It is well known fact that women are under-represented within the technology sector. Many people have discussed how, why and what can be done to help fix the imbalance. We won't go into those questions here. What we will discuss is a place where this problem can become particularly acute: events.

Sadly it is still not uncommon to see panels that only feature male speakers, even in 2016. When the inevitable backlash on social media occurs, it is always interesting to see how the event organisers respond.

woman speaker istock wavebreak
© iStock/Wavebreak

Ideally, it goes something like: "We're sorry, we will do better next time." Sometimes the organisers claim to have invited (usually unspecified) women but all of them couldn't make it. Regularly the defence is: "There just aren't enough women working in this area." But how true is this?

We decided to investigate ourselves to see how many UK-based women we could find who'd be able to speak in public across the various sectors within tech. With relatively little effort we found tons of impressive vendor executives, chief information officers, startup founders, developers, technologists, lawyers…just to name a few sectors. They are listed below, by their (quite loosely defined) expertise category, with links to their profiles.

This list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, we're certain it's just a drop in the ocean. So if you are or know a woman working in tech who'd be a great speaker, please get in touch.

211 UK women who could speak at your tech event

  • Founders and women working in startups speakers
  • Developers and technologists speakers
  • Vendor executives and tech company staff speakers
  • Female CIOs and CTOs
  • Academics, trade bodies, thinktankers and non-profits
  • Security and tech law speakers
  • Venture capitalists
  • Public sector speakers

Founders and women working in startups 

Developers and technologists

Vendor executives and tech company staff

CIOs and CTOs

Academics, freelancers, trade bodies, thinktankers and non-profits

Security and tech law

Venture capitalists

Public sector

  • Ade Adewunmi, head of data infrastructure at Government Digital Service
  • Rebecca Kemp, freelance digital director (previously UK Trade & Investment, Public Health England, GDS)
  • Ann Kempster, head of recruitment for digital at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 
  • Janet Hughes, previously programme director for GOV.UK Verify at GDS
  • Julie Pierce, director of openness, data and digital at Food Standards Agency
  • Chris Atherton, head of design at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  
  • Kit Collingwood, deputy director of Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
  • Phillippa Tasselli, head of IT services at the Food Standards Agency
  • Emma Stace, executive director of digital, data and technology at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Aoife Ni Mhorain, head of user research at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 
  • Yash Harris, service designer at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  
  • Sharon O'Dea, digital engagement lead at Department for International Trade
  • Louise Downe, head of design for the UK Government, GDS
  • Lara Sampson, product owner, Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
  • Lucy Knight, open data lead at Devon County Council
  • Sian Thomas, head of information management at the Food Standards Agency  
  • Katherine Rooney, city innovation project manager at Bristol City Council 
  • Sally Kerr, digital innovation manager at Edinburgh City Council 
  • Christina Hammond-Aziz, head of digital at the Food Standards Agency
  • Heather Savory, director general for data capability at Office for National Statistics