Posted on December 12, 2016 by staff

Women blazing a trail in technology: From Abiola to Burns


Everyone acknowledges that the lack of women working in technology is a problem – but coming up with solution is far from clear-cut.

According to Deloitte Global, by the end of 2016 fewer than 25 per cent of IT jobs in developed countries will be held by women.
Research in the US found that women in IT are 45 per cent more likely than men to leave in their first year.

However, according to a 2014 study among UK firms, half of all companies hiring IT workers said that only one in 20 job applicants were women.

The media has a huge part to play in tackling the problem – which is why we tasked Katherine Lofthouse with putting together an inaugural ‘100 Women Role Models of Tech’ list.

She sifted through more than 200 names before settling on the final list.

“The key criteria was women who hold roles in technology and have been actively in getting other women into tech,” she explained.

“Tech is such a broad description we’ve included everyone from tech entrepreneurs to women involved in the traditional field of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, maths).”

Lofthouse invited a pool of respected names in tech to nominate people for the list and researched each nominee, contacting a number directly.

“We’ve listing them in alphabetical order rather than in importance because it’s very subjective,” she said.

“Although these are our 100 women role models of tech, there are others who haven’t been included. The list celebrates the enormous contribution that women make to the tech sector.”

All 100 will be featured on our website this week. Today we run through those with surnames beginning with an A or a B.

Abiola, Dupsy.

Ex-barrister Dupsy Abiola now finds herself an advocate for internships, as the founder and CEO of Intern Avenue. The website was the first recruitment business to be offered investment on the BBC show Dragons’ Den in 2012 and connects interns, graduates and employers.

Agrawal, Roma.

Roma Agrawal is a multiple-award-winning structural engineer whose work credits include The Shard. She actively promotes STEM careers to young people and is a founding member of the This is Your Life campaign to get children and underrepresented groups into STEM.

Angelides, June.

June Angelides is the founder of Mums in Technology, the first child-friendly coding school in the UK. The company aims to inspire more mums into tech, and provides childcare while the women are in class.

Arcuri, Jennifer.

Woman-of-all-trades Jennifer Arcuri is the founder of InnoTech Network, which provides the tools to grow tech clusters. She is also a certified ethical hacker and founder of My Hacker House, which is on a mission to make the cyberspace safer for businesses.

Arnold, Gillian.

As well-known for her work supporting women in tech as for her day job as a director at IT services and recruitment company Tectre, Gillian Arnold is chair of BCSWomen.

Ashton, Christine.

Christine Ashton is senior vice president of technology at Thomson Reuters, sporting a CV that includes title of group strategy and technology director at Transport for London, which she held in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Bailey, Debra.

Being CIO of Nationwide Building Society is no small task; however Debra Bailey proved she was up to the challenge during her previous role at telecoms giant BT.

Barsby, Anna.

Anna Barsby recently moved from her role as chief information officer at Halfords to become the chief technology officer at Morrisons.

Bentinck, Alice.

Alice Bentinck is co-founder and COO of Entrepreneur First, where the world’s most ambitious technical founders build their companies from scratch. She’s also the co-founder of the Code First: Girls, which aims to increase the proportion of women in tech and entrepreneurship.

Berry, Maggie.

Maggie Berry supports women in tech both in and out of her day job as the founder of the Women in Technology Network and in her role as executive director for Europe at WEConnect International, which includes growing its network of registered and certified women business owners.

Bertram, Jo.

Joining Uber in 2013, Jo Bertram now leads the company’s UK, Ireland and Nordic operations and, in just over two years, has grown the small UK team to more than 130 people.

Black, Sue, OBE.

As the founder of BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in tech, Sue Black will have no shortage of fans in the industry. She has since started #techmums, a social enterprise which empowers mums and their families through technology.

Bowen, Susan.

Susan Bowen is responsible for leading the strategic and tactical direction of Cogeco Peer 1 in the EMEA region, and is the Chair of techUK’s Women in Tech Council.

Braithwaite, Claire.

Claire Braithwaite is tech advisor to the Manchester Growth Company, which aims to raise the profile of the region’s tech community. She resigned as the head of Tech North in early 2016, is the founder of online retail platform and has been appointed partnership and ventures consultant for the Co-op.

Brockwell, Holly.

Holly Brockwell is the founder and editor of tech site for women, Gadgette. In 2015 she won The Drum’s Woman of the Year award for founding the website.

Brooke, Emily.

Emily Brooke is founder and CEO of Blaze, a tech and design start-up which creates products for urban cyclists. Coming through Alice Bentinck’s Entrepreneur First course, she has launched both items in Blaze’s product range with funds raised from crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

Brown, Eileen.

Moving from a more traditional background at Microsoft and HP, Eileen Brown is now helping businesses develop their digital strategy as a social business advisor. She is founder and chair of Connecting Women in Technology and a STEM Ambassador, and has written a book on social media marketing.

Bryant, Beverley.

Beverley Bryant is the director of digital transformation at NHS England and has been tasked with heading up the current NHS Five Year Forward View, which is trying to make the NHS paperless by 2020. Her previous roles include CIO at the Department of Health and managing director at Capita Health.

Burbidge, Eileen, MBE.

It’s easy to see why Eileen Burbidge has been dubbed ‘Queen of British VCs’; since earning her stripes at prestigious companies including Yahoo!, Skype and Apple, she has become a partner at venture capital firm Passion Capital and co-founder of tech start-up hub White Bear Yard.

Burnett, Sarah.

Sarah Burnett is the vice president of global management consulting firm Everest Group where she leads the company’s research and analysis in Europe. She is currently the deputy chair of BCSWomen and represents the group on the techUK Women in Tech Council.

Burns, Rowena.

Rowena Burns is the CEO of Manchester Science Partnerships, a public/private sector partnership focused on driving growth and opportunity in the most vibrant and innovative sectors of the economy.