience and mentoring with the Network Rail IT team.

Trudy Norris-Grey, MD Central & Eastern Europe at Microsoft and Chair of Wise

Trudy Norris-Grey is chair of Wise (Women in science, engineering and technology) and managing director of Microsoft’s public sector business in Central and Eastern Europe. The Wise campaign is aimed at encouraging more girls and women to pursue STEM careers. Previously she held senior executive positions in BT, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Eastman Kodak. She has also chaired the CBI Innovation, Science & Technology Committee and was chair of UKRC before merging with Wise.

Vicky Brock, CEO, Clear Returns

Brock launched Clear Returns in 2012 to tackle the omni-channel problems faced by retailers. Brock is a board director emeritus of the Digital Analytics Association with 15 years of experience as a Digital Analyst, and co-founded Scotland's first authorised Google Analytics agency, Highland Business Research, in 2004. Brock is an advocate for diversity and often talks about promoting returners to industry.

Wendy Tan White, Co-Founder and CEO of Moonfruit

Tan White co-founded and is CEO of Moonfruit, a DIY website and online shop builder for small businesses. Tan White is a general partner at Entrepreneur First, a programme and fund focused on early stage ‘deep’ tech companies, and is an advisory board member for the Government Digital Service. Tan White sits on several boards, including Tech City, Department of Computing Industrial Liason Board for Imperial College London, and the Advisory Board for the School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London/Royal College Art. 

Thank you to our judges

The judges for the 2016 Most Influential Women in UK IT, who selected this year’s 50 shortlisted names, are:

  • Kayleigh Bateman, head of digital content and business development at WeAreTheCity.
  • Andrea Palmer, performance lead in IT&S at BP and treasurer of BCSWomen.
  • Sharon Clews, director of people and talent management at TechUK.
  • Maggie Berry, founder of Women in Technology.
  • Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.
  • Rubi Kaur, senior technical architect at Vodafone Group and BCS council member.
  • Emma Chalwin, Marketing Leader UKI, Salesforce
  • Clare McDonald, business editor of Computer Weekly.
  • Bryan Glick, editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly.

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