Traditionally, women have been under-represented within the UK tech industry. Even now, according to a HP poll conducted earlier this year, only 17% of people employed in the technology sector are women, much less than any other field in the UK. As the skill gap in the technology sector in this country continues to widen (set to hit more than 1 million by next year), at Isoline, we thought the summer might be a good time to take a step back and salute those who are leading the way.
So, we take a look at 5 women in tech around the world that have broken the mould and are now paving the way for likeminded female tech enthusiasts to shape the face of technology in the UK. As a company of tech-minded women, talking about the unsung heroes featured on this blog really inspired us – and we hope it helps to inspire other women in the same way.
After working as the global diversity manager at Microsoft, Alexa wanted to wake the tech industry up to the fact that more women were needed in the field. Originally studying computer science at university, Alexa shares some of her insights from the male-dominated classrooms, stating “I was the only female” and how she eventually decided that she needed to learn in a more diverse environment, and opted to change to study neuroscience instead. Working as the part of the then staffing team at Microsoft, the lack of female representation spurred Alexa to found Codess.
Codess is a community of female engineers with the objective to promote gender diversity in the engineering and technology fields, running events and workshops globally for members to participate and network. By offering women a safe and familiar environment in which to hone their skills, Alexa is helping women to go out into the tech world and succeed.
Sally at Isoline: “Alexa has not just carved a niche for herself, she has tried to use her influence to make the path easier for others to travel.”
Bethany gained a Master of Science in Responsibility and Business from the University of Bath, setting her up for her future endeavours. Currently CEO of Tech Will Save Us, an innovative organization focusing on education and creativity within tech, Bethany wanted to help make technology great again. After finding a discarded laptop in Hackney in 2012, her goal turned to repurposing, recycling and fixing devices in an age of convenient replacements. The tech scene in London is already changing to that of ‘fix and mend’ rather than ‘rip and replace’, and the educational toys that Tech Will Save Us creates promoting STEM play in the form of coding and other innovative toys, the company is enabling boys and girls alike to discover what goes into our day-to-day tech.
Claire at Isoline: “As an ardent environmentalist, I love what Bethany is doing to save the earth using her tech skills. More power to her!”
Claire is another strong female in the tech workforce pushing for a more gender diversified industry. Currently Senior Vice President at Dell Technologies, Claire has been highlighting the lack of skilled tech workers in the industry and encouraging women to stand up and fill those skill gaps. She believes that only by teaching young girls that they can enter and exceed their expectations in the field from an early age, can the current skills gap in tech in the UK be narrowed. Consequently, she is passionate about encouraging school-age girls to pursue Maths and Science, and for the technology sector to engage with them about their future and debunk myths and stereotypes about girls working in science or tech fields.
Anu at Isoline: “As a parent I know first-hand how important it is to encourage girls at an early age to pursue any field they aspire to, and I admire Claire for putting her money where her mouth is.”
Editor of and writer at TechCrunch, a London-based tech publication, Ingrid has worked in the tech journalism industry for more than 10 years, so she just had to be on our influential women’s list! As both an influential woman in tech and PR, Ingrid has developed an impressive résumé working for titles such as Total Telecom and paidContent.org. One of the best sourced journalists around, Ingrid has quickly become the woman to contact if you want the tech scoop. One of her most recent stories even tracked down the person responsible for deactivating Donald Trump’s Twitter account – earning her a place on Business Insider’s 38 coolest women in tech list, and deservedly so.
Gia at Isoline: “Ingrid is a credit to the profession and respected by tech sector participants worldwide.”
Last on our list but certainly not least, is Kerstin Mogull, COO, Future Media & Technology at the BBC. She’s in charge of delivering the latest in innovative tech platforms to futureproof the BBC. One of her most well-known ventures at the BBC is iPlayer, which brought the Beeb into the on-demand era and helped it keep up with rising consumer demand for Over-The-Top (OTT) services. Kerstin believes women bring complimentary skills to the tech industry, cutting through the noise and jargon to convey technology to C-suite in a way that is clear and more concise.
Heather at Isoline: “A visionary and a leader. All credit to her and her team for their work on the forefront of entertainment technology.”
Gender diversity is an incredibly important issue in the tech sector not just in the UK but internationally, and organizations are now starting to understand the benefits of diversifying their workforces. We all have a role to play here: while we can’t all set up organisations or influence education policy, we must all champion diversity in our own small way.
If you have any queries about today’s blog or you want to share your influential females in tech, then get in touch at [email protected]!