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International Women’s Day: How women in tech are inspiring inclusion

International Women's Day Collage

ARTICLE SUMMARY

In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we've gathered powerful quotes from women across diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages in the tech industry.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This year’s theme is #InspireInclusion, in the hope o forging a more inclusive world for women.

To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we asked women from all backgrounds, ethnicity and ages to tell us what the day means to them and how they and their organisations are inspiring inclusion.

The energy tech industry is dominated by older males, especially outside of the renewable sphere, but changes are happening. As a young woman in energy tech, I show up with my hand up in every meeting I can, whilst unapologetically being myself. Advocating for myself as well as those around me. We are the change we want to see.
The idea that women are not naturally talented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is a common misconception, but one's gender does not determine one’s aptitude or interest in STEM. Women have made significant contributions to STEM throughout history, so the notion that these fields are better suited for men has no factual basis. Fostering diversity in STEM is beneficial because it brings together varied perspectives and insights.
Flavilla Fongang
Co-Founder, Global Tech Advocates Black Women in Tech
At Totalmobile, we are committed to championing diversity and equality every day. Our thriving Diversity & Inclusion group spearheads a range of events and workshops, fostering a culture where every colleague is valued and heard. With a dedicated D&I Ambassador, we actively embrace and celebrate our differences, creating an inclusive workplace that drives innovation and success.
Gillian Mahon
Gillian Mahon
Chief People & Places Officer, Totalmobile
International Women's Day 2024 marks a pivotal moment for #InspireInclusion. Let's ignite the flames of understanding and value, forging a world where women thrive, belong, and empower. Together, we can shape a future where inclusion isn't just a goal, but a reality.
Kayleigh Bateman
Kayleigh Bateman
Content Director, SheCanCode
Finding your way through long-standing standards that are not in your favour can be challenging, but the fear of being different should not stop anyone from embracing their story. Every story builds different skills in a person, and that brings value – a value that can challenge the standards that validate the idea that only certain types of people are capable of doing certain types of jobs!
The best way that I have have found to thrive as a woman in tech is to find other women within the industry to lean on for support. The community of women whom I have met in the industry are strong, uplifting, and supportive. We focus on community over competition, lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Inclusive leadership needs to be founded on authenticity, incorporating values like cultivating love and embracing humility, employing principle-based decision-making, and encouraging curiosity in the relentless pursuit of personal growth.
Dr Ilana Wisby
CEO, Oxford Quantum Circuits
I believe it's crucial to promote a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community we serve, which is 50% made up of women. As an engineer myself, working in a predominantly male industry, I am always striving to be a positive role model for the young women I mentor from Imperial College and Cranfield University, and demonstrate that we can transform our sector to become more inclusive and diverse. International Women's Day should not be just a date on the calendar, but a call to action, reminding us of our responsibility to amplify women's voices across STEM industries and support their leadership in driving both technological advancements and social progress.
Giulia Pizzagali
Giulia Pizzagalli
Innovations Projects Manager, Anglian Water
I look to lead by example, and therefore joining the board of UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) in 2023 has enabled me to not only share my decades of experience in legal counsel in the tech industry, but also to add a new, diverse viewpoint to the board — which is still majority male.
Sharon McDermott, cofounder and MD of Trenches Law
Sharon McDermott
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Trenches Law
Women are the architects of progress in technology, decoding innovations that unlock a brighter future. This International Women's Day, let's celebrate their pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape. From coding to leadership, their contributions redefine possibilities. Together, let’s decipher the keys and open the doors to a future where diversity propels technological excellence.
Dr Loubna Ali
Associate Professor in Networking & IT, Berlin School of Business and Innovation
International Women’s Day is a beautiful day, a day of recognition and appreciation. Inclusion and diversity does is an ongoing battle however we must utilise this day to the fullest to make everlasting change. International Women’s Day allows diverse voices to be heard and celebrated, it is a reminder that everyday we must continue to challenge outdated social norms and strive for meaningful change, no matter how big or small the change may seem.
Rianne Quintyn-Brathwaite
Rianne Quintyn-Brathwaite
Partnerships Executive, SheCanCode
Driving diversity in tech isn't just about fairness; it's a no-brainer for business growth. As a female MD, I've seen firsthand that tapping into diverse talents, regardless of gender or background, is what propels our industry forward. In our expanding company, it's about skills and capabilities, not stereotypes. We're building a future where excellence knows no gender, and success is measured by what you bring to the table, not preconceived notions.
Louise Clayton
Managing Director, Talk Think Do
I've never felt overwhelmed by a company with a male employee majority because I have always felt better with them. However, you are not perceived as one of them and I'm occasionally reminded of this from their actions. I understand we're different but in a work environment that shouldn’t matter, especially in a tech company. I now have many male colleagues who help and support me, and I’m getting to know more non-male colleagues, understanding that not everyone feels better among men like myself.
Clara Peña Nevado
Clara Peña Nevado
Software Engineer, Kraken Technologies
International Women’s Day is one of the many days I dedicate to reflecting and celebrating the many wins and challenges I and many other women have overcome to be seen, heard, and validated. I spend most of it being grateful and honoring the many women including my mother, sister, friends, colleagues, mentors, and role models who continuously strive to support my growth, and aspirations, and shape my world. It also serves as an opportunity for me to serve other women via some of the personal development initiatives and programs within and outside work - using my voice and platform to reinforce the need for gender equality across many works of life including the tech space, while encouraging women to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements no matter how small it may seem.
Adetutu Laditan
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Google & Founder of the MADE not-for-profit initiative
As we approach International Women's Day, I reflect on the transformative power of diversity in the tech industry. As a female founder, I've witnessed firsthand how women in tech are not just participating but are leading and redefining the industry. This day symbolizes more than just a celebration; it's a call to action for inclusion and empowerment.
Charlotte Guzzo
COO & Co-Founder, Sano Genetic
Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t ever have to talk about bias and allyship? That would be a true sign of inclusion. As a woman, a mother and a daughter, I work in technology and bring my whole self to work so I can add valued diverse thought leadership. Trust in yourself and know that you are good enough even if it's uncomfortable.
Sarah Bright
People Director, Axiologik
In my role at WithYouWithMe, I’ve witnessed the transformative impact of women driving diversity. By excelling in tech roles, fostering mentorship and championing equal opportunities, I see women inspiring a culture of inclusion every day. Their diverse perspectives and leadership reshape industry norms and fuel innovation. Visibility of women in this space is key; the more seen and heard, the more we inspire the next generation. It’s about more than coding; it’s about breaking barriers, amplifying voices, and creating an environment where every individual, regardless of gender, thrives. International Women's Day holds immense significance for me as it represents a collective celebration of achievements, a call to action for gender equality, and a reminder to amplify women's voices. It's a day to honour the progress made and acknowledge the challenges that persist, reinforcing the importance of unity in advancing technology. As we commemorate this day, let's champion diversity in tech and empower more women to excel, creating a more inclusive future.
Kady Marriott
Kady Marriott
Associate Partner, WithYouWithMe
'Inspiring Inclusion' reminds us that true progress is achieved when we empower women to succeed. From educating young people about the many tech careers on offer, to shining a light on successful female leaders, we must inspire young women with the opportunities available for them to achieve their full potential. This commitment not only uplifts women, but also cultivates workplace environments rich in diversity and inclusivity, benefitting everyone.
Khadijah Pandor
Khadijah Pandor
Head of Partnerships, EMEA & NA, Wiley Edge
Although women have made significant strides for greater equity in the tech industry, there is still a lot of work left to be done. I’ve been very privileged to work alongside brilliant women throughout my career, and I love seeing so many women around me on a day-to-day basis. But true equity will not be possible until women become the expected in leadership roles, not the exception, and are able to contribute significantly more to their company's strategy, vision and execution
Aleks Mikolajcyk
Lead Customer Success Engineer, FutureLearn
Empowering women in legal tech isn't just about breaking barriers; it's about reshaping law through embracing diversity, fostering disruptive innovation, and championing inclusion.
Professor Livia Holden
Director of Research, CNRS
As a leader in energy technology, Zoa passionately drives decarbonization for a net-zero future, with diversity and inclusion at our core. Proudly, our executive leadership team, predominantly women in roles like CTO and CPO, exemplifies our commitment. Beyond addressing climate change, we champion diversity through targeted recruitment, bias elimination, fair pay, and flexible work, ensuring it's woven into our DNA and not just a one-day commitment.
Sara Brooks
Sara Brooks
Co-CEO, Zoa
As a female executive in tech, I embrace diversity and equity by leading inclusively and with integrity, using my platform and my voice for more equitable hiring practices, verbalizing my own challenges as a parent and frequently, the only woman at the table. My hope is to lead by example and provide a tangible example of IT leadership for other women, because representation matters.
Seraphine Young
Solutions Engineer - Public Sector, HashiCorp
There are many benefits to companies by increasing opportunities for women in tech and many studies have shown how diversity and inclusion encourages ideas within the industry. It is really great to see how far we have come but there is still plenty of work to do in the sector. International Women’s Day is a great way to both reflect on the great work that has been done and to focus on the future within technology.
Rachel Thomas
Rachel Thomas
Associate Test Engineer, Ordnance Survey
Lack of confidence and misfit were the story of my early career as a woman in tech. Later, I began to realise that I was doing things just as well as a lot of my loud, confident, and outspoken male colleagues, if not better. I also realised that it wasn't that I lacked confidence and inclusion, it was just that I was quieter and preferred to reflect before I vocalised any thoughts that crossed my mind. Once I accepted this, I saw my confidence soar. So, never feel ashamed of who or how you are, just be yourself and celebrate your strengths in a style that is authentically your own!
Maya Mort
Senior Architect, Axiologik
At QuantCube, our success is rooted in diversity, with a team representing 23 nationalities and 18 languages. Our commitment extends to a 40% female data science team. Embracing gender, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity cultivates innovation, ensuring our AI solutions cater to diverse needs. As a leader, I advocate for women in senior roles and invest time in empowering my team through mentorship. Increased representation and diverse perspectives are the only way to drive progress in tech and analytics.
Ghizlaine Amrani
Co-Founder & COO, QuantCube Technology
At Fractional Finance, one of our core values is ‘one voice, many accents’. It means that while we are all part of the same team, working towards the same objectives, we’re individually unique. And because of our differences, we each bring to the table a set of diverse experiences, all of which we can share and draw upon in times of challenge and opportunity to grow, pivot, change, and adapt quickly and efficiently. Without diversity and diversity of thought, there can be no progress. And in such a progressive and rapidly growing industry such as tech, stagnation is not an option.
Kat Wellum-Kent
Founder, Fractional Finance
As a woman working in technology and running a business, I believe it is essential to remember that feminism is not a trend, it's a force. Women in tech are the advocates of equality challenges. The tech industry in particular would benefit from equal representation and diversity as this is something that future-proof projects are built on. On my leadership journey, I had to overcome gender stereotypes about leadership skills by not following "masculine" or "feminine" norms. My successful career is built on honesty and strength, complemented by constant learning, adaptability and a positive attitude. Neither the tech sector nor management skills are gender-related. In any job, taking a strategic approach, building strong partnerships, and making data-driven decisions are important steps to growth. International Women's Day is an occasion for me to highlight that the tech industry is open to every girl and woman who decides to pursue this path."
Natalia Shakhmetova
CEO, Woofz
Tech is a rewarding industry to be in with lots of opportunity and I feel quite fortunate to have found a job that I genuinely love. My biggest support has always been other women in tech. A huge turning point for my confidence was having a mentor who understood what it was like to be a woman in this industry. Rallying around and advocating for one another is so important.
Brie Friel
Senior UX Designer, Aer Studios
It is crucial to create spaces where everyone’s perspectives are not only encouraged but acknowledged and respected. By actively promoting an inclusive dialogue within the workforce we can set out a precedent for a more equitable and empowering workplace for future generations of women. We need to keep celebrating women's achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, this will then encourage investment from younger women who aspire to work in the industry.
Indigo Lani Lewis-Jones
Indigo Lani Lewis-Jones
Network Data Officer & ISMS Manager, Clenergy EV
As we engage in the vital debate surrounding the future of technology, it is imperative that we ensure a woman's perspective is at the forefront. This debate goes beyond business; it touches the lives of the people we work with and has a profound impact on our children's future. Women bring unique insights, experiences, and considerations to the table, and their voices must be heard to create a future that is not only technologically advanced but also inclusive, equitable, and beneficial for all.
Rebecca Armstrong
Managing Director, Making Energy Greener
As a proud leader at SMG, balancing a part-time role, I am fortunate to be able to cherish the moments with my children as they grow without stunting the growth in my career. Our culture celebrates the importance for everyone to find their own balance and we set the policies and provide the resources to nurture this. In providing flexibility and supporting the full person, both personally and professionally, we pave the way for true diversity which in turn is empowering for everyone."
Emma Dean, COO, SMG
Emma Dean
COO, SMG
International Women's Day is a poignant reminder of the importance of inclusion and gender equality in all aspects of life, including the technology sector. We need to see it as a platform to amplify the voices of women in technology, celebrate their achievements, challenge biases, and break down barriers. By championing inclusion, women in technology not only pave the way for their own success but also pave the way for a more equitable future. These outstanding women are much-needed role models for young girls with technology aspirations, proving that gender should never be a barrier to pursuing your passion and realising your potential.
Cat Allport
Cat Allport
Chief Marketing Officer, Roq
Creating a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination requires a concerted effort from our industry and us as individuals to do a better job by educating others. We must take accountability and create awareness within the media and marketing world, looking at inclusive hiring processes, and community and cultural engagement whilst mitigating bias in areas like tech development. As an industry, we must lead by example through representation.
Hannah Kimuyu
Hannah Kimuyu
Managing Director of Performance, Brave Bison
As data analyst at industrial shredder specialist UNTHA UK, I've seen firsthand the strides we've made in bridging the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated industries. International Women’s Day serves as a crucial reminder of the progress we've achieved and the work that still lies ahead. While it's promising to see more women entering the tech sector, there's no denying that barriers endure. Movements like IWD provide a platform for women to showcase their skill sets and inspire the next generation of female professionals. In an era where advancements and innovations thrive, diversity and inclusion are imperative for driving yet more innovation. By harnessing the momentum of progress in the tech sector, championing inclusive policies, and mentoring aspiring female workers, we can continue to challenge stereotypes and empower women to believe that anything is possible.
Sharon Annat
Sharon Annat
Data Analyst, UNTHA UK
It's clear we need a more thoughtful and targeted approach to workplace benefits to help support more women to continue their careers in the tech sector into their 30s and beyond. Companies must ensure they provide support not just from a career growth perspective but reviewing their policies with respect to parental leave and ongoing family support. For example, in the UK childcare costs are at an all-time high, and workplace policies that give their employees more support and flexibility in this area would pay dividends in supporting women in their careers and bolster retention rates.
Amy Miller-Smith
Amy Miller-Smith
Corporate Counsel EMEA, Jumio
I know the value of support and mentorship from my own career experience, which is why I strongly advocate for diversity and inclusion. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to hold up the ladder to success; different perspectives create stronger teams that unlock innovation, investment, and new opportunities to thrive.
Kelly Becker
Kelly Becker
Zone President, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland
As a software engineer, my goal is to inspire other women, especially latinas, that we can conquer the industry, that we have value and that our work is as good as the others. I have heard many times that programming/coding is not for women and against all the odds I have proven to myself (and to the others) that YES, it is for women and it is for me. I wish my example can empower other women and kids that we actually can do whatever we want to do. My fight is to try to make the industry a better and less hostile place for us.
Carolina Borim
Carolina Borim
Software Engineer at Terraform Cloud, HashiCorp
Gender bias in the evaluation of startups and reliance on VC and angel investor personal networks has led to a lack of investment diversity across tech. In a saturated market, diversity is crucial for identifying innovative investments that cater to varied consumer groups and market ideas, particularly as younger generations gain influence. I would love to see investors dedicating more time to exploring ideas that may not immediately resonate with their own experiences and considering assorted founder leadership approaches and personality styles to more successfully navigate the dynamic and complex demands of evolving consumer markets.
Naomi Owusu
CEO & Co-Founder, Tickaroo
IWD is a moment to celebrate our collective achievements and inspire true inclusion. By breaking barriers and showcasing our expertise, we pave the way for diversity and varied perspectives to flourish in the industry. Today, we recognise the resilience and brilliance of women who are driving positive change and inspiring the next generation of innovators, shaping a more just and equal future for everyone to thrive in the industry, regardless of gender.
Andrea Varga
Andrea Varga
Head of Innovation, Aryza
I find the celebration of International Women’s Day a good reminder of the strides the tech industry has taken towards diversity and inclusion. My experience at SMS as a lead software developer is a positive one, with commendable efforts in fostering a supportive environment, but it's crucial to acknowledge that male-dominated sectors – like mine - still have a way to go before we can say they’ve embraced equality and diversity.
Mahdis Zakeri
Mahdis Zakeri
Lead Software Developer, SMS plc
My advice to women and anyone who is looking to progress their career in technology is to keep an eye on the emerging trends. There’s currently a skills shortage in many areas including data science, data engineering, cyber security, AI/ML, and cloud – these are examples of fields to proactively develop skills to stay marketable.
Tendü Yoğurtçu
Tendü Yoğurtçu
CTO, Precisely
Daemon champions genuine diversity and inclusion, treating everyone equally to foster a collaborative and inclusive culture. We put particular focus on ensuring that we are having conversations regularly to raise awareness and start a dialogue, tackling various topics such as supporting transgender colleagues, women in tech and the importance of allies which continues to receive positive feedback. We recognise that true inclusivity goes beyond gender balance. It's about striving to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Our people are key in ensuring we all experience an inclusive culture, so it’s important we’re considerate of everyone’s needs and foster a working environment where understanding, tolerance and inclusivity are baked in as standard.
Jenny Locke
Jenny Locke
Head of People, Daemon
At UST, we recognise the barriers women face and have subsequently prioritised mentorship programs to provide guidance and support skills development. Our UST Win It programme provides 1:1 sessions and since its inception, participants have achieved significant career elevation. We are also a digital partner at the Tech She Can charter – a joint commitment by over 170 companies to increase the number of women in technology roles. By working together, we believe we can exchange best practices and implement industry-wide initiatives.
Heather Dawe, UST 2024
Heather Dawe
Chief Data Scientist, UST
I’m proud to work for a business made up of 64% women, and one that empowers everyone to bring their thoughts to the table. Creating a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination is a mammoth task that takes the combined effort of individual actions to accomplish. For me, that’s embedding our company values across the business – like Positive Encouragement, which strives to make our people feel seen and heard no matter who they are.
Gemma Newton
Gemma Newton
Client Services Director, Social Chain
Investing in female entrepreneurs is key for tapping into women's expertise, and fostering diversity and innovation, globally. Shockingly, there is a worldwide funding gap of$300bn for female-owned small businesses. large organisations hold the key to change, offering grants and networking opportunities. For example, at DigitalOcean we launched our Inclusive Entrepreneurship Initiative, designed to help under-represented and under-estimated women entrepreneurs in Pakistan access resources to build and grow their businesses. It's time to empower female entrepreneurs and amplify their impact.
Admas Kanyagia
Admas Kanyagia
VP, Social Impact, DigitalOcean
I'm passionate about making the web a universal and inclusive place, accessible to everyone. Digital offerings can only be truly inclusive if people from all backgrounds and abilities are involved at every step: from research and design to development and testing.
Julia Zacharias
SVP Strategic Accounts & Accessibility Europe, Applause
I see inclusion as being about how employees are made to feel in their workplaces. Understanding and education around factors such as microaggressions, for example, can make a massive difference, as those who are not affected may not see them. Businesses can also be guilty of asking what more a neurodiverse person might need, rather than considering them in terms of the benefits they bring. Being truly inclusive requires us to reframe our way of thinking.
Kirsty Garshong
Kirsty Garshong
Associate Director, Harnham
Success isn't just about climbing the ladder; it's about making a meaningful impact. Embrace your uniqueness and fight for inclusivity, for that's the legacy you leave behind. Open up and share your vulnerabilities for genuine connections, empowering others to do the same. Lead with empathy and authenticity in every environment you touch. Together, let's shape a legacy of empowerment and create a truly inclusive tech community.
Cristina Samaniri
Cristina Samaniri
Head of Social Impact, Mendix
International Women’s Day acts as an impetus for us all to reflect on the progress that has been made across the financial services industry, whilst also keeping us focused on the work that lies ahead in forging a better, more inclusive world where we continue to strive for gender parity. Given that women make up half the world’s population, it’s essential that they are appropriately represented across all areas of the financial services ecosystem. Those organizations that achieve a good gender balance and build teams with a wide range of intersectionality and perspectives are in a stronger position to not only meet their own business objectives, but also develop products and services that meet the demands of a wider cross-section of customers, partners and society in general.
Helen Cook
Chief People & Communications Officer, Finastra
In 2024 equality is not optional, it’s a requirement. As leaders, we have a responsibility that has only intensified as technology evolves. Responsible AI is not just about creating intelligent models, they must also reflect the values of our society. By prioritizing projects that focus on machine learning fairness and explainability, we can create a future where diversity and equity are not just buzzwords, but fundamental principles that guide the creation of technology and shape a better world for all.
Luba Orlovsky, Principal Researcher at Earnix
Luba Orlovsky
Principal Researcher, Earnix
Look no further than three CEOs within DDB North America and you have a future that is fearlessly female. Last week I was on a call discussing the evolution of human and machine collaboration in content production with two incredible DDB women who are not just embracing but spearheading what the AI revolution will be in this industry. At DDB, tech isn’t a department or a couple of individuals, it’s how we work.
Christine Lane
Christine Lane
Head of Innovation & Experience, DDB North America
Even women on software teams, who think that AI technologies are important, are still less likely to be upskilling in AI than men. One important reason may be that women feel less supported in the workplace to take explicit time to learn, and fear more harsh and unfair judgments from others. To prevent this gap widening, we need to explicitly consider equity in AI adoption and AI tooling, and not assume it will magically happen.
Cat Hicks
Cat Hicks
VP Research Insights, Pluralsight
Challenges remain, but IWD reminds us how far we've come as women. Our achievements are a testament to those who paved the way. The tech industry is seeing positive change, with more women in leadership roles. This progress should inspire all women to seize opportunities and claim their space in the field. A heartfelt thanks to companies and individuals who champion equity for women, non-binaries, and all underrepresented groups. Together, we can build a more inclusive future.
Rayan Cherri
Rayan Cherri
Global Marketing Manager, Ipsotek, an Eviden business
I have been in the tech sector for over 30 years, and it has changed very little. The main challenge I see is that most people fear change, even if this is for the better. They want to keep doing things the same way – recruiting from the same pool of people, that have the same background and qualifications. However, operating the same way and expecting a change or a different outcome isn't sensible. Having a more diverse workforce makes business sense for so many reasons. Diversity of background and experiences, as well as diversity in characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, age and sexuality. The more representative the tech sector is of society, the better any developed solutions will be. By championing diverse backgrounds and experiences, you get solutions that are novel and interesting. We can also help improve the skills gap that the sector is facing by having a completely different pool of talent to explore. Additionally, having a balanced workplace, where people have caring responsibilities and are at all ages and stages of life, brings balance to what is generally a very male, white and middle-class environment. This in turn helps in seeing a work-life balance as the norm and reduces the likelihood of burnout. To make a significant change and deliver a more diverse tech workforce, we need to focus on role models, change our language and change our processes for recruitment. This takes courage and I feel it is the biggest challenge we face. Having a diverse team helps others see it is a place for them. It isn't just about attracting talent but it's also about openness and retaining talent. What we need to do is help all those from diverse backgrounds to see themselves as role models who need to be out shouting about the opportunities within the sector.
Dr Andrea Cullen
Dr Andrea Cullen
CEO & Co-Founder, CAPSLOCK
I give a lot of credit for my own success in becoming a tech CIO to the inspirational mentors I’ve had in my life. My mom especially, who’s computer programming background played a huge influence in my passion for technology. I was the only girl in my class that studied computer programming, and while thankfully the situation is vastly different today, progress hasn’t been as quick as I thought it would be - and as fast as the industry needs. If younger women can see other females succeeding and leading in tech jobs, they are more likely to picture themselves in those roles eventually. Even if that mentor is your mom!
Ronda Cilsick
Chief Information Officer, Deltek
Inclusion and diversity is at the heart of everything we do. Professionally, we are dedicated to providing equitable access to non-judgmental mental health support. Internally, we constantly strive to create an equitable workplace. ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardians’ and the Menopause Support Community are two examples of this - ensuring our people have invaluable safe spaces to challenge, build on policies, and practices that resonate with their own, and their colleagues', actual needs.
Ellen Howard
Director of Research, Evaluation & Insights, Kooth
For me, diversity and equity are vital for a thriving workplace, leading to greater business success. I am passionate about securing leadership buy-in, ensuring accountability through tangible actions, and recognising the significant business impact of diversity. Promoting transparency and inclusivity, I feel it is key to advocate role modelling and actively supporting others in their journey toward diversity and equity to support ambition and opportunities through mentorship, allyship and coaching. By collaborating with industry leaders, I value every opportunity to share insights, increase opportunities, and tackle the tech talent shortage by making it mine and others business, to be part of this community and promote fabulous women in tech.
Phillipa Winter
Phillipa Winter
Chief Technologist - Health & Social Care, CDW
Often described as both multitaskers and detail-oriented, women bring a multifaceted approach, showcasing versatility and adaptability. Diversity, not just a buzzword, fuels innovation by enriching perspective through various lenses, including those traditionally underrepresented in tech. The true magic happens when we combine different strengths, like those found in "Swiss-army knife" teams. To truly experience the richness of the world, we must embrace inclusivity and challenge entrenched biases and stereotypes. These artificial barriers hinder us from engaging with the full spectrum of human experience.
Anna Shahinyan
Anna Shahinyan
CEO, FiveBrane
With AI poised to dominate nearly every aspect of tech in the future, it’s critical to recognize that it’s also dragging along with it hundreds of years of baked-in bias and discrimination from the information it consumes. Bias reflects what the world has been, but it definitely does not reflect what the world should be. If we want to make the future of tech more inclusive, we need to figure out the methodologies that will break the cycle and mitigate the bias from the output.
Christa Quarles
CEO, Alludo
International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women globally, and act as a reminder that we must all work together, in whatever way we can, to make the world fairer for all. With many years’ experience of entrepreneurship and gaming, I feel passionate about supporting women in similar roles but at the earlier stage of their journey. To mentor and encourage them. It’s our duty and privilege to ‘pay it forward’, which will make our industry thrive, welcoming ideas and perspectives, from all, for all.
Jude Ower MBE
Founder & CEO, PlayMob
International Women’s Day provides a key opportunity to celebrate and honour inspirational women who have impacted our lives personally and professionally. Helping to build a safe and supportive environment for women so they feel empowered, confident, and in control of their career trajectory is a key way to inspire inclusion. This includes empowering female-founded tech start-ups by increasing access to angel investment, through organisations such as Angel Academe. Furthermore, creating female-led inclusive networking events can strengthen confidence and build connections for support and opportunities. These strategies should be embedded all year round to inspire true inclusion.
Emma Maslen
Founder & CEO, inspir'em
International Women's Day, to me, means a time to take stock of where we are and why. It’s a day to sit down, reflect, learn and recognise the impact women have had on the world and the nuance required for the advancement of all women. It’s a time to ensure we celebrate the successes of many whilst still recognising that not all women are treated equally, and through our work and focused efforts, we must be deliberate in changing this. Women are not a monolith and we must not treat them as such. Women in tech can and should be pioneering this approach – technology traverses borders, communities, and everything in between. Therefore, we have the privilege to both inspire the next generation through embedding inclusion in our creation of these pioneering systems and supporting the current generation of women in tech by ensuring these difficult conversations are not only had on 8th March.
Sheree Atcheson
Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Valtech
With a background in business and international trade, I never thought of having a career in tech. When I grew up, kids were divided into ‘mathematical’ and ‘linguistic’ fields of study from the age of high-school. You could either be good at numbers or good at languages. It was always either-or, and this dichotomy lived on for years in my mind. Thankfully, the world and reality proved otherwise. For me, it took a pro bono coding class and a well-intended push from a friend to find the courage to send out my first tech job application (I even had to google 3 out of 6 words in the headline!) Never have I regretted it! Today, I feel professionally ‘at home’ at the LEGO Group building safe and inclusive digital experiences for children with an amazingly talented and diverse group of colleagues. They too saw through this either-or dichotomy. Because there’s so much one side and field can’t fix. So don’t limit yourself to a single dimension, bring your voice to the (tech) table. We need your perspective as well!
This year, it's a personal celebration of all the women in my life who, through ten months of working through my cancer treatment, have lifted me off the ground and got me back on my feet, showing me a world of unconditional love.
Rachel Youngman
Rachel Youngman
D&I Campaigner
In steering the tech sector towards progress, we must challenge boundaries and lead by example. Leaders promoting inclusion must embody openness, self-awareness, respect, and a dedicated commitment to advocacy. Recognizing equity and diversity is vital to success, and a committed leader fosters a culture where inclusive teams thrive. These diverse teams promote creativity, engagement and are high performers, making room for the unique talents of every individual, especially for women from all backgrounds. Let's create a path where inclusion is our innovation.
Tavier Taylor
Tavier Taylor
Chief Technology Officer, Chartered Management Institute
I witness the transformative power of women in tech and entrepreneurship every single day. Women founders are exceptional at embracing, no – celebrating – equality and diversity. It’s why they make such excellent leaders. On International Women’s Day we applaud women everywhere, amplifying their successes so that the next generation sees no limits to what women can achieve. And this is especially true in entrepreneurship and in technology. A level playing field for all, will ultimately drive innovation. It’s time to make it a reality.
Elizabeth Pirrie
CEO, AccelerateHer
Women play a crucial role in shaping the future of technology, and it is essential for them to venture into the realm of Computer Science. Taking the leap and pursuing one's passion are key catalysts for unlocking incredible possibilities. I wholeheartedly embrace diversity and equity, recognizing the transformative power women hold. Throughout my journey, I actively seek opportunities to amplify the voices of underrepresented voices of girls and women, championing inclusive practices. By fostering an environment that values differences, I contribute to a culture where every perspective is not only heard but celebrated. With empathy and determination, I navigate the technology education landscape, promoting equality and paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.
Dr Preethi Kesavan PhD
Head, School of Advanced Technology & Digital Media, London School of Business & Finance Singapore
As a woman in leadership in a male dominated environment, I always try to make sure I’m visible, both within the company and externally. I want people to know that we have women in our business who are valued and contribute at a high level. I’m also very vocal about having a sensible work-life balance; you don’t have to be a workaholic or do coding in your spare time all the time to make it to perform at a high level.
Research consistently demonstrates the immense potential of women in tech. Studies indicate that gender-diverse teams enhance problem-solving and creativity, leading to better product development. Encouragingly, initiatives promoting women in STEM fields have shown positive results, with increased representation and leadership roles. The data underscores the importance of inclusivity for tech's continued growth.
Danielle Baron
Branding Developer
Whilst women are still so under-represented in tech, the connections I’ve forged with fellow women in the industry have been all the more special for it. I’d remind any woman wanting to get into tech about the importance of community; find your cheerleaders, get involved in women’s groups, and surround yourself with supportive mentors. The hard days become a lot easier when you have people lifting you up.
To get more women into tech, have women write the job specs for the roles in your companies. The current job specs can put women off as they can sound too techy and scary, even at the entry-level. It’s far easier to hire a male into a junior position.
Tasmin Ashmore
CFO, Ultima
International Women's Day is a powerful reminder of the incredible contributions women make to the tech industry. At SheCanCode, we strive to inspire inclusion by celebrating diverse voices, fostering a supportive community, and showcasing the achievements of women in tech. Together, we can break barriers, challenge stereotypes, and empower women to thrive in the dynamic world of technology.
Alison Simpson
Content Manager, SheCanCode
I have always been proud of being different from a young age enjoying sports and climbing trees and I loved learning and being quietly confident. At the start of my career as a Civil Engineer, I had a wear a mask to fit in and this was pretty exhausting and impacted the quality of my work and also my health. I realised after the first year this was holding me back and decided to focus on my strengths and bring my inner child. Be proud of being different, bring your whole self to work, and never stop learning and taking risks.
Arifa Chakera
Programme & Engagement Director, Axiologik
I am passionate about gender diversity, which is a challenge in the tech sector. Alongside my day job I co-lead Ordnance Survey's Women+ Development Network, facilitating sessions and driving allyship. I take opportunities to inspire the next generation of Geographers and Space enthusiasts, attending events and being visible as a woman in tech.
Isabelle Crozier-Morris
Isabelle Crozier-Morris
Research Scientist, Ordnance Survey
As a female executive in tech, I embrace diversity and equity by leading inclusively and with integrity, using my platform and my voice for more equitable hiring practices, verbalizing my own challenges as a parent and frequently, the only woman at the table. My hope is to lead by example and provide a tangible example of IT leadership for other women, because representation matters.
Sarah Polan
Field CTO, HashiCorp
We need to promote more women within the industry who are excelling in their roles within the field. As a woman in the industry, I admire other women that too are trailblazing in this male dominated industry as we can lead by example. The responsibility for gender equality lies with everyone and with improvements and changes I believe that it can eventually be achieved.
Nada AliRedha
CEO, Plim
Seeing is believing – International Women’s Day helps to increase the visibility of the diverse mix of people who bring so much to the tech industry, therefore encouraging others to take a similar path. Breaking down historic gender norms is an important step in ensuring that all individuals have equal opportunities and that they themselves believe they can do and be whatever they want.
Sarah Jane Riggott
Sarah Jane Riggott
Chief Operating Officer, Roq
Even though the gender gap in the tech industry is slowly narrowing, women still face challenges in the sector. As the industry attempts to address issues around inclusion, my advice this International Women’s Day is for women in the tech sector to be daring. Show up, express yourself, share your ideas, be curious, embrace new challenges without limiting yourself. Technology drives the modern world. However, the modern world must be more diverse, equitable and inclusive if it is truly to work for all people, in all walks of life. As a testament of our dedication to drive the progress of fair technology, IDnow is participating in the European research project MAMMOth, working with 12 partners toward making the connected world a safer and fairer place for everyone by breaking down biases in AI-powered facial verification.
Lara Younes
Lara Younes PhD
Engineering Team Lead, IDnow
In tech, equity and diversity mean being recognized as a professional at first glance, without having to prove my abilities due to gender. My two decades in the field have taught me to approach problems both technically and empathetically. Diversity enriches us with varied perspectives and relevant knowledge. It's our dedication, skills, experience, and blend of critical and design thinking that truly define our professionalism.
Julija Varneckiene
Julija Varneckienė
COO, CapitalBox
Diversity and equity are incredibly important to me. I have been fortunate enough to support a number of incredible women in the tech industry through my role at Impact Hub London. Providing a supportive environment that empowers women in tech is crucial. Through initiatives such as mentorship programs, targeted networking events, and inclusive business support, I have seen female entrepreneurs thrive. It’s all about creating a culture of inclusion where women feel valued and empowered to thrive in the tech industry.
Devi Clark
MD, Impact Hub London
Businesses perform better when there is diversity not just at leadership level but in all teams. We've seen this through our own experience building VenueScanner where we've had 50:50 across the board. Customer understanding and empathy is something I see women to be brilliant at and that makes amazing companies and products.The greatest lesson I've learnt is that anything you set your mind to and work hard on you can achieve.
Rebecca Kelly
Rebecca Kelly
CEO, VenueScanner
My advice to women is to let curiosity be your drive, count yourself in, and push the limits. You bring a unique perspective that can offer new solutions and a different approach to the industry's problems. Experience has taught me that whenever I have a tugging feeling of “should I do this”? it is almost always a sign that I should push forward. Be more afraid of missing a chance to learn something, and never hide from opportunity. Women in tech is not just right, but also is the transformative perspective that is so desperately needed.
Aashna Puri
Director, Strategy & Sustainability, CyrusOne
When I first started my tech journey back in 2011 I was the only woman in my team - it often felt alienating and uncomfortable. It’s not the same landscape anymore, and I now work in a team where I'm no longer the only woman – but it’s undeniable that the industry is still male-dominated.International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to highlight the success we’ve achieved in the past few years, but it’s also a time to remember that there’s still room for improvement. When we talk about “women in tech” we need to be including women in all stages of their tech journey. We can work to inspire and uplift other women by doing what we love and what we do best. We work better without gatekeeping: sharing our learnings with our peers and those just starting out, listening to women from different backgrounds (from women of colour to LGBTQ+ communities to disabled and neurodiverse women, I could go on). There are as many different women in the world as there are ways to work in tech. We all have something to offer and a voice to be heard. So today I want to remind women to listen to each other. And to everyone else: listen to us every day and not just on International Women’s Day.
Emma Barnes
Senior Data & Insight Strategist, Wolfenden
Growing up in Eastern Europe, I was often told that as a woman I'd find it hard to compete in technology. But the truth is that a career in tech can be challenging for everyone, regardless of their gender. To break gender bias in tech, we need to implement inclusive hiring practices, promote diverse candidates into leadership roles, and provide equal opportunities for developing skills. I feel very happy at Nvidia, a company that implements these practices very effectively.
Ekaterina Sirazitdinova
Ekaterina Sirazitdinova
Senior Deep Learning Scientist, NVIDIA
Never doubt yourself and never feel that you don’t belong in your chosen profession. Always have confidence in your abilities and your personal brand. But if you feel unsure, then reach out and speak to people and groups, inside and outside your organisation, who will help you with personal development. That includes male colleagues willing to offer support and advocacy for women in technology. Take on every bit of feedback and strive to keep learning. You’ll soon find the right career opportunities that will help you to grow.
Rhonda Doyle
Rhonda Doyle
Senior Director of Field Services Operations, Schneider Electric UK & Ireland
Educational institutions and businesses should prioritise promoting diversity among women by offering the necessary resources and role models to help them achieve their aspirations. As a mother of two young girls and a professional in the tech industry, a field often perceived as male-dominated, I wholeheartedly support equal opportunities and am passionate about embracing unconventional paths without fear of taking risks
Kinjal Popat
Kinjal Popat
Head of Design & Research, Litera
Although there have been great strides in the industry and we see the success of women in tech, they still remain hugely underrepresented. I have benefitted from having strong female role models who have taken me under their wing throughout the various stages of my career. These have been invaluable support, reassurance and provided some fantastic opportunities, and contrast to leaders who have not. I believe we all have a responsibility to create opportunities that encourage inclusion, ensure support and mentoring is in place and spotlight success.
Angela Christian-Pye
Senior Quality Engineering Manager, Roq
The contributions of women in tech have not only propelled businesses forward but have changed lives and raised the bar. Women in tech roles must use their position to advocate for female talent. This looks like hosting conferences, mentoring, writing articles and being active on social media to encourage other businesses to act. I say let’s punch through the glass ceiling. It’s only a ceiling if we let it be!
Louise Newbury-Smith
Louise Newbury-Smith
UK & Ireland Country Manager, RingCentral
Promoting inclusion should involve celebrating our differences instead of trying to eliminate biases. Biases are a natural part of being human, and what truly matters is how we act based on these biases. Being a woman in the tech industry can mean various things to different women, so what works for one may not work for another. However, implementing flexible working practices, providing good parental policies, learning opportunities, and mentoring programmes can significantly improve inclusion for all in the workplace. Moreover, creating opportunities for women to connect across various business functions to build relationships is crucial because these relationships provide a solid support system for those who find themselves, still today, in male-dominated tech companies.
Adelle Desouza
Founder, HireHigher
We can #InspireInclusion by telling our stories of how we developed our careers in tech to senior roles. My pathway was via psychology at university and stepping sideways into technology, working from the bottom up. The industry is getting better at wanting to achieve greater diversity but there still can be a glass ceiling that holds women in tech back. That can be broken when an organisation takes the time to understand what prevents women from progressing and takes action to address it. Women like me need to also take responsibility to help, and demonstrate allyship at work with our female colleagues who are climbing the same steep ladder. That’s truly inspirational.
Joanne Taylor
Vice President Sales & Managing Director, UKI & Benelux, Pegasystems
Being a woman in a leadership role in technology means I have the opportunity to create an inclusive space where everyone’s voices feel heard and valued. It also provides the opportunity to inspire and act as a visible role model to help other women believe in their own potential to become a technical leader too.
Emma Morley
Emma Morley
Senior Engineer (Automatic Feature Extraction), Ordnance Survey
In tech, diversity transcends technical skills; it's about unique perspectives that fuel innovation. As a woman in this field, I champion inclusive environments where every contribution, technical or not, is valued. My role extends beyond closing the gender gap; it's about paving a path for future generations, like my daughters. We're crafting a tech world where diversity in all its forms is celebrated, ensuring a future rich with possibilities for everyone.
Alex Porter
Alex Porter
CEO, Mod Tech Labs
Working with a talented and diverse team in a fast-paced scale-up, I see the invaluable contributions women are making to technology innovation and growth every day. At Prolific, we recognise International Women's Day is not just a celebration of women role models in tech, but also a call to action. It serves as a reminder of the necessity to foster diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and break down barriers for women in our industry. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from one of my former bosses. She said, 'Chloe, you should lift other women up and advocate for them, rather than just focusing on yourself.' This became my motto because I believe that’s how real progress happens. Being an advocate for women in business is crucial to me. I've been fortunate to have people around me who supported me because success isn't achieved alone; you need others to take a chance on you and share opportunities. At Prolific, we champion diversity and inclusion. But not just because it's the right thing to do - because it's essential for innovation and growth. Let's harness the power of diverse perspectives and talents to propel our industry forward, together.
Chloe Cochrane
Chloe Cochrane
Director of People & Talent, Prolific
Only 3% of capital investment raised in 2023 was by all-female founder teams according to the latest State of European Tech Report. This is an increase of just 1% since 2019, showing that although there is some improvement, the industry still has a long way to go. Inspire Inclusion is therefore a pertinent International Women’s Day theme for 2024, and inclusive investment must be included in this - not just for women in tech but across all industries. If more capital was directed to female entrepreneurs, we may have a very different landscape in terms of IPOs and unicorns. WeArisma’s team comprises over 64% women and we also work with many talented, successful female mentors and advisers. As a female-led company, inclusivity and support are ingrained into our DNA and creating an environment that allows women to thrive is fundamental to our success.
Jenny Tsai
Jenny Tsai
CEO & Founder, WeArisma
On International Women's Day (IWD), I want to reflect on the importance of inclusion in talent hiring and retention and the overall benefits this has in sustaining a welcoming and supportive corporate culture. Inclusion applies to everyone but today I’d like to talk about what it means for women in the workplace. As we all strive for excellence within our organisations, it's so important to understand the value of female talent and how inclusion fosters an environment where they can thrive. For me, as someone who oversees People Engagement & Development at DocuWare, there are three main ways to champion inclusion in the hiring and retention process that I'd like everyone to think about this IWD. 1: Focus on implementing strategies to attract, retain, and nurture female employees to ensure their growth and advancement within an organisation 2: Support women in leadership roles and ensure they are included in decision-making processes. 3: Create inclusive workspaces that foster a culture of equality and empowerment. By taking these proactive steps to inspire inclusion, I believe organisations create a fairer, happier and more successful future for all their employees.
Sabina Molka
Sabina Molka
People Engagement & Development, DocuWare
It’s never been more important for businesses to support and retain their female workforce. With the new world of hybrid working, women have proven themselves invaluable in helping other women to achieve a work/life balance which means they are able to stay in full-time roles. As business leaders, we need to keep this front of mind, and keep evolving policies beyond just return to office plans. Instead, we need to see more permanent policies which strike a balance between women’s working and home lives. If employers want to retain female talent, then they need to show they are listening to women’s specific challenges, and to create an environment which helps them maintain a satisfactory work/life balance.
Patrycja Sobera
Patrycja Sobera
Global Vice President, Digital Workplace Solutions Delivery, Unisys
Embracing diversity and gender equity in tech is not only the right thing to do, but it also provides a company with a distinct strategic advantage. By fostering an inclusive environment, we unlock innovation, creativity, and empathy – all essential for solving complex problems. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives, leading to better products and services for all. Let's build a tech industry where everyone has a seat at the table and a voice that's heard.
Shanthi Rajan
CEO, Linarc
Inspiring inclusion in tech isn't just about tackling big, long-term projects—it's also about the little things we do every day. Consider ways that you can help each other out and give your colleagues a boost. Share advice, start conversations that help spread useful information, and have a genuine desire for each other to succeed. If someone makes a really good point in a meeting, acknowledge it, amplify it, and play your part in generating a positive environment.
Andrea Webb
Andrea Webb
Head of People, RTGS.global
For me, International Women’s Day is about taking a moment to reflect on the particular challenges and opportunities faced by women in the world of work and how, as a manager, I can best support and develop the extremely talented women in my team. For many women in business, they need a different approach to career development and mentorship to help them thrive and I believe we should be encouraging confidence and fearlessness. International Women’s Day is an important date for male and female business leaders to check in on how they are supporting the women in their organisation and consider how things could be improved, and what opportunities they are missing.
Gillian Whelan
Gillian Whelan
Managing Director & Country Manager, emagine
With a 100% female employee participation for our in-house Women Support Group programme, gender variety and inclusion is a must for TerraPay. Over time, our efforts have resulted in female employees to increase by 214% in just two years! We’ve also initiated referral programmes encouraging more women in fintech, and more importantly, attracting individuals of different backgrounds of both genders to join TerraPay on our journey to foster global diversity.
Stefanie Koh
Stefanie Koh
Head of Payments, APAC, Terrapay
International Women’s Day is a reminder of both the strides we've made and the work that lies ahead. Women in the technology industry are consistently breaking barriers and helping to drive diversity of thought and experience. As women leaders, we should set an example by leading with authenticity and creating a commitment to inspire meaningful change. As we continue to push for gender equity, we must ensure that organizations have goals beyond filling a diversity quota and women are being given a seat at the table so that we can empower younger generations and shape a more diverse and inclusive future.
Monica Kumar
CMO, Extreme Networks
Against a backdrop of gender disparity in the STEM industry, promoting a culture of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is central to our core values at SMS. We aim to support women through all stages of their life, from school age – through our local community work – through to later in their careers, with initiatives like our menopause support group. It’s crucial that businesses keep moving the dial to support women in the industry, and we are continually looking for new ways to do so.
Judy Keir
Judy Keir
CPO, SMS plc
Mentoring is a game-changer for women in tech, especially during career transitions. This support comes in many forms, and it doesn’t require an official title - while it can mean sharing advice and knowledge, mentors can also simply be sources of inspiration. I’ve had some amazing mentors during my career, helping me in terms of competencies, capabilities and the confidence to operate in different circles. I’ve also been involved on the other side, and I’ve learnt a lot from being a mentor. Mentees have empowered me to gain new perspectives, hone my leadership skills and bring me a real sense of purpose. It’s often overlooked, but mentor-mentee relationships usually benefits both people. I’m proud to say that at Akamai our number one asset is our people. Our entire global team of over 10,000 employees have access to our in-house mentoring programme - whether they’re looking for a mentor, to be a mentee or both. I truly believe the career lessons you learn from other inspirational women and men in your industry, will allow you to forge your own career path and shine bright in the industry
Natalie Billingham
Natalie Billingham
SVP EMEA Sales and Channels & Managing Director EMEA, Akamai Technologies
Working in a large international company, I have been constantly exposed to the diversity of different cultures, customs, and traditions. When it comes to International Women’s Day, I always think about the importance of providing equal opportunities for everyone. This often means giving women a greater chance to explore, try new things, embrace new challenges, and make their own choices. The freedom of choice, confidence, and safety that should come with these opportunities lay the foundation of a truly democratic society, with growing economies and diverse communities. Every decision, every choice of career path, or business opportunity must be respected and supported by everyone, starting with close friends and family, work and extending to the wider community and society as a whole. Every woman should be able to decide what kind of person she wants to be, making her choice towards family or career life or finding a thriving combination of both. Creating your own future, becoming a better version of yourself, and most importantly enjoying your own journey is the basis of a happy life for all of us.
Elena Sankova
Global Solutions Consultant, Head of European Transaction Banking, Pre-Sales, Finastra
As a Technical Product Manager at CMC Invest, diversity isn't just celebrated - it's lived. Since joining CMC Invest, I have found that the company truly celebrates diversity and equity. We foster connections and provide support through women's networking events. These gatherings aren't just about networking, they're about empowerment. They've boosted my confidence and it’s refreshing to connect with other women in tech in a traditionally male-dominated space. Additionally, they have recently launched mentoring programs that have offered me invaluable guidance in both my personal and professional development. At CMC, we don't just embrace diversity, but we build a stronger, more inclusive community together.
Janaki Chitta
Janaki Chitta
Technical Product Manager, CMC Invest
I believe that the ‘fear factor’ is still one of the biggest barriers to businesses having a diverse, inclusive workforce. Fear that we’re going to say the wrong thing at the wrong time - I don't always get it right, but that’s because I'm curious and want to do better. There is no shame in saying that you don’t know, appreciation is far more important than understanding. Don’t be scared, just be human about it and have a conversation.
Amy Foster
Amy Foster
Director of Talent & Partner, Rockborne
The key to growing both personally, professionally, and as a team is to embrace people’s uniqueness, skills, and different mindset, opening a world of opportunities. By establishing a mutual respect and appreciation for each other, and embracing each other’s ideas and thoughts, regardless of gender or background, we can break down the conservative barriers of the industry.
Leyla Alieva
Leyla Alieva
CEO, NEOL Copper Technologies
I am fortunate to be living my dream as founder and CEO of a tech startup, contributing to the broader community by driving innovation in a sector that needs transformative solutions. I didn’t set out to be a ‘woman in tech’ – I pursued substantive work that addresses a challenge I’m passionate about. I hope that’s the path the next generation of leaders will follow as well.
Dr Ellison Anne Williams
Founder & CEO, Enveil
This year’s theme, #InspireInclusion, is an important one because beyond celebrating accomplishments, it also serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenge for gender equality. One crucial aspect is about acknowledging the diverse experiences and contributions of women (and everyone, in fact) from all walks of life. By fostering an inclusive and diverse environment, we can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and share their talents, fostering a more equitable and just global community. In particular, this means making sure that young people (girls and boys) can truly consider careers in STEM. I am very fortunate to have enjoyed my career in technology and relish the thought that in the future more and more women will enter the sector. International Women's Day serves as a rallying point to inspire collective action towards a future where women's rights and achievements are celebrated and, more broadly, where true equality is realized. Making gender balance a deliberate and purpose-led priority at Finastra sets the culture across our organization and underscores our belief that diverse teams are ‘stronger together’.
Siobhan Byron
EVP, Universal Banking, Finastra
While the participation of women in tech has steadily increased over time, it still remains far below that of men. By underrepresenting half of the population's perspectives, the industry limits its creative potential and problem-solving capacity. The unique perspectives that women bring can lead to breakthroughs, insights, and solutions that might not occur otherwise. And the fewer women there are in tech, the more we see issues like masculine workplace culture, sexism and gender bias.
Kristen Foster-Marks
Kristen Foster-Marks
Developer Experience Engineer, Pluralsight
Prioritising diversity not only advances individual careers but also bolsters economic growth by tapping into the full spectrum of talent. With the economic landscape looking gloomy, fintechs are doing all they can to stand out. The ones that will, are investing both time and money in women – creating diverse workplaces that truly meet customer needs. Embracing a wide set of skills is not just a matter of social justice but a strategy for sustained success.
Anna Porra
Head of Market Development & Planning, Soldo
I’ve spent my whole career working part-time so I can manage a chronic health condition and have felt the positive impact flexible working has on my wellbeing and productivity. Leaders need to recognise the value of each team member, distributing responsibilities and encouraging a collaborative environment. Organisations that understand and respond positively to the issues women face, are able to create an environment and culture where everyone can pursue their career aspirations and be successful.
Fiz Yazdi
MD Consulting, Sopra Steria
Inspiring inclusion starts with practising authentic leadership and radical candour to inspire diverse thinking - we need to create a space where we can give direct feedback while showing that we care about the person receiving it. As leaders, this starts with remaining true to yourself, nurturing talent within your team, and fostering a culture of growth. Investing in yourself as a leader and your team needs to be a priority, especially in an increasingly challenging climate.
Cassie Petrie
Managing Director SMB EMEA, SAP Concur
Making DIB of strategic importance is critical to drive successful business outcomes for any organisation today. This means offering a place to work where everyone can be their authentic self. I have seen the power of solutions produced by different perspectives working together. The more diverse a group of people we can bring together, the more successful we will be as a tech sector.
Louise Lahiff
COO, Version 1
Still too often, buzz words like ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’ are being used to bring superficial comfort that progress has been made when it comes to women in tech. While plenty of steps in the right direction have been taken, we’ve still got a long way to go. As honourable as it is, the intention needs to be followed by tangible actions. Such as having companies - big and small - actually offering job roles and career progression opportunities to women from different professional and cultural backgrounds, diverse work and life experiences, various age groups, from young women just starting to returning to work mothers and everyone in between. Then naturally inspire their sense of belonging there.
Heather Delaney
Managing Director & Founder, Gallium Ventures
As someone who values growth through testing, failing, and fixing, I encourage all women to dream big, take risks, and embrace failure as a natural part of the journey. Remember, the pursuit of perfection is not only exhausting but also limiting. Let's stop trying to please everyone and instead focus on knowing and embracing our true selves. As women, we also have the advantage of a transformative experience when becoming mothers, enhancing our empathy, objectivity, and attentiveness to the potential for personal growth and change.
Daniela Morein Bar - Founder and CEO of Inspired Marketing
Daniela Morein Bar
Founder & CEO, Inspired Marketing
In an industry where women are underrepresented, I find myself in amazing company at REdirect Consulting and am proud to be among the 50% of women that power our team. We are a diverse group of women, cultures, and stories, united by an organization that values the unique perspective we each bring. International Women’s Day is a celebration of achievement and a reminder to raise girls unafraid. In my life, my grandfather instilled a belief in me that I could achieve anything. He also let me get hurt trying. Encourage girls to run, fall, get dirty; don’t caution and temper their ambitions. Redefine expectations and women will reshape industry possibilities.
Autumn Look
Director of Consulting Operations, REdirect Consulting
IWD is a time for us to celebrate the achievements of women and just how much of an impact they make. A study found that companies with female CEOs are more profitable on average. It is also a time to reflect on the work still to be done. In a survey by PwC, only 27% of female students say they would consider a career in technology, when compared to 61% of males. Black women in particular continue to be affected by the concrete ceiling in business and the workplace. Inspiring inclusion means creating an environment of true belongingness, where women feel truly valued, equipped to excel and confident to share ideas and feedback. When we collaborate and empower each other, we can inspire inclusion.
Judith Germain
Founder & Editor, The Maverick Paradox Magazine
International Women’s Day is always an important reminder that women are still the minority in the technical field but I'm encouraged by the progress we make day by day and year by year. Most of the time work doesn't feel challenging in this respect because I get to work with so many great women in my job. We still have more we can accomplish in bridging the gap in tech but I personally think women have started to make a space for ourselves. My advice to other women in tech: Speak up, don't be afraid to ask for what you want, and advocate for yourself
Ellen McKenney
Ellen McKenney
Solutions Engineering Manager, MariaDB

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