London's Finest: 10 Influential Women in the UK Tech Sector - Part 1

10 of the most influential women in the UK Tech Sector, all based in London - Part 1

5 min read


A brief note before I begin - I haven't done a 'top ten', as I wouldn’t know where to start in ranking them. They are just 10 cool women in London who I found inspirational and I'm sure you all will too. If there's anyone else who deserves a mention, that's what the comments section at the bottom is for.

Photograph: Twitter @sarahdrinkwater

Photograph: Twitter @sarahdrinkwater

Sarah Drinkwater

Head @campuslondon & chair women @GoogleUK, @thekilnco, board @CodeFirstGirls & @BlackhorseWS.

"I love communities, cities & tech that helps people do & be more."

Sarah Drinkwater works for Google as head of Campus London, a seven-storey space operated by Google for entrepreneurs near Old Street Roundabout.

Since its inception just over three years ago, Campus has developed a community of 45,000 people. It aims to provide open access education, mentorship, working space and events that are of interest to the startup community. In 2015, Drinkwater became a mentor to Girls in Tech London, which aims to help talented young women learn skills for tech roles.

“I'm on the board of Code First: Girls, who help talented young women upskill for tech roles, and fantastic makerspace Blackhorse Workshop. I mentor and speak on storytelling, women in tech, communities and product, helped establish the UK's first baby-friendly start-up school Campus for Mums, got chosen by Oxford University as an expert for their 2012 communities study, and am generally a fan of technology and the impact it can have on our biggest challenges.”

Having exposure to a wide variety of technology companies at Campus, as well as her links with Google, makes Sarah one to watch in the industry. Sarah is a firm believer in mentoring and helps mentor startups every Friday at Google Campus

Follow Sarah: @sarahdrinkwater


Photograph: Twitter @EVarley

Photograph: Twitter @EVarley

Elizabeth Varley

Co-founder & CEO @TechHub, working globally with 750+ tech firms to help them scale. 7 locations: London HQ, Europe, India & more coming soon.

Elizabeth founded TechHub in 2010 after realising that London was lacking in shared workspaces for tech companies. TechHub was one of the first hubs for tech startups in London, situating itself around the Old Street area. In 2012 it opened up office space in Google Campus, a larger workspace for internet startups sponsored by Google.

In February 2015 it was announced that TechHub will expand its partnership with Google into three new locations: India, Latvia, and Romania. TechHub members in those countries now have access to Google for Entrepreneurs services.

Elizabeth has appeared in all of the major UK tech and business press, including WIRED UK, the BBC, the Guardian and the Economist, and listed in other major publications such as Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 top influencers, the Evening Standard’s Silicon 60, Vogue UK’s Generation Tech and Cosmopolitan’s Fierce 40 Under 40. She has been a judge for many technology and business awards and is a sought-after conference and event speaker around the world

She is committed to supporting the wider technology industry and was one of the founding steering committee members of the DigitalEve women in technology organisation in the UK. Elizabeth was also a consultant on ITbeat with e-skills UK – a project to encourage girls to get involved in IT and online media

Become a member at TechHub and you may bump into Elizabeth. As well as expected benefits like meeting rooms and exclusive event invitations, being a Tech Hub resident has some quite unique benefits.

Follow Elizabeth: @evarley


Photograph: Twitter @JulieAdenuga

Photograph: Twitter @JulieAdenuga

Julie Adenuga

...on the radio @Beats1

The tech world was abruptly introduced to 27-year-old Londoner Julie Adenuga in June 2015, when she was announced as one of three global presenters for Beats 1.

Along with veteran BBC radio DJ Zane Lowe and New Yorker Ebro Darden, Adenuga is the face of Apple’s flagship new internet radio station — broadcasting from her London studio.

She may be a new face to techies, but she has strong roots in London’s music scene. In 2010, she joined the city’s underground radio station Rinse FM. “We had no DJ experience, but we just played the music and were talking rubbish,” she said. “It worked. Luckily.”

Let’s not forget her family: Alongside Julie, there’s also Joseph and Jamie Adenuga — better known as London grime artists Skepta and JME.

Listen to a Podcast of Julie’s One Beats show . Or Julie can be seen can be seen and heard on her online TV Show & Compilation series 'PLAYit

Follow Julie: @JulieAdenuga


Photograph: Twitter @Dr_Black

Photograph: Twitter @Dr_Black

Dr Sue Black

UK Govt Advisor | Inspiring #Keynote #Speaker | Hon Prof #CompSci @UCL | Author @SavingBletchley | Founder @techmumsHQ @BCSWomen | Agents: @NoelGay19 @TobyMundy

Honourable professor of computer science at University College London, Black is an advocate and role model for women in tech.  Named one of the top 50 women in tech in Europe in 2016 Dr Sue Black OBE is an award-winning computer scientist, radical thinker, passionate social entrepreneur and author of "Saving Bletchley Park: how social media saved the home of the codebreakers".

Recent Awards:

  • 2017 Digital Agenda Editor's award
  • OBE for services to technology 2016 New Year's Honours
  • 2016 Maserati 100 - social entrepreneurs who give back
  • 2016 City AM top 100 entrepreneurs - number 22
  • 2016 Top 50 women in tech in Europe

With 20+ years experience in academia Sue is also an accomplished academic manager and research centre director with more than 40 publications and a PhD in software engineering.

Sue is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, an associate at DSRPTN an all female technology and digital consultancy, and a mentor at Google campus for mums. A champion for women in computing, Sue is the founder of BCSWomen the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and #techmums, a social enterprise which empower mums and their families through technology.

Sue is well known for her successful online and offline campaigning and activism around digital social inclusion and Saving Bletchley Park. Sue is a frequent public speaker, a social media-holic, mum of four and grandmother of one.

See what Dr Sue Black thinks about that controversial Google memo. Or she will be in Orlando Florida for the annual Grace Hopper Conference from 3-6th October.

Follow Dr Sue: @Dr_Black


Photograph: Twitter @CKnivett

Photograph: Twitter @CKnivett

Catherine Knivett

Leading the Mayor of London's Digital Talent programme. Passionate #womenintech #girlsintech  #diversity  #inclusivon advocate.

Catherine is head of digital skills policy at the Greater London Authority and leads the Mayor of London’s £7 million Digital Talent Programme.

Catherine is committed to inspiring young people from all backgrounds to become creative and conscious technologists of the future. She believes everyone should challenge their unconscious bias and take action to create equal opportunities for the next generation. Team leader with significant expertise in policy & strategy development and programme management. She is also a Digital Skills and STEM education expert, currently leading digital strategy & policy for London and commissioning the Mayor's £7m Digital Talent Programme.

Catherine is described as a confident networker and authentic public speaker. She is a passionate advocate for education, inclusion and equal opportunities. Trustee for The Brokerage CityLink charity, Camden STEAM education commission & Ada College Industry Advisory board member, Digital Leader, Tech London Advocate. Catherine was nominated for Computer Weekly's Most Influential Woman in UK Tech 2017 longlist.

Sign up for the Mayor’s Digital Talent Programme and Catherine may drop by!

Follow Catherine: @CKnivett

Now check out Part 2 for 5 more awesome #girlbosses.


Follow Claire:  LinkedIn  |  Twitte  r

Follow Claire: LinkedIn | Twitter

Claire Donald is a Project & Program Manager with over 15 years’ experience delivering IT infrastructure and application projects using traditional, agile and continuous delivery methods. She has a high tolerance for ambiguity and has worked within fast paced and high pressure environments, taking an entrepreneurial approach. Claire is currently completing an Executive MBA with Surrey Business School.