Most Influential Women in UK Tech: Computer Weekly’s Hall of Fame

Computer Weekly’s list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology has been running since 2012 to make female role models in the UK’s technology sector more visible and accessible.

In 2015, the Hall of Fame was introduced alongside the top 50 to recognise women who have made a lifetime contribution to the technology sector, as well as their efforts to encourage others to join the IT industry, further expanding the number of amazing women people are reading about.

Role models are vitally important for encouraging people from under-represented groups into the technology sector – seeing others like them in a particular industry or position can help them to envisage themselves in those roles in the future, as well as see the steps that may get them there.

New women are added to the Hall of Fame every year, not only to recognise and celebrate women who have spent their career going above and beyond to improve diversity and inclusion to the tech industry, and to make meaningful contributions to the technology space in general, but to ensure even more names can be included on the top 50 list of the most influential women in UK technology.

Flavilla Fongang, managing director, 3 Colours Rule; founder, TLA  Black Women in Tech

Computer Weekly’s 2022 most influential woman in UK tech, Flavilla Fongang, is a strategic brand specialist aiming to help technology companies with brand engagement. She is managing director of creative agency 3 Colours Rule, as well as a branding, neuromarketing and social selling course instructor for the agency.

She is a brand adviser at the BBC, a brand specialist for Consilience Ventures and an entrepreneurship expert with the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

She founded the Tech London Advocates Black Women in Tech group, which aims to support and accelerate diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.

A podcaster, author and influencer, Fongang goes above and beyond to ensure the inclusion of black women in the technology sector and beyond.

Clare Sutcliffe, co-founder, Code Club; community strategy consultant

A serial founder, advisor and angel investor, Clare Sutcliffe first appeared on Computer Weekly’s radar as the founder of Code Club, a nationwide network of free volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

Until early 2018, Sutcliffe was executive director of communities and outreach for Raspberry Pi Foundation following its merger with Code Club, where Sutcliffe was responsible for introducing and developing an online learning platform to give people access to digital “making” projects using Raspberry Pi technology.

In 2015, Sutcliffe was awarded an MBE for her services to technology, and has been a co-founder of many organisations, including She Wins and Community Pros of London.

She now helps other brands develop businesses that are based around harnessing the power of community.

Janet Coyle, managing director business growth, London & Partners

Coyle has held several roles at London & Partners, including principal adviser, director of trade and growth, leading the export and growth strategy for the firm, and managing director of growth, before being made managing director of business growth in early 2021. 

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She has several other roles, including a non-executive director for Rocketseed and acting co-chair for the Tech London Advocates Scale Up Group.

In the past, she was managing director of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK and an adviser for charity Founders4Schools.

Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder, CognitionX; executive director, Innovate Cambridge

An expert on artificial intelligence (AI), Tabitha Goldstaub is best known as the co-founder of CognitionX, a platform and network that helps to build AI and data-driven systems.

She is currently acting as executive director of Innovate Cambridge to help the region develop an inclusive and sustainable innovation strategy, and she is also the author of How to talk to robots – a girls’ guide to a world dominated by AI.

She also acts as a judge for Teens in AI, and is an advisory board member for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

In the past, she has been chair of the government’s AI Council, marketing counsel for Founders4Schools, adviser for The Prince’s Trust and was a co-founder of Future Girl Corp, an organisation that runs free events for future female CEOs.

Wendy Tan White, vice-president, X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory; board trustee, Alan Turing Institute; member, Digital Economy Council

Wendy Tan White is vice-president at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory, a group of investors and entrepreneurs aiming to use technology to save lives.

She also has a presence at Imperial College London, where for the past eight years she has been on the advisory board for the Dyson School of Design Engineering, and in was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to technology and business.

Tan White co-founded and was CEO of Moonfruit until 2015, a DIY website and online shop builder for small businesses. She was a general partner at Entrepreneur First, a programme and fund focused on early-stage deep tech companies, and until 2018 was an advisory board member for the Government Digital Service.

She is now a member of the UK’s Digital Economy Council which aims to develop the government’s strategy for the development of a world-leading digital economy.

She splits her time between the UK and San Francisco.

The existing members of the Hall of Fame are:

Amali de Alwis

Winner of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in UK Tech accolade in 2018, De Alwis is currently a board member for a portfolio of businesses, including abrdn Charitable Foundation, Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, the diversity and inclusion board at the Institute of Coding and Cajigo, as well as acting as a startup consultant.

She has been a CEO for several companies in the past, including climate startup accelerator Subak, Founders Forum and coding training programme Code First: Girls, which not only aims to increase diversity in the tech sector, but in 2018 was teaching more women in the UK to code than the UK’s university system.

She has previously also been UK managing director of Microsoft for Startups, and De Alwis sits on the board of trustees for the Raspberry Pi Foundation as well as a founding member of the Tech Talent Charter.

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In 2019, she was awarded an MBE for services to diversity and training in the tech industry.

Andrea Palmer

Palmer has had a long career in business change and digital transformation, having held various roles at energy firm BP over 15 years.

She is currently chair of BCS Women, sits on the BCS society board and in 2021 volunteered as a programme manager for iSAW International.

In previous years, she has served as one of Computer Weekly’s expert judges for the Most Influential Women in UK Tech list, dedicating a lot of time, both in and outside her work, to furthering the conversation around getting more women into the tech sector.

Anne Boden

Boden founded digital challenger bank Starling in 2014 to build an organisation focused on customer experience. She is currently CEO and a member of its board of directors.

Prior to Starling, Boden was COO at Allied Irish Bank and head of EMEA global transaction services for RBS.

Her book, ‘The money revolution’, was released in 2019 and aims to help people manage their money in a digitally driven world.

Anne-Marie Imafidon

Imafidon was originally named one of Computer Weekly’s Rising Stars in 2014, going on to win the title of Most Influential Woman in UK Tech in 2020.

Her book, ‘She’s in CTRL’, was published in 2022, aimed at helping women to reclaim their place in the era of technology.

Imafidon is CEO of Stemettes, which she founded to encourage young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  

Outside of her work with Stemettes, she is a commissioner for the Hamilton Commission, an initiative set up by racing driver Lewis Hamilton to address the lack of black people both in UK motorsport and in the STEM sectors.

She has appeared as a co-presenter on ITV’s Countdown, and is also a regular podcast host on the Evening Standard’s Women Tech Charge podcast.

Imafidon is also a fellow of the RSA, a council member of Research England, a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland, and a member of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Digital Skills Partnership Board.

Anne Marie Neatham

Neatham took on her current role at Ocado Group as the chief operating officer of Kindred, the AI robotics firm acquired by the group, in 2022.

She is a true believer that to get young girls into technology careers, encouragement needs to start early in the education system.

Previously, Neatham led Ocado Technology’s teams focused on robotics and automation in her role as commercial director for the office of the CTO at Ocado Technology. She has been with Ocado since 2001, originally as a software engineer, then head of Ocado Technology in Poland in 2012, where she set up the firm’s Polish arm.

She became chief operating officer of Ocado Technology in 2014, and has previously been a software engineer in software and retail firms around the world.

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Carrie Anne Philbin

Another alumna of Computer Weekly’s 2016 Women in Tech Rising Stars, Philbin has several responsibilities within the Institute of Imagination (formerly called the Raspberry Pi Foundation), including leading strategy, continuing professional development programmes and learning resources.

She is a fellow of the Python Software Foundation, and her various experiences in board member and chair roles – including her time as a board member for Computing at School and her stint as chair of CAS #include – have all been aimed at making computer science more accessible for everyone.

She is also a YouTuber, writer and secondary-level computing and ICT teacher.

Chi Onwurah

Onwurah is the MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and shadow minister for digital, science and technology.

She has held many roles focused on technology, including shadow minister for culture and the digital economy, shadow Cabinet Office minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency, and shadow minister for innovation, science and digital infrastructure.

Previously, Onwurah worked in several connectivity and telecoms-based businesses, including Ofcom, Teligent, and Cable & Wireless.

Cindy Rose

In 2020, Rose was appointed president of Western Europe for Microsoft, having served as CEO of Microsoft UK since 2016, where she was responsible for the firm’s product, service and support offering across the region.

Previously, Rose worked in senior roles across the technology and digital sectors at firms such as Vodafone, Virgin Media and Disney’s Interactive Media Group.

In early 2019, she was awarded an OBE for services to UK technology, and is currently a non-executive director for communications firm WPP.

Debbie Forster

Forster is an award-winning diversity, tech and education advocate and CEO of the Tech Talent Charter, an industry-led membership group of 700-plus signatories working to improve D&I in the tech ecosystem. 

She received an MBE in 2017 for services to digital technology and tech development and was named 2019’s Most Influential Woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly.

Forster also chairs the Institute of Coding’s Diversity Board and sits on the steering group of #TechSheCan, as well as the government’s Digital Economy Council and Money and Pensions Service Advisory Board.

Eileen Burbidge

Burbidge is a partner at London-based venture capital firm Passion Capital, where she offers experience gained from various tech roles throughout her career.

Her career in technology has spanned 15 years and includes roles at companies such as Yahoo!, Skype, PalmSource, Openwave, Sun Microsystems and Apple.

Alongside her role at Passion Capital, Burbidge is the, a non-executive director at Currys plc, and was a co-founder/startup angel and adviser for White Bear Yard.

Until 2020, she was chair of Tech Nation, and was previously a member of the prime minister’s business advisory group, and a special envoy for fintech for HM Treasury.

Elizabeth Denham

Until 2021, Denham was the UK’s information commissioner, leading the office dealing with the Data Protection Act 2018 – the UK’s implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Before becoming information commissioner, Denham was the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia, Canada, responsible for…

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