International Women's Day - The Most Influential Women in Tech

Most Influential Women in Tech for International Womens Day

Even though the technology sector has seen a major growth of IT jobs within the UK, the lack of women holding key roles in the digital industry still remains a concern.

According to a report by Deloitte Global, it is predicted that less than 25% of IT jobs in developed countries will be held by women by the end of 2016 - a figure no different to the end of last year. Gender imbalance has been recognised as an issue since 2005 and is a widely discussed topic within the tech industry. 

University subjects like Computer Science have seen a notable absence of female students in recent years, with the majority of graduates being male. A recent UK survey from 2012 showed that only 17% of females had learnt computer coding in schools, opposed to 33 percent of males who had learnt. It is argued that this could be due to a lack of encouragement from parents, teachers and other role models to get women into technology and science – so there has certainly been a call for better initiatives and campaigns to get more women into technology.

Since 2010 there has been a large increase in articles, campaigns and programmes to get more women into technology. Initiatives like STEM have been supporting young women to study computer and science subjects and has helped challenge the idea that computer science is a male area.

Most importantly, however, is the need for role models to help inspire and influence young women into pursuing a career in technology. Fortunately, there are countless women in technology all making a difference and proving that gender isn’t important when it comes to leaving your mark in the tech sector.

So to celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve put together a small collection of some the UK’s most influential women of technology today to celebrate women in IT.

Emma McGuigan

Emma McGuiganEmma is the Managing Director of Accenture’s UK and Ireland Technology business. After joining in 1994 with a Master’s in Electronics, Emma worked on a number of large scale projects and delivery management programmes. As a passionate advocate of encouraging more women in technology, Emma had worked with charities dedicated to increasing the number of women in STEM careers and was listed at one of the 50 most influential women in UK by Computer Weekly.

Claire Cockerton

Claire CockertonClaire is the founding CEO of Innovate Finance and Chairwoman of Entiq and is an industry leader in financial services. She is a serial entrepreneur and is an ambassador within Boris Johnson’s London Tech Ambassadors Group. Claire has been an active member for Women in Tech and also played a major role in the implementation of Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator dedicated to Fintech, retail and smart city technology.

Sara Murray

Sara MurraySara is most famous for founding car insurance comparison website, and for her wearable technology venture, Buddi. She won Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2009 Orange National Business Awards and was awarded an OBE in 2012 by the Queen for her services to entrepreneurship and innovation. She currently sits on the UK’s government Technology Strategy Board and Seedcamp, an organisation promoting entrepreneurship in the UK and Europe.

Katheryn Parsons

atheryn ParsonsKatheryn is the Co-CEO of Decoded, a London based tech start-up that aims to improve digital literacy and coding via one-day courses. Since launching in 2011, Decoded has become a global phenomenon in creating accelerated learning experiences and programmes including its popular Code_in a Day introduction to web technologies. Katheryn won both UK Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year and was recently named as one of the fifty most inspiring women in technology.

Joanna Shields

Joanna ShieldsJoanna is the appointed minister of internet safety and security for the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. She has worked with some of the world’s biggest giants in Tech including Google, AOL and Facebook. Today she takes up her role as chair for Tech City and is the UK ambassador for digital industries. She is considered one of the most powerful women in IT and was ranked number 1 in The Wired 100. 

Jane Moran

Jane MoranJane is the CIO of Consumer Goods at Unilever and is considered as one of the most powerful women in technology. She was involved in many developments in innovative technologies during her time at both Thomson Reuters and Uniliver. She is a major supporter of encouraging women in IT and was voted the UK’s most influential women in IT in 2012.

Last year, Mark Zuckerberg had the ideal response to a grandmother who innocently commented about encouraging her granddaughter to date the nerd in school, in hopes he would be the next big thing in tech.

'Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!' was Zuckerberg's response.