The top fifty most inspirational women in European technology for 2016 are revealed today by Inspiring Fifty, highlighting leading women from across the sector – including influencers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and policy makers.
In this year’s list 11 countries are represented: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Once again, the UK leads other countries with 23 finalists, France follows with seven, the Netherlands with five, and Germany and Italy with three each.
They join last year’s formidable Inspiring Fifty: Europe who were celebrated during an event hosted by the UK Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street in March 2015.
Today’s announcement follows a public nomination process during which hundreds of nominations were received. A prestigious panel of judges from Europe and the US then had the difficult task of selecting the final fifty.
“What a fantastic group of inspirational women. It was a tough selection process as we had hundreds of impressive nominations, but these fifty stood out for their experience and achievements, particularly over the past year. One thing they all have in common is a very obvious passion for the tech industry, which make them the perfect role models to inspire other women looking to build a career in the sector”, said Shari Yoder Doherty from Atomico. “I’m also delighted to announce we have secured a partnership with Inspiring Fifty to support their goals going forward”.
Later this year, Inspiring Fifty will launch Local Stars lists for UK, the Netherlands, DACH, the Nordics and France to unveil even more role models at a local level. Together with its partners Facebook and Atomico, Inspiring Fifty will organise several events throughout the year including its main event in May 2016. The event in May will be held during the Dutch EU Presidency in Amsterdam on invitation of special envoy for startups at Startup Delta Neelie Kroes.
“Looking at the Inspiring Fifty of this year really makes me proud” said Janneke Niessen, co-initiator of Inspiring Fifty. “These fifty women are the best-of-the-best, with truly inspirational careers. The ultimate aim of Inspiring Fifty is to address the gender imbalance in tech, so the more women we can celebrate and showcase, the more we can demonstrate to young girls and women that a career in tech is one of the most rewarding paths you can choose. We look forward to working with these brilliant women to help us do just that. ”
Inspiring Fifty co-initiator Joelle Frijters added: “We had an overwhelming response to our call for nominations and later this spring, we look forward to announcing Local Stars to highlight the leading women in individual countries, to provide role models at a very local level.”
The following list of the Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2016 finalists is arranged alphabetically. It in no way reflects any ranking or scoring by the judges.
Professor Mary Aiken is a CyberPsychologist and Director of the CyberPsychology Research Centre, and Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Cyber Analytics at the Asia-Pacific Institute for Resilience and Sustainability (AIRS) Hawaii Pacific, and Swansea University. She is the Academic Advisor (Psychology) to the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) at Europol, and a Sensemaking Fellow at the IBM Network Science Research Centre.
Her current research focuses on behavioural escalation online, undertaken in conjunction with INTERPOL and a number of International police forces. In November 2015 she was appointed to the board of the Hague Justice Portal.
Mary’s work as a CyberPsychologist has inspired the new CBS primetime television series ‘CSI:Cyber’ and she is a producer on the show.
Mary has an M.Sc in CyberPsychology and a PhD in Forensic CyberPsychology, and her research interests include cyber security, cyber-reporting of crime, cyberstalking, virtual behavioural profiling, organised cyber crime and technology facilitated human trafficking.
She has advised at national and European level in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behaviour. In 2013, she co-led a White House research team focused on Human Trafficking and isomorphic problems, and is an Observer to the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children.
She has published and spoken internationally on how human behaviour is impacted by technology.
Together with her co-founder Julia Boesch, in 2012 Anna launched the personal shopping service for men OUTFITTERY. The company’s success is proof that Anna had the right feeling with her business idea: more than 200,000 customers have so far used OUTFITTERY, and the company is already offering its service in eight European countries. OUTFITTERY has established itself as the market leader in curated shopping, and Anna is one of the best-known female founders in Germany.
Anna is a pioneer in internet entrepreneurship and speaks at numerous conferences and panels about her central vision: to relieve men from the stress of shopping and to make e-commerce more customer-focused.
Anna’s core area of responsibility at OUTFITTERY is IT and product – focusing on user experience in order to offer clients the perfect shopping experience. As someone who believes in the combination of machine intelligence and human intelligence, she put together an expert team for machine learning, to develop outstanding algorithms which support OUTFITTERY’s stylists by choosing the right clothes for customers.
In summer of 2015, Anna was asked to join the “WIE” network (“Women in E-Commerce”), a platform for leading females who are of inspiration to other women and encourage more female leadership in Germany.
Annet Aris is Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD where she developed and teaches the MBA-course “Media and Internet, the new rules of the game in the digital world””.
She was nominated in 2010 and 2011 for the best teacher award by the MBA students.
She is also a board member of a number of publicly listed companies such as the tour operator and airline Thomas Cook PLC, the TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 SE, the microchip machine manufacturer ASML N.V., the intralogistics and forklift truck manufacturer Jungheinrich AG and the insurance company A.S.R. N.V.
Annet is a Dutch native and received a MSc. from the University of Wageningenin 1984. After acceptance in McKinsey’s European INSEAD Fellow program, she completed her MBA with distinction in Fontainebleau in 1986.
She worked for McKinsey from 1985 until 2003, at first in the Netherlands and in the UK and, since 1990, in Germany. She was elected partner in 1994 and co-led McKinsey’s German Media Practice from 1999-2003 working on a wide array of topics.
She is the author of a large number of articles and case studies on the media industry.
Together with Jacques Bughin, she wrote the book Managing Media Companies, Harnessing Creative Value (Wiley’s 2009, second edition, also available in Russian and Chinese).
Annet is a weekly columnist on digital transformation and corporate governance in the Financieel Dagblad and is frequently asked as keynote speaker at international media and telecom conferences.
Laura is the president of D&AD as well as creative partner at Mr President and co-founder of SheSays, a community to champion women in creative industries.
Laura brings together an experimental and innovative use of technological advances and a deep understanding of the functionality and direction of online media. A creative designer who has worked internationally producing content which pushes the boundaries of the medium.
Laura cut her teeth as a key figure in the infamous ‘geekgirl’ in the early nineties, and has been involved in the design and implementation of many of the world’s most cutting edge digital work for top international brands as diverse as Levi’s®, Mini, and T- mobile.
She has consistently won awards for her commercial work, and has been honored with personal recognition including being voted one of the 30 under 30 leaders in IT by industry leaders as part of the Fairfax Group awards in 1999.
Laura is also co-founder of SheSays, an organisation that educates, promotes and inspires women to take up digital creative careers. It runs free mentorship and events to women in the creative and marketing businesses. SheSays’ aim is to “see more women at the top, by offering courses, career management and a collaboration platform”.
Laura lectures and travels extensively, speaking on net art and the cultural implications of the internet, as well as teaching dynamic lab-based and technical digital media classes at major universities around the world.
Laura was also featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Alice originally worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Having been exposed to technology businesses in this role, Alice realised how technology was fundamentally changing the way we work, live and play, and knew she wanted to be part of that world. She left her job and built the first UK-wide start-up accelerator for graduates, Entrepreneur First, in 2011.
The firm takes talented graduates straight out of university and helps them build their own tech start-ups. In its first year, Entrepreneur First helped build 11 companies that are now valued at over $90million. In January 2016, it was announced that the start-up accelerator is expanding to Singapore taking on the Asian market.
However, noticing a lack of women taking up the opportunity, Alice branched into starting a second business to help address the need for more women in the technology sector.
She is a strong advocate for young women in tech, evidenced by her starting Code First: Girls in 2012 – a free part-time course which introduces young women to web programming, and has seen fantastic results. More and more girls have gone on to become software developers and are starting tech businesses as a result of the programme.
Alice has recently been featured on the BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) Hot 100 2014 and The Drum’s “Women making waves—30 under 30” in 2013.
Alice was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Dr Sue Black OBE is an award-winning computer scientist, radical thinker and passionate social entrepreneur. In February this year, she joined the advisory board for the UK Government Digital Services which will support, advise and challenge the UK government to deliver better services for users and evaluate how emerging digital and technology trends can be applied to public services.
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 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 – which led to her first book “Saving Bletchley Park” being published. Sue writes a regular tech column for the Guardian, is a frequent public speaker, a social media-holic, mum of four and grandmother of one.
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.
She was recognised in Computer Weekly’s Top Fifty Most Influential Women in UK IT 2015. She also featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Paola Bonomo is a senior executive, advisor and angel investor with over 20 years experience. Paola serves as Global Marketing Services Director, Southern Europe at Facebook, which she joined in May 2015. In this role she is responsible for the company’s commercial results in France, Benelux, Italy and Iberia. Previously, Paola worked at Vodafone Italy for three years as Head of Online Services, Commercial Operations. In this role she was in charge of customer acquisition via online channels, as well as customer support via app, social channels, and the Vodafone site. She also served as Vice President, Online Business Unit at the Publishing division of Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy’s leading financial newspaper, where she was responsible for the turnaround of the newspaper’s digital presence. She spent four years at eBay International, first as Marketing and Advertising Director for Italy, and later in the European leadership team in Zurich as Senior Director, European Operations. For the first 12 years of her career, Paola worked at McKinsey & Company, where she served the top management of leading Italian and multinational companies on strategic positioning, growth, new markets, alliances and acquisitions.
Since 2009, Paola has been a member of Italian Angels for Growth, Italy’s most prominent angel group, where she focuses on screening investments and supporting entrepreneurs in the digital space. Paola serves a Director on the Boards of AXA Assicurazioni; of fintech startup MoneyFarm SIM ; and of a fashion company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, Piquadro. Paola’s current non-profit commitments are as President of the Stanford Club Italia, the local chapter of Stanford University alumni, and as a Board member at the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana. She is also a leading member of the alumnae network from the In the Boardoom corporate governance training program, organized by the Italian association Valore D.
Paola was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Anne Bouverot is Chair and CEO of Morpho (Safran), a world leader in identity and security solutions. Anne brings to Morpho and the Safran Group a global experience in IT, telecoms and digital. She started her career as an IT project manager for Telmex in Mexico, moving to Global One in the United States in 1996. She was appointed Vice President, IT Services business unit at Equant in 2002. Two years later she became Chief of Staff to the Orange CEO in the UK, then Executive Vice President, Mobile Services for France Telecom Orange. From 2011 to July 2015, she served as Director General of GSMA, the global association of mobile operators. In addition to her role at Morpho, she is a member of the Boards of Directors of CapGemini and Edenred. Anne is a graduate in telecommunications engineering of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and holds both a telecommunications engineering degree and a PhD in computer science (1991).
Eileen is Partner at Passion Capital, the leading early-stage VC firm in London. Eileen has brought extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product development roles at Yahoo!, Skype, Sun, and Apple to name a few.
On behalf of Passion, Eileen serves as board director for Duedil, Digital Shadows, Lulu, wireWAX, Mondo, Kovert Designs and other portfolio companies. Outside of Passion, Eileen serves as one of nineteen members of the Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group; HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for FinTech, appointed by the Chancellor George Osborne. She is also Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Patron for Naace, the National Association for Advisors in Computing Education as well as advisor to edtechUK and also Cyber London Lab, Europe’s first cybersecurity startup accelerator.
Eileen has been included in the WIRED100 each year since 2012; is one of London’s 1000 Most Influential people according to the Evening Standard newspaper (2014); and was named one of the 12 Most Influential People in Tech by the Telegraph (2014). She is also a frequent guest and commentator for media including Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Sky News and the BBC.
She was made an MBE for services to UK Business in June 2015 and holds a BSc Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eileen holds a BSc Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Judith is a serial entrepreneur, a Fortune 500 board level strategy consultant and an angel investor. She marries entrepreneurial experience with deep insight into what it takes for large organisations to innovate at pace.
She is the Founder and CEO of London and New York-based innovation and strategy consultancy Takeout. Clients include, Thomson Reuters, Samsung, Microsoft, The British Government Communications Network, and entrepreneurial clients including the Ministry of Sound and YO! Sushi.
Judith is also the Founder of Glasshouse, an organisation that provides support, inspiration and networks for entrepreneurs, investors and digital innovators. Glasshouse was founded in London in 1998 and has held events all over the world including London, New York and San Francisco.
She was listed as one of the Top Digital Power brokers in the UK by Wired Magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012, as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Britons in Technology by the Daily Telegraph, the Global Top 50 Women to Tatch in Technology by Femmeonomics and one of WIE’s 2012 50 Global Exceptional Women.
Judith is a also member of London’s Tech City Advisory Group which has been set up by No. 10 Downing Street in supporting the fast growing technology cluster in East London and is on the Advisory Board of Silicon Valley comes to the UK – a not-for profit series of industry supported events designed to improve the ecosystem for entrepreneurship in the UK, Europe and beyond.
She was an early proponent of online social networking as a co-founder of Moonfruit.com. The company, formed in 1999, was backed by prominent European and US investors and won several awards including a BBC award for best online design, and an online BAFTA nomination. Moonfruit was acquired by Yell in 2012.
Judith was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Barbara Cominelli is an executive with over 20 years experience in ITC, Energy and Venture Capital, with a passion for digital, innovation and diversity.
Currently, Cominelli is EXCO member and Director of Commercial Operations & Digital at Vodafone Italy. She leads the largest unit of the company, managing both the traditional and digital channels, with a team of 3000 employees and 6000 people working for partners, across 20 sites in Italy and Europe. In her role she’s leading the Digital transformation of the company, both in terms of services and customer experience – as well as digital competencies. Besides her functional responsibilities she leads the company wide Customer Experience Excellence Programme aimed at a giant leap in the relationship with customers, by innovating propositions, accelerating digital transformation and transforming the company culture.
Barbara’s relentless focus on customer empathy has brought her to be recognised with several awards for Best Digital and Traditional Customer Experience. She was also a winner of the 2014 Women Executives Award “Merito e Talento”; winner of the award “Young Executive of the year” in 2010; and selected as one of the “Under 40 to watch” by the magazine Economy.
Barbara is a strong advocate of diversity, both inside the company and externally. She’s engaged in the ValoredD mentorship programme (mentoring women of other companies in middle management roles), GenerAzioni programme (mentoring university students), ELIS fellowship programme (teaching and mentoring university postgraduates) and has 4 official mentees in Vodafone and several un-official ones. She’s often invited to speak about her own experience and how to promote diversity at public events or by other companies.
Sherry is a former CEO and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. She chairs Founders4Schools and is a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Cambridge University Press and a Non-Executive Director of Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange Group. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Linkedin.com. As an angel investor, she works with entrepreneurs to solve problems that matter and specialises in consumer internet, information services and education. She has made angel investments in more than 50 companies and holds investments in 4 venture capital firms. As an entrepreneur, Sherry was founder of two businesses in the financial services industry. Aside from the finance world, she is also non-executive director of Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in schools, and is responsible for developing a credit card sized, single-board computer called the Raspberry Pi. In a long list of awards and recognitions, Sherry was voted by TechCrunch as the best CEO mentor / advisor in Europe in Nov 2010. Tornado Insider has named Sherry as one of the “Top 20 trend-setting women in Europe”. She has been rated by Wired UK (2011 & 2010) as one of the top 100 digital people and one of the top ten female digital people in the UK.
In 2015, Sherry received a number of awards and honours, being named Top Entrepreneur contributing to ‘Queen and Country’, one of top 10 most influential women in UK IT industry and Most Interesting Venture Capitalists in the UK.
Sherry was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Nancy is a serial entrepreneur and currently runs MyShowcase.com, which brings direct selling of beauty products to hundreds of mums who need flexible working— a new kind of beauty retailer that champions female entrepreneurialism.
Prior to MyShowcase, from April 2012 to March 2013 Nancy was Launch CEO of Weve, leading a team that secured clearance from the European Commission for the UK’s leading mobile operators to launch a media & mCommerce joint venture in the UK. She successfully launched the business in November 2012 and Weve now provides a form of blueprint for other collaborations like this in various international markets.
Nancy started life working for Condé Nast in marketing and advertising on titles such as Vogue and World of Interiors, becoming commercial director of Condé Nast online in 1995 – the start of a career with the digital world at its core.
In 2008 she joined VideoJug, the market-leading How To website, as Global CEO and in May 2009 moved to the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) as Executive Director, Digital Development where her focus was on growing TMG’s digital proposition and revenues. This included the award winning Telegraph.co.uk which today attracts over 50 million unique users per month globally.
Nancy also knows how to share the love too – in addition to founding Handbag.com, which was once the number one website for women, she also ran a programme called Women In Business, which was sponsored by Barclays Bank, and gave advice and start-up loans to small businesswomen.
Nancy was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Sonali De Rycker joined Accel in 2008 and helps lead the London office.
Sonali focuses on consumer, software and financial services businesses. She led Accel’s investments in Avito (Naspers), Lyst, Spotify, Wallapop, KupiVIP, Calastone, Wonga and SilverRail. She is also an independent director of Match Group, Inc (public). Prior to Accel, Sonali was with Atlas Ventures.
She grew up in Mumbai and graduated from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Business School.
Stina is the CEO and Founder of Yubico, and co-inventor of the YubiKey – a small device that makes strong two-factor authentication easy and affordable for everyone.
The company was founded in 2007, funded by the management team and Swedish angel investors. In 2014, Ram Shriram, Google founding board member and former executive at Amazon.com joined as investor and board member, and Marc Benioff, CEO & Founder of Salesforce and Ori Eisen, renowned entrepreneur in fraud prevention, joined as investors.
The YubiKey offers the first one touch user experience for strong authentication, uniquely combining driver-less USB and wireless hardware with open source software. Millions of users and 50,000 customers in 140 countries rely on YubiKey authentication for securing access to computers, mobile devices, networks and online services. Customers include 7 of the 10 top Internet brands, e-governments, Fortune 100 companies and individual users.
Stina’s goal is to secure the identities of 1 billion internet users and change the way we do secure online transactions.
Previous to Yubico, Stina worked with several innovation projects, focusing on product design and communication.
She is an accomplished speaker on internet identity, security and entrepreneurship, and she is regularly featured in leading international tech media. Stina was recently named in Inc Magazine’s 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013.
Stina was born in Seattle, USA, but grew up in Sweden, living there until 2011.
Stina was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Sabine Everaet serves as Chief Information Officer, Europe at The Coca-Cola Company. Sabine has a proven track record of establishing business driven IT strategies. She has gained an expertise in driving change based on creative and strategic thinking, conceptualising innovative operating models across different geographies and executing major programmes with significant business impact.
Sabine joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1995 after 4 years of consulting experience at KPMG and PriceWaterhouse. At Coca-Cola, she held various IT Project and Account Management roles with expanding functional and geographic responsibilities. In 2009, she was appointed Europe Group CIO.
Her key focus goes to exploiting digital, mobile and big data platforms to uplift the connection with consumers, customers and stakeholders.
Sabine graduated as Commercial Engineer from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). She was awarded ‘CIO of the Year’ by DataNews Belgium at the end of 2011.
She chairs the Coca-Cola European Women Leadership Council. She is active in several external networks to support the advancement of females in their IT careers. She serves as a board member of the Belgian technology firm Option. She is president of the CIONET advisory board, and member of the MIT Club advisory board.
Vanessa Evers is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Twente’s Human Media Interaction group and Director of the DesignLab for multidisciplinary research. She received a M.Sc. in Information Systems from the University of Amsterdam, and a Ph.D. from the Open University, UK. During her master studies she spent two years at the Institute of Management Information Studies of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. After her Ph.D. she worked for the Boston Consulting Group, London and later became an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute of Informatics. She was a visiting researcher at Stanford University (2005-2007). Her research interests focus on on interaction with intelligent and autonomous systems such as robots or machine learning systems as well as cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction.
Vanessa has published over 80 peer reviewed publications, many of which in high quality journals and conferences in human computer interaction and human robot interaction. She serves on Programme Committees of ACM/IEEE HRI, ACM SIGCHI, HSI, ACM CSCW and ACM Multimedia. Vanessa is frequently interviewed about her work on national TV, newspapers and magazines. She won the best thesis prize awarded by the Dutch National Society of Registered Information Specialists, was co-author of the James Chen best paper award of the journal on User Modeling and User Adapted Interaction together with then her Ph.D. student Henriette Cramer. She holds the 2014 Opzij talent award. Vanessa is an editor for the International Journal of Social Robotics, she is co-chair of the ACM International Human Robot Interaction Steering Committee and associate editor of the Human Robot Interaction Journal.
After two decades at Microsoft as a senior leader within international sales and marketing, Eva Fors has recently left the corporate world to become CEO at startup company Yanzi Networks – a VC backed company which has developed an Internet of Things platform for smart buildings.
During her 20 years at Microsoft, Eva held over ten different positions spanning from sales to marketing to products. Her last role at Microsoft was as the COO for Microsoft Sweden and prior to that Eva worked as European Sales Manager for Emerging Technologies.
Eva is passionate about startups and entrepreneurs with multiple engagements. She has been a member of the board for the connected cars startup Greater Than, and member of the board of non-profit organisation Connect Öst, which brings entrepreneurs and venture capitalists together. She has also been a regular member of the jury for Venture Cup, a competition for those looking to develop their business idea and start a business.
Eva is a key figure in the Stockholm tech start up community and has coached several young female professionals, and is a speaker on diversity and female leadership. In 2015 she won Women in Tech Sweden’s Leadership Award which recognises a leading woman who has led an important technology development or innovation, made a significant contribution to the media and technology industries, and inspires others.
Nathalie Gaveau is a successful entrepreneur with expertise in e-commerce. She is the founder and CEO of Shopcade, a leading social shopping application launched in December 2011 that currently counts over 90 million products. Shopcade is a personal shopping app which allows users to discover new products, list what they want and get exclusive deals. The 20 person company has offices in New York and London and is backed by leading investors, including Lord Birt of the BBC, Daniel Bernard of Kingfisher and Carrefour. According to Nathalie, Shopcade aims to be the “Zynga for shopping”.
Prior to Shopcade, Nathalie co-founded PriceMinister, a French Ebay competitor, which was successfully acquired by Rakuten for 200 million euros in June 2010. Today the site attracts over 23 million visitors per month, offering over 127 million discounted products.
She is a Member of Major Benefactors of the HEC Foundation to support business scholarship, innovation and education and has been a recognised entrepreneur by several European organisations and awards.
Dame Wendy Hall is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2014. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) from 2002 to 2007. She is now a Director of the Web Science Institute.
One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of Web Science.
Her current research includes applications of the Semantic Web and exploring the interface between the life sciences and the physical sciences. She is also managing director of the Web Science Trust.
In addition to playing a prominent role in the development of her subject, she also helps shape science and engineering policy and education. Through her leadership roles on national and international bodies, she has shattered many glass ceilings, readily deploying her position on numerous national and international bodies to promote the role of women in SET, and acting as an important role model for others.
Karen pursued a career in training and human resources, but at age 29 founded the IT staffing firm Mortimer Spinks. After selling the company to FTSE 250 Executive Search firm Harvey Nash in 1997, she bought and staffed a restaurant business in Fulham in 1998, which, coupled with a passion for food, inspired her to found Toptable.
Toptable (styled toptable but now re-branded as OpenTable) is an online restaurant booker covering the UK as well as major cities in Europe and New York City. It was founded by Karen in 2000 as a tool for restaurant owners to advertise their venues and book customers directly. Toptable sat over 1.5 million diners in 2006 when it completed its first full year.
Today, 2.3 million visitors view the Toptable website each month and, in February 2010, a dedicated Toptable iPhone app was launched.
Investors in Toptable include football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, celebrity chef Gary Rhodes and Diageo. In September 2010, toptable was acquired by competitor OpenTable for approximately 55 million USD.
Now based in Montreux, Switzerland, Karen is an active investor backing and supporting numerous internet start-ups, fledgling businesses and other entrepreneurs. She is currently an Investment Partner at ProfoundersCapital and investor in JustAddRed, where her investments include Hire Space and Pets Pyjamas, the number one online destination for stylish pets and their owners.
Karen was awarded an MBE in 2010. Karen was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Claudia Helming founded the Internet company DaWanda in 2006 and serves as its managing director. DaWanda is one of the most popular commercial enterprises in Germany.
300,000 creative individuals and designers sell some four million unique items and products in limited editions on DaWanda and, to date, the social commerce platform has gained 5,2 million members.
DaWanda has 300,000 manufactures from jewellery, clothing, bag, toys, and furniture. 5,2 million users are logged onto the portal and approximately 5 million products traded. The website has seven different country versions, adapted to the regional needs of local customers.
Claudia studied Romance Languages and Tourism at LMU Munich, and then worked as Head of Operations at lastminute.com. This was followed by a Business Development role at Passado where she met her business partner. DaWanda was ranked fourth on the “Proposition Index 2012” by strategy consulting company OC&C. The German-language Startup Monitor of authority GmbH & Co. KG found DaWanda to be the most popular start-up selected by internet users on several different occasions. Venture Village named Claudia one of the “Top 10 Most Charming CEOs of Berlin” in 2012, “Top Women in Tech in Germany” and she was also on the list Girls inTech “Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe” for 2012.
Claudia was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Stephanie is the founder of One Ragtime, a global technology investment fund and advisory. Prior to this, she was the Executive Vice President of Orange Digital, Audience and Advertising.
Stephanie has an extensive international management background in the digital, telecommunication and advertising sectors with a proven track record in setting up and growing new ventures, building best-in-class teams and forming international partnerships. She has strong experience of board management and corporate governance.
During her time at Orange she held several key top management positions for over ten years, managing the Digital Business Unit, where she was responsible for a number of international subsidiaries in the digital field, major product lines such as Cloud services, data and analytics, digital marketing and social media, applications and sites, online distribution, as well as the company’s global advertising network that spans over 795 million unique visitors across 5 continents and 60 countries.
Stephanie was the one leading Orange’s digital acquisition of Dailymotion and its major partnerships with Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft.
Outside her work with One Ragtime, Stephanie was an Executive Director at the leading video platform Dailymotion, advisor for data company Mythings between 2014-2015 and a previous Vice Chairman for IAB Europe between May 2013-May 2014.
She has a passion for people development, business development and digital, and connecting with people and she also spends time as a mentor at Level 39, the leading tech accelerator in London.
Stephanie was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Candace Johnson is a global infrastructure, network and innovation expert and entrepreneur. She is a co-initiator of SES Global, the world’s largest satellite system; founder of Teleport Europe, Europe’s first trans-border satellite communications company; and founder of Europe Online, the world’s first Internet-based online service and satellite internet provider. Candace is also the founding president of the VATM, Germany’s Association of Private Telecom Operators and the founding president of the Global Telecom Women’s Network. She continues to be associated with these companies today. In addition, Candace was global corporate vice president of Iridium from 1994-1996 and helped re-structure the company in its present form.
Candace is also a founding partner and investor in Sophia EuroLab, Europe’s first trans-border incubator with AXA, Caisse des Depots, and the Bayerische Landesbank as well as founding investor and Member of the Board of Ariadne Capital. She is also a founding member and board member of Sophia Business Angels and the Luxembourg Business Angel Network.
Candace received the Lifetime Achievement Award from her peers at the World Telecommunications Awards in 2002, an award that she shares with Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee. The Government of Germany has awarded her the Officer of the Federal Order of Merit and the Government of Luxembourg has awarded her the Officer of the Oak Crown for her services in European Telecommunications and Media.
Stephanie Kaiser is a social games designer with one of the top rated games on Facebook under her belt. In September 2015, Stephanie co-founded Memorado – a mobile brain gym offering a fun yet scientifically-based training programme. Based on scientific findings, the individual needs of each user and applied learnings from the gaming industry, they strive to build the best platform to work out the individual’s brain. The app company has raised over $US5MN and is used by over 3 million people worldwide.
Prior to this, Stephanie was head of studio at Wooga – the second biggest developer of social games worldwide. At Wooga Stephanie had the opportunity to become a leader in the field of game design – heading her own studio, being in charge of four games and a team of over 25 people. During her time there, Stephanie designed the Facebook title Monster World, and developed a method of strictly metrics-driven design and weekly iterations. Since its launch in April 2010, the team organically grew the game to over 2.5 million daily active users, making it the biggest monster game on Facebook. Wooga now has five games on Facebook with over 30 million monthly active users.
Stephanie was only the second employee to be hired at Wooga, which launched in 2009. Both of the start-up’s founders came from ringtone company Jamba where Stephanie worked previously as a junior product manager.
Stephanie was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Neelie Kroes served as vice president of the European Commission up until November 2014. She was responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. Her political career started on the Rotterdam Municipal Council, and in 1971 she was elected as a member of the Dutch Parliament for the liberal VVD party. Neelie started working for the European Commission in 2004, as one of the 27 Commissioners working to maintain a peaceful and prosperous Europe.
From 2004 to 2009, she was Competition Commissioner, responsible for ensuring a level playing field for business in Europe, and fair prices and wide choice for consumers. In 2010, Neelie became vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. This portfolio includes the information and communications technology (ICT) and telecommunications sectors. For example: ensuring trust and security for the internet and new technologies; ensuring competitive communications, such as in the mobile roaming market; building world-class European research and innovation in this sector; and above all getting every European Digital, with access to fast broadband, making the most out of the internet to support our economy and society.
Neelie’s term ended recently in November 2014. In December 2014 she was appointed Special Envoy for startups in the Netherlands, tasked with strengthening the international position of startups in the Netherlands and persuade innovative foreign startups to establish their businesses there. Neelie, as Special Envoy, is devoted to establishing the Netherlands as the best country in Europe to start up a business.
Neelie was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Anita is a Norwegian business executive and author and has over 18 years of experience from various management positions within the technology industry.
In September 2014 she was appointed CEO of Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government’s official instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.
She is a former managing director of Hewlett-Packard Norway, the first female managing director running a country in Scandinavia for HP. She is also a former CEO of the commercialising company Simula Innovation , and was director of strategy in DNV GL.
Anita is active and visible in the Norwegian business environment with an extended network. She became well known for the Norwegian public when she published her application for the MD position of HP Norway in her private leadership blog Tinteguri (established 2012). She is inspired by John Kotter and implements his eight step for transformation in all operative job assignments.
She has a proven track record of developing business and delivering transformation projects with an approach and style, which instills confidence and builds trust with key internal and external stakeholders. Strategic planning, team involvement and execution are key strengths. Certified in strategy and innovation from MIT, leadership developed at Harvard Business School and in MD operative positions.
Anita currently has board memberships at ICT-Norway and KLP. She is an external speaker on technology trends, next generation leadership challenges and how to use social media/technology as a strategy enabler.
She was voted one of the top young business talents in Norway 2003, ranked amongst top 40 leader potentials cross business, politics and science in Norway 2009 and received the award for best female leader in the ICT industry in Norway 2012, Oda-awards. In 2013 she received the Social Media Personality of the Year Award from Kampanje.
Anita is the author of the book “Good Enough for the ‘bastards’ – confessions of a female leader” published by Cappelen Damm March 2014 and available on Amazon 2014.
Anita was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Barbara is both Founder and CEO of Risparmiosuper (Super Saver), the very first web and mobile service that compares real-time prices of supermarkets throughout Italy.
She launched her first start-up in 2004, dedicated to the world of telephony services, and has continued to develop ideas and services over the years. Super Saver is considered to be one of the most innovative and simple start-ups in Italy, and certainly one of the few in Italy with a woman at the helm. Launched in 2010 the company has a team of 13 people divided between Catania and Milan, constantly working on improving the product and creating partnerships that allow diversification of the business model. During the first week the app was in first place on the AppStore in Italy and was also among the top apps recommended by the AppStore. The boom in downloads registered is especially due to the economic crisis that is affecting Italian families says Barbara, for which saving has become an imperative. But also, the ability to scan the barcode and enter the price of the product gives all users an active role. The app has over 300 000 users, over 200 million downloads, and features 10 000 stores and 49 large retail chains. Barbara is also a Councillor at Italia Start up, a non-profit association that supports and gives voice to the ecosystem of start-ups in Italy. Barbara has a degree in Political Science, a Fulbright scholarship and a Masters from Columbia University in New York.
Barbara was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Martha Lane Fox is founder and executive chair of doteveryone.org.uk. Doteveryone is the first public value creating organisation dedicated to making Britain brilliant in the networked age. Initially, it is focusing on three key areas: gender balance, digital leadership and building prototypes for public services.
Martha was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013.
She is also chair of Go On UK, a coalition of public and private sector partners that are helping millions more people and organisations online.
In March 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University.
Martha co- founded and chairs LuckyVoice, revolutionising the karaoke industry. She is a non-executive director at Marks & Spencer and the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
In 2015 Martha joined the board of the Creative Industries Federation, the Scale up institute and the Open Data Institute.
In 2007 Martha founded her own charitable foundation Antigone.org.uk and also serves as a Patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law. In 2013 Martha was awarded a CBE.
Martha co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman in 1998, they took it public in 2000 and sold it in 2005.
In February 2016 it was announced that Martha had been made Distinguished Fellows by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Martha was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Avid co-founded (and was COO) of Boticca.com, a globally curated marketplace that allows consumers to connect with independent designers of fashion accessories around the world. The company was launched in 2010 and would go on to become the world-renowned luxury online bazaar for jewellery and accessories. The company has featured in Vogue, selected by Lady Gaga for her 2011 European tour, and worn by Kate Moss, Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba. Avid is originally from Iran, but raised in France, then studied in the US and is now living in the UK, Avid Larizadeh has lived an international life. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was an investor at Accel Partners in London and a Kauffman Fellow. Larizadeh worked for offline retail businesses such as Altavia in Paris and online companies such as eBay in Silicon Valley, where she launched and managed products globally. She has also worked for start-ups in Europe such as Skype as well as Silicon Valley-based start-ups like Tellme Networks and Linkexchange.
Avid loves to explore and create technology and business across multiple cultures, and with her love for fashion as much as her love of technology, she was delighted to combine both passions at Boticca, where they helped unique, independent brands around the world gain access to distribution and the tools they need to build sustainable businesses.
After stepping down from Boticca in 2014, Avid focused her passions on supporting the global Hour of Code campaign, of which she is the UK lead. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. It has become a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. She is passionate about supporting women in business and teaching coding to the masses, she is also adamant that every woman should be their most authentic selves, do what they want to do, be who they want to be, in their own time and space.
Avid is also a general partner at Google Ventures, which provides seed, venture, and growth-stage funding to the best companies. In addition to her role with Google Ventures, Avid is an advisor to Founders4Schools and the Breteau Foundation. She serves on the Harvard Business School European Advisory Board and also leads Code.org in the UK. Avid earned her B.S. and M.S. in engineering at Stanford University, where she was a Mayfield Fellow. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She speaks French, English, Farsi, and German.
Avid was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Based in San Francisco for almost 10 years, Geraldine Le Meur is a French Entrepreneur.
Over the past 20 years, she co-founded LeWeb and several successful tech companies. She has held senior management & marketing roles in those companies.
As an Angel Investor she invested in companies such as LinkedIn, LendingClub or Evernote.
In 2015, she’s been voted one of the most inspiring 50 women in tech in Europe.
Early 2016, Geraldine is starting a new company, The Refiners…
In 2004, Geraldine co-founded LeWeb.
LeWeb brings together more than 3’000 entrepreneurs, brands, geeks, investors and press from 80 countries in Paris. According to The Economist, “LeWeb is where revolutionaries gather to plot the future.In April 2015, Geraldine acquired back LeWeb [sold to Reed Exhibitions in 2012] with Loic .
Prior to that, she co-founded and managed Ublog, one of the first blogging services in Europe and served as Marketing Director of Six Apart EMEA from 2003 to 2007, when Ublog was acquired by Six Apart (now Say Media).
In 1997, she co-founded and served as CEO for RapidSite France, the first shared Web hosting company. RapidSite France was later sold to France Telecom.
She also co-founded and served as Executive VP of B2L, one of the first Web agencies back in 1995, which was acquired by BBDO (Omnicom group).
Geraldine is 43 years old and she is the mother of 3 boys. She graduated in 1995 from SKEMA Business School and lives in San Francisco.
In 2000 Ana Maiques was one of the founders of Starlab, a leading research and innovation company based in Barcelona focused on the space and neuroscience industries. Her husband, PhD in Physics and a mathematician from the University of California in Berkeley, accompanied her in this entrepreneurial adventure as another founder.
The business tandem positioned Starlab as one of the leading companies in research in Spain. They were awarded a number of prizes: Flyer best space company, NOVARE ENDESA Prize, Innovative Company Award by the Barcelona Council, BMW Awards and the recognition of the European Space Agency.
Besides her business experience she also proactively participates in various organisations in her community: VP of CataloniaBio, Barcelona Council Growth Bureau, Entrepreneurship Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona and GrupSet Women Entrepreneurs from Catalonia.
Ana’s main challenges are to prove that science can be a business model, to give scientists back their important role in society and to convince the companies to invest in long-term research.
In 2010 she was nominated by IESE as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain (the only woman in the list) and in March 2014 recognised as one of the most Innovative Women in Europe by the European Commission.
Ana is now leading a new business adventure, Neuroelectrics, a Starlab spin-off. It aims to become the trusted leader in Brain Health by providing measurement tools and making neuromodulation affordable and available for every patient in need. In 2015, Neuroelectrics was crowned the winner of the Bupa Startup Stage at WIRED Health and Geektime.com named Neuroelectrics the number 1 Spanish start-up in 2015.
She keeps working to expand her businesses globally and hopes her experience will be useful as a benchmark for other young entrepreneurs.
Ana was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Nicola Mendelsohn has been vice president of Europe, The Middle East and Africa operations at Facebook since May 2013 and is responsible for growing Facebook’s advertising revenue and improving relationships with brands across Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. Mendelsohn is a high profile figure within British advertising, having spent over 30 years in the sector, 11 of those years as a director with award winning agency BBH. Prior to Facebook, Mendelsohn spent five years as executive chairman and partner of advertising agency Karmarama, and four years as deputy chairman of Grey London. Most recently, Mendelsohn also served as the president of the IPA, the first female in the organisation (an ad trade industry body) in 96 years. She is also chair of the Corporate Board of Women’s Aid and is a former president of WACL, a club for the most influential women in the UK Communications Industry, established in 1923.
Mendelsohn is also director for Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is industry chair of the Government’s Creative Industries Council alongside the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Mendelsohn has received numerous awards and accolade’s throughout her career, including Media Guardian 2013, the annual guide to the “Most Powerful People in Media,” and GQ’s “The 100 Most Connected Women.” Mendelsohn is also an advocate for women’s rights, often commenting and speaking on the subject. She told Fortune’s The Most Powerful Women summit in 2014 “There are cultural issues holding us back,” and adds now that, “I want to make sure I help the next generation of women come up. I want to make sure I can inspire my daughter, in the same way as I would my sons, to do whatever it is they’re passionate about… I’ve always created an environment for the women in the businesses I’ve been in to be the best that they can, however they define that.” In June 2015, Mendelsohn was awarded with a CBE.
Nicola was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Mary is the global CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation, responsible for CoderDojo’s operations and growth worldwide. With 850 coding clubs in 62 countries, CoderDojo currently reaches 40,000+ kids & young people, aged between 7 & 17 on a weekly basis & is growing rapidly.
Previously a partner at Accenture, she also filled managing director, CEO, COO & Talent / HR Director roles within Accenture & at International Financial Services, Professional Services and High-Tech clients.
She is a board member of the Dublin Fringe Festival, the Professional Women’s Network, the working groups at The Telco and Internet Federation, The ICT skills group at IBEC and the Digital Working Group at the Institute of International and European Affairs.
At Accenture, she lead sales and delivery of programmes that successfully defined & delivered double digit improvement strategic change, globally, across a range of industries, in particular within the media, communications, technology, banking & insurance sectors. She was a leader in the management consulting practice, leading both the CRM & High Tech. She was also a lead faculty member of Accenture’s Global University & a Global sponsor of diversity & inclusion.
Mary is an author of pieces relating to technology, digital economy, business start ups & performance, education & strategic change management and has spoken on these themes at international conferences. She has also won many awards which recognise her contribution to the tech industry.
As Global Chief Information Officer at Unilever, Jane Moran is responsible for driving Unilever’s sustainability agenda through technology with the aim to double the size of their business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact. Moran is involved in some of the most innovative technology developments in the industry – the internet of things, digitising not only marketing but their supply chain and other key functions across Unilever. Her role is to lead the global IT agenda within Unilever by driving strategy, implementation and support for internal and external business tech applications, platforms, networks and data centres.
Jane is passionate about technology and has held chief information officer posts within global IT organisations for the past 15 years. She left Thomson Reuters to join Unilever in June 2014 as global CIO. In December 2015, Jane became a non executive director at J.P. Morgan Securities PLC.
Jane is an active member of the global technology community, sitting on the CIO council for Salesforce.com, Workday and SAP, as well as being an advisory board member of the Anita Borg Institute and Brown University’s Advisory Committee for Computer Science and IT.
Monique Morrow is the CTO – Evangelist for New Frontiers Development and Engineering at Cisco – a role she has held since 2014.
Monique was the first CTO of Cisco Services from June 2013 to November 2014 where she led the development of strategic technology and business architectures for Cisco customers and partners.
Monique was engaged with Cisco during the start-up days in the mid-1980s and has since returned to Cisco. Her unique 14+ year journey has taken her from Customer Advocacy to Corporate Consulting Engineering, with an emphasis on the Service Provider Segment.
Monique bet on MPLS as a technology service enabler and was proven right. She was one of the leaders in the development of this critical business opportunity for Cisco in the Service Provider segment, Service Provider Next Gen Network (SP NGN).
Monique has consistently demonstrated the willingness and courage to take risks and explore new market opportunities for Cisco. These innate qualities are part of her DNA and are of great value to the company and all the global organizations in which she is involved.
Monique is passionate about Girls in ICT and has been active at the ITU on this topic and presented at the EU Parliament as an advocate for Cisco.
Monique is also co-WISE Executive Sponsor at Cisco; advocate for Cisco Women in Technology and Cisco Women for Cybersecurity Communities.
Monique has also been published in IEEE and other journals, has won numerous awards, and speaks frequently at conferences. She has co-authored three books with two new books in the pipeline.
Belinda is the founder of social enterprise Little Miss Geek and the CEO of Lady Geek. Lady Geek is a consultancy that aims to bring companies to understand the female market through empathy training and truly understand the importance of incorporating women into decision-making processes. For Belinda, “the technology industry is still struggling to shake off the image of the male, pizza-guzzling, antisocial nerd”, and that it is this image problem, which reduces the appeal of careers in technology to women. She has stated that she will not speak at women-only events, as they tend to exclude the men who can help solve problems of women in technology. Little Miss Geek is a social enterprise dedicated to inspiring the next generation of young women to become technology pioneers. Their workshops in schools in inner city London have increased the number of girls taking GCSE Computer Science by 52%. In 2014 Belinda became a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader. She was also named one of Business Insider’s “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter”. Belinda was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to women in technology. In October 2014 she was placed in Fortune’s “55 most influential women on Twitter”. She has written for Wired, Glamour, The Times and has appeared on BBC programmes and Channel 4 News as a technology commentator. She also has a column in the Huffington Post.
Belinda was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Kathryn Parsons founded Decoded in 2011 to help people become digitally literate and learn how to code in just one day.
Parsons was adept at speaking more languages than most – yet she felt there was a “black hole” when it came to possibly the most important language in our collected future – that of digital code. It was this that spurred her into seeking partners to create Decoded.
Decoded has been a pioneer in the global zeitgeist around code education. It started with ‘Code in a Day’, and they have since trained thousands of people stretching from start-ups to CEO’s of multinationals.
With offices in London, New York and Singapore, Decoded’s offers “digital enlightenment and transformation for individuals, entire organisations and education”.
Kathryn believes that digital literacy is not just nice to have, but a need to have for businesses and professionals today. She is also passionate about these skills being learnt in schools and wholeheartedly welcomes the introduction of coding to the curriculum in September 2014 – a real game changer for the UK’s digital future.
Her next mission impossible is to challenge businesses to take on the digital dark arts of data, future technology and cybercrime. The start-up has therefore expanded to include Data Visualisation In a Day, Social Data in a Day, Digital Production in a Day and Mobile in a Day, in addition to Code in a Day.
Decoded is also bringing the power of code to the masses by open sourcing our online code education platform. This will empower all educators around the world to bring technology alive in the classroom and potentially enlighten millions if not billions worldwide.
Prior to launching Decoded, Kathryn co-founded The Scarlett Mark, an agency offering product innovation for brands and media owners. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she spent three years as UK head of channel planning with Ogilvy.
Kathryn has recently been awarded the Veuve Clicquot New Generation award, which aims to encourage up-and-coming female entrepreneurial talent, and named in Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech. Kathryn was also listed on Sunday Times Britain’s Top 30 Female Power List 2014. She was appointed Greater London Tech City Ambassador in 2014.
Kathryn is passionate about changing the image of coding to inspire more women into the field. “Technology is this huge, open, welcoming, creative environment, yet it feels exclusive, niche, the preserve of the few, and that’s totally unacceptable.”
Kathryn was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Maggie Philbin has worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes. She is co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC, an award-winning organisation helping young people, their parents and teachers understand more about the real opportunities in science and technology. The event now runs in twelve locations across the UK and has a supporting Awards scheme. In April 2010 TeenTech won Best Engineering Event in Science Week , in 2011 was the only UK organisation to receive a Google RISE Award , in 2012 received Best Communication and Outreach 2012, (WISE/UKRC) and in 2013 was given an Award by the Institute of Engineering Design for its work with young people. HRH Duke of York is now patron of TeenTech. The winners of the TeenTech Awards 2015 were invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate their success.
Maggie sits on the panel of the New Engineering Foundation, which supports the development of Vocational Education and helps lecturers in FE get cutting edge career development in industry. She is also patron of the Daphne Jackson Trust which helps scientists, engineers and technologists return to their careers. “Getting the right support and training is key, whether you’re 16 or 60. It makes an enormous difference not only to the personal development and confidence of individuals but to the success and reputation of companies and institutions.”
In 2012, Maggie was awarded an honorary doctorate in Technology from De Montfort University recognising her “outstanding contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation and region” and for “bringing about a greater understand of and interest in science and technology” . She is a popular and entertaining speaker at conferences, bringing a unique and insightful perspective on technology.
Maggie is a popular keynote speaker for businesswomen. “We need more female entrepreneurs and more women on the boards of companies. I’m not just banging the feminist drum, it makes very sound economic sense. Companies waste a lot of talent by neglecting mentoring.” Maggie provides practical advice on how businesses can harness modern technology not only to improve their profits but to develop their trust and credibility.
Justine Roberts is the founder and CEO of British websites Mumsnet and Gransnet. Justine came up with the idea of Mumsnet whilst on a disastrous family holiday with her one-year old twins in which she realised that being able to tap into the wisdom of other parents online could help make parents’ lives much easier. Once home she roped in friends Carrie Longton and Steven Cassidy to help build and run the site but for the first five years of Mumsnet, launched in the eye of the dotcom collapse, the company was unprofitable. Justine was only able to raise a small amount of seed capital from friends, so no one was able to draw a salary for five years and Justine’s mother helped out with the childcare. But as user numbers grew, so did the advertising.
By 2008 the company was big enough to move from Justine’s kitchen table into its own offices in Kentish Town and now employs nearly 100 people. In spirit of Justine’s passion for helping mothers make the most out of their lives, Mumsnet has been organising live events such as Mumsnet WorkFest, providing mothers with advice and inspiration on going back to work, changing careers, or starting their own businesses.
Today the site is the first port of call for many new mothers and fathers, receiving over 14 million visits a month. It generates revenue through advertising, sponsorship and market research. The website has a prominent role in national political debate and leading politicians take part in regular webchats. The site’s ability to draw the party leaders to answer member’s questions led to the 2010 General Election being named the ‘Mumsnet election’. The site has also run high profile campaigns on a range of issues including the sexualisation of childhood – ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ – and to improve services for those who have an early miscarriage and has also started a family friendly Jobs classified site. Justine was named in the Media Guardian’s 2010 power 100, was voted number 7 in BBC Woman’s Hour’s “Power List 2013” of the most powerful women in the UK and was runner up in Veuve Cliquot’s businesswomen of the year 2014.
Justine Roberts was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Jennifer Schenker has been a journalist for 30 years, working for daily newspapers in the U.S. including the Fort Lauderdale News and the Miami Herald. She has been covering the technology sector in Europe since 1985. At The Wall Street Journal Europe, she covered breaking technology news and worked as the assistant managing editor of Convergence, the journal’s quarterly technology magazine.
In 1999, she took on the job of senior writer/technology for Time magazine in Europe and was editor of Time Digital Europe, a quarterly technology report. She is also a former technology writer for the International Herald Tribune, and from October 2004 to April 2007, was the international editor of Red Herring magazine, managing a team of journalists in Europe, Israel, China and India.
She left her most recent job as European technology correspondent for BusinessWeek on Dec. 23 2008 to create Informilo and pioneer journalism 3.0.
Informilo is an independent media company that produces high-quality, independent journalism for the major technology conferences in Europe and further. Produced by two of the sector’s most respected journalists, Informilo’s stories look in depth at the key trends affecting the industry today, provide unparalleled insights and are a permanent resource of reference material.
Schenker is a regular media commentator and speaker on all things technology.
Jennifer was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Baroness Joanna Shields is a British/American technology industry veteran and parliamentarian currently serving as the United Kingdom’s Minister for Internet Safety & Security and Under Secretary of State for both the UK Home Office & The Department for Culture, Media & Sport.
Baroness Shields began her career in digital technology development in 1986 when she joined National Digital Corporation. After completing her MBA studies at George Washington University, she worked in Silicon Valley for 13 years.
Since 1987, Shields has developed and grown some of the world’s best-known technology companies, including Electronics for Imaging (Efi), RealNetworks, Google, Bebo, Aol and Facebook.
In early 2010, Shields became vice president and managing director for Facebook EMEA where she joined former Google colleague and friend Sheryl Sandberg. She led Facebook’s regional expansion in EMEA and during her tenure the company reached 1 billion users.
In late 2012, she was asked by Prime Minister David Cameron to help build the UK’s digital economy and in January 2013, she officially joined government as CEO & Chair of TechCityUK. Today the UK has become a TechNation with over 20 vibrant tech hubs across the UK and the UK has become the digital capital of Europe.
Joanna was later appointed the Prime Minister’s digital advisor and served in that post until the UK General Election in May 2015. In September 2014, Joanna became Baroness Shields when she was made a life peer in the House of Lords.
In 2013, Joanna was asked by the Prime Minister to lead a UK/US Taskforce to combat online abuse and exploitation. To fulfill that mission, she created WeProtect (www.weprotect.org), a global alliance of over 60 countries, law enforcement agencies, NGOs, civil society organisations and technology leaders aimed at developing technology solutions, national response systems and global cooperation to eradicate child abuse and exploitation from the internet and to bring perpetrators to justice.
In May 2015, following the UK General Election, the Prime Minister appointed Joanna as Minister for Internet Safety & Security. She serves as a joint minister between the Home Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport as Under Secretary of State.
Her Ministerial remit is to make the internet safer by working to curb online abuse, exploitation, access to harmful content including terrorist and extremist material and to promote safe, open access to the internet for everyone.
Joanna was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Reshma Sohoni was born in India but has grown up, studied and worked in the US within business and technology. She then moved to Europe for her MBA, and founded Seedcamp which is the number one startup accelerator in Europe. Seedcamp is a new kind of incubator which aims to provide a catalyst for Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs through the provision of seed capital and a world class network of mentors. They have more than 1500 mentors active annually, 200 companies mentored annually and 20 investments made on an annual basis.
Before Seedcamp, Reshma was part of the Venture team at 3i. Prior to 3i, Reshma spent over three years at Vodafone in their Commercial Strategy team, working across the Europe and Japan footprints in marketing strategy and pricing functions.
Sohoni serves on the European board of All Hands. She used to serve on the board of Zoombu. Sohoni has received dual undergraduate degrees in Environmental Systems Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. degree from INSEAD in 2003.
Berit Svendsen is a Norwegian engineer and business executive. As of September 2015, she is vice president of the Telenor Group and head of Telenor Norway.
In 1988, she joined Telenor as a research scientist, attracted by the potential of telecommunications and the internet. She was promoted first to head of department and later to head of division for data services at Telenor Nett. In 1999, she was given special responsibility for Telenor’s Fixed-Mobile Convergence project which quickly led to her appointment in 2000 as technology director for all of Telenor’s departments, a post she held for the next five years.In 2005, she became vice president and head of Telenor Nordic Fixed.
From 2002 to 2007, Svendsen was a member of the European Commission’s ISTAG, an advisory group on information society technologies. In 2008, she spent a short period as CEO of Conax which at the time was owned by Telenor. She returned to Telenor in September 2011 as executive vice president Telenor Group and CEO of Telenor Norway, a position she continues to hold.
Svendsen also serves on the boards of the banking and financial services group DNB, as well as EMGS which provides technical support to oil and gas companies.
Berit Svendsen holds an MSc in Electronics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and a Master of Technology Management from NTNU and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
Gillian Tans is Booking.com’s president and chief operating officer, responsible for leading the global operations of Booking.com, including the management of all business units within the organisation.
Having served as Booking.com’s COO since 2011 and as a member of The Priceline Group Management Board since January 2014, Gillian is a key member of the senior management team and has led Booking.com in advancing its operations and sales across more than 220 countries and territories around the world.
Gillian joined Booking.com in 2002, when the company had just a small base in Amsterdam. Over the past 13+ years, the company has expanded under her leadership to more than 10,000 people in 173 offices all over the world who serve Booking.com’s global customers and accommodation partners.
Gillian is a tireless advocate and role model for preserving the collaborative, diversity-driven start-up culture that has been instrumental in maintaining Booking.com’s unique approach to innovation and expansion. With Gillian at the helm of the organisation, Booking.com’s global workforce of 142 nationalities has grown to be also 60% female – with 17% of the technology department currently women. Gillian has played an active role in encouraging her team to be in contact with other organisations to find creative solutions to attract more female talent to Booking.com and to the tech industry in general and regularly speaks on the topic.
Sophie has been Xerox’s Chief Technology Officer and the President of the Xerox Innovation Group since 2006. She is responsible for overseeing Xerox’s research centres in Europe, Asia, Canada and US as well as the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC Inc.).
Previously, Sophie was chief engineer of Xerox Corporation and vice president of the Xerox Engineering Centre, technical advisor to Xerox’s chief operating officer and director of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada.
Sophie is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, a Fulbright Fellow and a Fellow of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. She holds 14 US patents. Sophie has received awards from Xerox, IBM, HP, Monsanto, the Belgium National Science Foundation, Semiconductor Research Corporation, IEEE, and Cornell University. Sophie was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and elected into the Royal Flemish Academy for Arts & Sciences.
Sophie is a member of the Board of Directors of Analogic Corporation and IDEXX Laboratories. She also serves on the advisory council of the dean of Engineering at MIT.
Vandebroek was born in Leuven, Belgium where she earned a masters degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
Sophie was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Elizabeth Varley is a serial entrepreneur with a background in technology, content, events and growing communities. She is Founder and CEO of TechHub – the home for technology entrepreneurs and startups in Europe, India and the USA and soon many other countries around the world. As well as being the global community for startups, TechHub works with corporates to help them with innovation culture and connecting with startups.
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 publication rankings recognising her contribution and influence in tech. She has been a judge for many technology and business awards and is a sought-after conference and event speaker around the world.
Elizabeth is also a board member of Digital City Exchange – a five-year digital economy multi-disciplinary research programme at Imperial College London. Researchers are exploring ways to digitally link utilities and services within a city, enabling new technical and business opportunities. The programme of research focuses on harnessing next generation digital systems to combine and repurpose city data: ultimately, transforming the planning and use of cities.
Elizabeth has previously worked with small business advice site Smarta, with Germination on the SHINE unconference for social entrepreneurs, and headed the team for Twestival London in 2009-2010.
After copywriting, editing and senior content strategy and management roles, she ran editorial and content agency Online Content UK for six years, and programmed and produced digital and tech-focused events for Chinwag and NMK.
Elizabeth 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.
Roxanne Varza is the Director of the Halle Freyssinet / 1000 Startups project, which is set to be the largest startup incubator worldwide.
Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s start-up activities in France, running both Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures programmes for 3 years.
Prior to Microsoft she worked for several European startups and was the former Editor of TechCrunch France (2010-2011). Roxanne has also contributed to other publications, including The Telegraph, The Kernel, Betakit and Business Insider.
Roxanne also co-founded the French and British chapters of Girls in Tech and is the co-prganizer of the Failcon Paris conference. More recently, she co-founded Tech.eu, a European tech media backed by Dave McClure, Adeo Ressi, Daniel Waterhouse and more.
Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government’s foreign direct investment agency helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France. Roxanne has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programmes throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications.
Roxanne is trilingual and holds degrees from UCLA, Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. She is also an epilepsy advocate.
She has been listed in numerous rankings recognising her influence and contribution in tech.
Corinne Vigreux is co-founder of TomTom and managing director of its consumer business.
Corinne is a driving force in the European consumer technology industry. She leads TomTom’s Consumer division, growing the business from a small start-up into a global player. Under her leadership, Corinne is diversifying TomTom into a multi-category consumer brand, bringing new innovation to market and returning the consumer business to growth.
Corinne’s global team creates and manufactures innovative products that play a meaningful role in people’s lives. Corinne is firm believer that technology should help people move forward, not hold them back. And that technology should make life easier, not more complicated. So Corinne’s focus is on turning complex technology into easy to use products that are accessible to everyone. Best known for being a global leader in navigation and mapping products, TomTom now creates award-winning GPS Sport Watches.
Corinne is an entrepreneur who is passionate about technology, design and innovation. She is focused on developing talent and fostering an entrepreneurial culture both at TomTom and in the wider world. As a leader of one of the few consumer technology companies to come out of Europe, Corinne is a champion of European innovation. She plays an active role in organisations dedicated to getting women into more senior positions and in social mobility.
Corinne is co-chair of the Dutch Chapter of Women Corporate Directors and sits on the advisory board of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.
Earlier in her career Corinne worked for Psion Plc, where she set up Psion’s international distribution network.
Corinne graduated in France with a BA in International Business from ESSEC in 1987. She was made Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2012.
Corinne was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.
Sarah Wood is co-founder and COO of video ad tech company Unruly, named as the UK’s #2 Fastest Growing Tech Company (Deloitte, 2012), where she ensures the company delivers the most awesome social video campaigns on the planet.
90% of Ad Age 100 brands have trusted Unruly to connect with audiences at speed and scale across the Open Web. Unruly has 15 offices, employs 200 people and was acquired by News Corp in September 2015.
Unruly is the leading programmatic platform for social video advertising, powered by UnrulyX, the first supply side platform (SSP) for mobile video to offer scaled delivery of native ad formats. Unruly has 15 offices, employs 200 people and is backed by Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmers and Business Growth Fund.
Sarah was City AM’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2015. She was also voted one of 15 Women to Watch in Tech by Inc., one of 10 London-Based Entrepreneurs to Watch by Forbesand #4 in Digital Spy’s Top 10 Women in Tech. She is a member of Tech City’s Entrepreneur Advisory Panel and a Technology Ambassador for London.
Sarah is also an associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches a course in Mash-Ups, Memes and LOLitics: Online Video Culture and the Screen Media Revolution.
Sarah was featured in Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2015.