Posted on December 14, 2016 by staff

Women blazing a trail in tech: From Imafidon to Russell


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 from I to R.

Imafidon, Anne-Marie & Guderley, Jacquelyn.

As the eldest child in ‘Britain’s Brainiest family’, Anne-Marie Imafidon was always tipped for the top. She has worked for the likes of Goldman Sachs but is now inspiring the next generation through Stemettes, along with co-founder Jacquelyn Guderley who was a candidate for the Women’s Equality Party this May. The organisation aims to get girls and young women into STEM subjects?through events, a mentoring scheme and an ‘Outbox Incubator’.

Jones, Gail.

Gail Jones co-founded managed hosting and cloud firm UKFast with her husband Lawrence in 1999. She keeps a low profile but has been instrumental in the tech company reporting 16 continuous years of growth.

Jun Rowley, Melissa.

Melissa Jun Rowley is CEO of, a social impact and tech platform co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel. She has previously produced and written for CNN and the Associated Press and is now an entrepreneur, activist and writer.

Karia, Bindi.

Dubbed  the ‘Queen of start-ups’, Bindi Karia is a fixture in the UK tech scene and was most recently vice president of the Silicon Valley Bank. She has previously worked for Microsoft and sits on many industry advisory boards. She’s currently working on a new business but it’s being kept under wraps.

Kemp, Leanne.

Leanne Kemp is the founder and CEO of Everledger, a digital, global ledger that tracks and protects valuable items. With over 20 years in the industry, Leanne has worked with blockchain at Barclays Tech Accelerator and in advertising technology (adtech).

Lane Fox, Martha CBE.

Martha Lane Fox is the co-founder of travel site and launched the digital skills charity Go ON UK. She is also the founder and executive chair of, which aims to demystify the digital age and put women at the heart of the industry.

Larizadeh Duggan, Avid.

Avid Larizadeh Duggan is a general partner at Google Ventures, the internet giant’s venture capital arm. She also co-founded Boticca, a global marketplace for independent fashion accessories as well as leading and the Hour of Code in the UK.

Lee, Diana.

Diana Lee wears many hats, working both as part-time engineer at Elbi Digital, and freelance researcher at investors, Open Ocean Capital. She also empowers women in technology as a She++ ambassador in the UK and is a lead curriculum instructor at Code First:Girls].

Link, Jessie.

American Jessie Link’s job title is ‘director of software engineering, site lead London at Twitter’ but in plain English she oversees the day-to-day running of Twitter’s London engineering operations.

McVittie, Sarah &  North, Donna.

Fashion start-up Dressipi takes fashion to the next level with personalisation tech. Co-founder and co-CEO Sarah McVittie has a history of savvy businesses, launching and running Texperts, the world’s first Q&A text service. Co-founder and co-CEO Donna North has a background in one of the most up-and-coming areas of tech, as co-creator the Interactive Content Factory (ICF), which was sold to Verizon in 2005.

Massenet, Natalie, DBE.

Natalie Massenet is an ex-journalist and founder of Net-A-Porter, now YOOX Net-A-Porter, a website that sells designer fashion in magazine format. She is also the chair of the British Fashion Council. Natalie was awarded an MBE for services to the fashion industry in 2009 and a damehood earlier this year.

McGuigan, Emma.

Emma McGuigan’s myriad roles at professional services company Accenture range from managing director for its technology practice in the UK & Ireland, to global delivery lead for careers and being responsible for the Accent on Women programme.

Mendelsohn, Nicola CBE.

In her role as Facebook’s vice president of Europe Middle East and Asia, and as the company’s most senior person outside the US, Nicola Mendelsohn champions diversity in the workplace. She is also the co-president for children’s charity Norwood and the current director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Milner, Helen, OBE.

Helen Milner’s work as CEO of digital inclusion charity, the Tinder Foundation, was recognised when she was awarded an OBE in June 2015.

Moore, Sharon.

Sharon Moore is industry technical leader for travel and transportation at IBM UK, where she creates technical solutions for the company’s travel and transportation clients. She’s also head of the BCSWomen group in Scotland and has spoken at TEDx and 360D Scotland.?

Moran, Jane.

Jane Moran took over as CIO at consumer goods giant Unilever in June 2014 after working in the same role at Thomson Reuters. In 2014 she became the first woman to top Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 list.

Morgenstern, Ursula.

Ursula Morgenstern was promoted to the role of global head of consulting and systems integration at Atos after three years as CEO of Atos UK & Ireland. She is a supporter of The Prince’s Trust, which helps young people – particularly young women – realise their potential in STEM.

Morris, Gemma.

Fans of Sky’s weekly tech show, Swipe, will need no introduction to its reporter and producer Gemma Morris. She joined Sky News in 2006, moving through the ranks to eventually present and produce Swipe, and become part of the team creating content for all of Sky News’ platforms.

Morris, Melissa.

Melissa Morris is founder and CEO of Network Locum, an online network that connect GPs and their practices. She has been running the company since 2012 after seeing a gap in the medical staffing space when she worked for McKinsey and the NHS.

Mulqueeny, Emma OBE.

Emma Mulqueeny is the founder of Rewired State and its youth initiative Young Rewired State, which run hackathons and advise organisations on digital strategies. She is also the former CEO of Elbi Digital, an app which wants to help people ‘do good on the go’.

Murria, Vin.

Vin Murria is founder and CEO of Advanced Computer Software Group Plc. She has a number of strings to her bow, including a combination of venture capital, private equity and CEO/operational experience. In 2007 Vin also started the PS foundation, a charity aimed at educating women in India.

Norris-Grey, Trudy.

Trudy Norris-Grey is the managing director of business development, Worldwide Public Sector for Microsoft, and the chair of WISE (Women in science, engineering and technology), a campaign which aims to encourage more girls and women in STEM careers.

Onwurah, Chi.

Following an engineering career that began in the 1980s, MP Chi Onwurah is now Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. Before entering parliament she served as head of Telecoms Technology for communications regulator Ofcom.

Parmar, Belinda, OBE.

Belinda Parmar is a vocal advocate for women’s involvement in the world of technology and is the founder and CEO of Lady Geek, now called The Empathy Business, which aims to measure and drive empathy across the world’s business ecosystem. She was awarded the OBE for services to women in technology.

Parsons, Kathryn.

Kathryn Parsons is the co-founder and co-CEO of digital skills organisation Decoded, and co-founder and ex-co-CEO of advertising agency the Scarlett Mark. Decoded is famous for teaching people to code in a day and to-date has taught in over 40 cities across the world.

Philbin, Maggie.

Maggie Philbin is a broadcast icon, having worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a range of STEM programmes. She is co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC, which promotes STEM careers to students, parents and teachers.

Price, Karen, OBE.

Karen Price is the director of the Tech Partnership, a network of employers collaborating to create digital skills. Karen originally qualified as a teacher before moving into business. She is e-skills UK’s founding CEO and was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to the technology industry.

Russell, Kate.

Tech reporter and author Kate Russell is a mainstay of the weekly BBC tech programme Click, and her website won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog.