London’s Finest: 10 Influential Women in the UK Tech Sector (Part 1)

London's Finest - View of the Shard, London


10 of the most influential women in the UK Tech Sector, all based in London.

I haven’t done a ‘top ten’, as I wouldn’t know where to start 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.

Sarah Drinkwater
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.

From 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 like to mentor and speak on storytelling, women in tech, communities and product, as well as support the UK’s first baby-friendly start-up school Campus for Mums, and I was chosen by Oxford University as an expert for their 2012 communities study.

I am a fan of technology, above all the impact it can have on our biggest challenges.”

Above all, having exposure to a wide variety of technology companies at Campus, as well as her links with Google, Sarah is 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

Elizabeth Varley
Photograph: Twitter @EVarley

Elizabeth Varley

Co-founder & CEO @TechHub, working globally with 750+ tech firms to help them scale.

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 and 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 is 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 and benefit from meeting rooms and exclusive event invitations, being a Tech Hub resident has some quite unique benefits.

Follow Elizabeth: @evarley

Julie Adenuga
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. 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.

Julie is a new face to techies, she has a history of strong roots in London’s music scene.

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

Professor Sue Black OBE
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

Sue is an accomplished academic manager and research centre director, with more than 40 publications and a PhD in software engineering under her belt.

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

Catherine Knivett
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. Catherine is a Digital Skills and STEM education expert, and leads the digital strategy & policy for London – 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.

About the author

Claire Donald

Claire Donald




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