As many of you will know, Women’s History Month falls every March and highlights the contributions made by women to historical events and contemporary society1. Further to this, 8th March marks International Women’s Day. This year’s message promotes “An equal world is an enabled world”, encouraging all of us to be #EachforEqual.
In 2019, we wrote about some of the most successful businesswomen in Altrincham, however, this year we’ve broadened our research nationally and looked at inspirational women in tech and the media across the UK and Ireland. Check out our list below:
1. Samantha Kelly
We’ve followed Samantha (A.K.A. Tweeting Goddess) for a couple of years now, and watched her continue to grow her social media marketing business. Originally from Dublin, she recently told Business & Finance magazine how she’s built an engaged, positive network from nothing2. In addition to her 51k Twitter followers, she also owns and runs Women’s Inspire Network, which offers real support to over 400 female entrepreneurs. Samantha believes the key to success is to “Be real, don’t complain about others, share your knowledge, and be kind”. Keep up the good work!
Credit: Samantha Kelly – Tweeting Goddess
2. Elizabeth Denham CBE
As lovers of data ourselves, we had to mention Britain’s top data cop3. Elizabeth Denham has been the UK Information Commissioner for the ICO since 2016. She played a leading role during the investigation of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, regarding a data breach which affected over 87 million users. Her office eventually fined Facebook £500,000 for failing to ensure Cambridge Analytica deleted user data. During the same year she was named the most influential person in data-driven business in the DataIQ 100 list4. In an interview, Elizabeth expressed her position provides a “real ability to help people across the full waterfront of information rights”5.
3. Anne Boden MBE
Our next success story went from paying out money from behind a counter at Lloyds Bank in the early 1980s to setting up her very own digital bank6. Anne Boden founded Starling Bank in 2014, and has since been described as the “Amazon of banking” by The Telegraph7. The company hit one million users in late 20198 and has raised a total of £323 million so far9. Speaking t0 the Fintech Times, she expressed, “nobody thought a new bank, with a new banking license and a new approach was possible”10. Well, she has certainly proved them wrong. Congratulations!
Credit: Business Insider
4. Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon
This lady is really impressive. A child prodigy in computing, mathematics, and language, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon became one of the youngest to pass GCSEs in different subjects whilst at primary school11. She passed two A Levels in mathematics and computer science at the age of 11, before embarking on a degree programme at the University of Oxford aged just 15. She graduated from the same alma mater with a master’s degree at 20. After working at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, and Deutsche Bank, Anne-Marie co-founded the Stemettes in 201312. This initiative helps young women access science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) careers. Speaking to the Evening Standard, she states her story is “what good looks like”, and “Me and tech, we just get each other”.
Credit: Evening Standard
5. Kathryn Parsons
The co-founder of tech education company, Decoded, did so with just a credit card and office on a building site13. The company has come a long way since 2011, and now teaches people about data, coding, AI, and machine learning in 65 cities worldwide. Following a successful 2014 campaign by Kathryn, coding was introduced to the school curriculum, making Britain the second country to do so after Estonia. Having obtained her degree in classics, Kathryn expressed in an interview that she wishes more women knew they don’t need a STEM degree to work in the industry. “My advice to other women is you can do anything you want, and that includes in technology. What compels me is not just how powerful these new tools are, but how easy they are to learn.”
Credit: Evening Standard
6. Alex Mahon
The last lady in our blog, but certainly not least, is Alex Mahon. In 2017, she became the first female CEO of Channel 4, and the first woman to run a UK broadcaster larger than Channel 514. It has recently been announced that Alex has been selected as the 2020 recipient of Variety’s International Achievement in Television Award, in recognition of her long career in UK and European television15. Whilst in her position, she has strived to attract a younger, high mobile-oriented audience through the brand’s embracing of digital extensions, and developing digital content strands for social media. Speaking to Campaign, she expressed how “change is always difficult”. When discussing the challenges she faces at Channel 4, Alex is adamant that “being relevant and clear about what you stand for is key at a time when there’s a lack of social cohesion”16.
Women’s Month is very important to Hopewiser. One of the female company Directors has played an active role in the business since 1982, when we became the first suppliers of address management and data cleansing software, powered by the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF). We would like to wish every woman in the world a very happy Women’s Month.
1 Women’s History Month (Wikipedia 18th February 2020)
2 60 seconds with Samantha Kelly (Business & Finance 18th February 2020)
3 The 38 coolest women in UK tech (Business Insider 6th October 2018)
4 Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner (ICO 4th August 2018)
5 DataIQ 100 – Elizabeth Denham (DataIQ 6th March 2019)
6 Starling’s Anne Boden: ‘I didn’t do this to sell out to a big bank’ (Financial News 2nd December 2019)
7 ‘Starling is now the Amazon of banking. Come get an account’ (The Telegraph 9th October 2018)
8 Starling Bank hits one million accounts (Finextra 12th November 2019)
9 Starling Bank raises another £60M from existing backers (TechCrunch 10th February 2020)
10 Starling CEO Anne Boden is Coming Straight Outta Shoreditch to a Town Near You (The Fintech Times 12th June 2019)
11 Anne-Marie Imafidon (Wikipedia 21st February 2020)
12 Leading the charge: Anne-Marie Imafidon on the women in tech revolution and her new podcast (Evening Standard 4th March 2019)
13 The new IT crowd: Five women killing it in London’s tech industry (Evening Standard 7th March 2019)
14 Channel 4 confirms Alex Mahon as chief executive (The Guardian 5th June 2017)
15 Channel 4 Chief Alex Mahon to Receive Variety’s International Achievement in TV Award at MipTV (Variety 24th February 2020)
16 Channel 4’s Alex Mahon: ‘Change is always difficult’ (Campaign 9th October 2019)
, updated 21st February 2023.