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Posted on March 14, 2018 by staff

Apprentice star Ruth Badger says tech is opening up to women

Entrepreneur and former The Apprentice finalist Ruth Badger says she’s confident the tech sector is becoming more appealing to women.

Badger is best known as the runner-up on the second series of the popular BBC reality TV show and following it up with her own TV series called Badger or Bust.

She launched Ruth Badger Consultancy and since 2006 has helped 361 businesses start – 358 of which are still trading.

Badger also runs three tech firms in Manchester called Everything Tech; Everything Comms; and Dev Capsule.

“Technology is the most innovative thing; it’s changed our lives,” Badger told BusinessCloud. “You look at 10 or 15 years ago, when I went on The Apprentice there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – nothing like that.

“We didn’t have mobile devices, we had mobile phones and we thought sending text messages were a novelty and yet that was only 15 years ago.

“I think that the world of technology, the face of technology has changed massively, therefore has its appeal.

“Ten years ago it was geeks, developers, coders sat in a room tapping away – that wasn’t attractive to women in business.

“And now really, technology really is the fourth commodity; you can’t trade, you can’t run a business, you can’t even run a household anymore without technology – that’s why it appeals.”

Badger spoke at last week’s UKFast event ‘In our own words: The changing perception of women in tech’, which was held on 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

She acknowledges the male-female imbalance within corporate organisations but insists that she’s never felt the effects of a glass ceiling.

“If I did then I went through it and never felt the pain and I’ve always worked in a male-dominated environment,” she said. “I’ve always been, since the age of 24, the only woman on the board and it’s never stopped me.

“My parents have brought me up in such a way that I do not see race, gender, religion, sexuality or any of that – I see your attitude. If you ring me up or walk into an interview and you’re rude – I don’t care if you’re God’s gift to technology, you won’t get a job with me.”

Badger says she’s confident that initiatives and events like ‘In our own words’ will continue to break down barriers for women and close the gender gap.

“It will work, there’s no doubt about it,” she says confidently. “And I’m talking about in the westernised world, nobody is going to put anybody in a corner or tell them they can’t do it.

“Don’t get me wrong, I know in relation to corporate organisations there is very much a male-female imbalance but actually I’ll say to all women: well push it then.”

The event attracted four million impressions on Twitter and was co-hosted by Kristina McGuirk, marketing director at UKFast, and Patricia Keating, project lead of Tech Manchester.

Other speakers at the event included Elizabeth Clark, Dream Agility; House of Coco founder Laura Bartlett; Richard Gregory, Tech North & Sascon; Gail Jones, joint MD and co-founder, UKFast; Naomi Timperley, Tech North Advocates; Aleksander Binder, Legista; Jo Scott, Peel Ports; Helen and Lisa Tse, Sweet Mandarin; Aaron Saxton, UKFast; and Emma Sheldon MBE.