It goes without saying that women remain under-represented in the technology sector. Although there are a number of things being done to change that, it is still a challenge to fix the imbalance and that isn't just in the office.

Even in the 21st century, conferences and events are where you tend to see a lack of female keynote or panel speakers. Some may assume there aren't enough women putting themselves forward for the position, yet figures prove that is incorrect and females actually go unrecognised. A report from TechNation found that only 19 percent of UK tech workers are women.

© iStock/Wavebreak
© iStock/Wavebreak

Sadly it is still not uncommon to see panels that only feature male speakers (manels), even in 2019. When the inevitable backlash on social media occurs, it is always interesting to see how the event organisers respond.

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 they 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 LinkedIn 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: [email protected]

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Here are 592 UK women who could speak at your tech event, grouped by:

  • 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 and investors
  • Public sector speakers
  • Media, communications and marketing

Founders and women working in startups 

Developers and technologists

Vendor executives and tech company staff

CIOs, CDOs and CTOs

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

Security and tech law

Venture capitalists and investors

Public sector

  • Rebecca Kemp, director of customer journey at Citizens Advice (previously Department for Business, Engergy and Industrial Strategy and Department for International Trade)
  • Janet Hughes, portfolio director at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Julie Pierce, director of openness, data and digital at Food Standards Agency
  • Mivy James, Head of Consulting UK Gov & Technical Consultant
  • Kit Collingwood, deputy director of Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
  • Phillippa Tasselli, head of IT services at the Food Standards Agency
  • Aoife Ni Mhorain, user experience consultant 
  • Jennifer Allum, head of GOV.UK at the Government Digital Service
  • Hadley Beeman, chief technology advisor to the secretary of state for the department of health and social care & acting CTO at NHSX
  • Yash Harris, Designer
  • Lou Downe, director of design and service standards for the UK government
  • Dr Sally Howes, professor of practice and director of initiative for the digital economy at University of Exeter
  • Lara Sampson, product owner, Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
  • Lucy Knight, lead data scientist at the Food Standards Agency
  • Sian Thomas, head of data, information governance and security at the Food Standards Agency  
  • Sally Kerr, steering group member at Open Government Civil Society Network Scotland
  • Heather Savory, director general for data capability at Office for National Statistics
  • Gillian Docherty, CEO at The Data Lab
  • Eleanor Stewart, head of transparency the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Emily Miles, chief executive at Food Standards Agency
  • Kylie Havelock, head of product at Citizens Advice (previously Justice Digital & Technology and Department of Health)
  • Doniya Soni, programme strategy and operations manager at WhiteHat GB
  • Sophie Dennis, (previously NHS.UK)
  • Maryvonne Hassall, AD digital and transformation at Aylesbury Vale District Council 
  • Jennifer Lambourne, head of technical writing at the Government Digital Service
  • Sally Meecham, director of digital public services programme at Welsh Government
  • Rebecca Elton, director of service design and digital portfolio director at the Parliamentary Digital Service 
  • Emma Allen, associate director: head of digital capability at Arup
  • Tracey Jessup, managing director at Parliamentary Digital Service
  • Sunitha Chacko, chief architect/ head of enterprise design authority, Government Digital Service

Media, communications and marketing

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