The 17 most inspiring women in UK tech + their Twitter handles

As well as the top 50 from all of Europe

Inspiring Fifty has just released its list of the 50 most inspiring women on the European technology scene.

And we’re delighted to note that some 17 of them are based right here in Blighty (listed below).

These women are those “serving as role models and standing as an inspiration to others”, the not-for-profit behind the initiative explains.

Inspiring Fifty’s index draws on a year’s worth of asking tech professionals, journalists and social media doyennes to make their nominations. The judging panel of entrepreneurs, investors and execs from Atomico, Amazon, CNN and Improve Digital then whittled the long-list down to 50 women across Europe.

“Many women in tech seeking female role models currently look towards the most visible, the headline-makers, like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo’s Marissa Meyer,” says Janneke Niessen, co-founder of Inspiring Fifty and of European tech company Improve Digital.

“However, as amazing as those women are, we felt there was a need to showcase the many accomplished, and all-too-often overlooked women in technology closer to home.” Hear hear.


Here are the 17 most inspiring women in UK tech

We’ve added in their Twitter handles too, so you can tweet them congrats. You’re welcome!


Alice Bentinck, Co-Founder, Entrepreneur First; Code First: Girls - @Alicebentinck


Avid Larizadeh, General Partner, Google Ventures; UK Lead, Hour of Code - @avidl


Belinda Parmar, Founder, Little Miss Geek; CEO, Lady Geek - @belindaparmar


Joanna Shields, Investor and Digital Advisor to UK Prime Minister (below) - @joannashields

Joanna Shields new chief executive role at Tech City Investment Organisation


Judith Clegg, Founder and CEO, Takeout Consulting and The Glasshouse - @judithclegg


Justine Roberts, Founder and CEO, Mumsnet and Gransnet - @Justine_Roberts


Karen Hanton, Investor and Former Founder of Top Table


Kathryn Parsons, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Decoded (below) - @KathrynParsons 

Kathryn Parsons

>> Kathryn’s predictions about how tech will change your world in 2015

>> All about her company, Decoded





Laura Jordan Bambach, Creative Partner & Co-founder, Mr President and SheSays - @laurajaybee


Martha Lane Fox, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur; Co-Founded (below) - @Marthalanefox

Martha Lane Fox

>> Martha’s predictions about how tech will change your world in 2015

>> Baroness Martha Lane Fox CBE: Overcoming our digital skills deficit


Nancy Cruickshank, Founder, - @cruickshankn


Natalie Massenet, Founder, Net-a-Porter


Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President EMEA, Facebook - @nicolamen


Sarah Wood, Co-Founder, Unruly (below) - @sarahfwood

Sarah Wood, founder of Unruly Media

>> From 2012: Q&A: Sarah Wood, founder of Unruly Media, which just raised $25m


Sherry Coutu, Entrepreneur, Non-Exec Director, Investor and Advisor (below) - @scoutu

Sherry Coutu appearing at LeWeb 2011

Sherry Coutu

>> Sherry Coutu: “Solving problems with technology is a beautiful thing”


Dr Sue Black, Founder & CEO, Savvify; Mentor, Google Campus for Mums - @Dr_Black 


Wendy Tan White, Co-founder and CEO, Moonfruit (below)- @wendytanwhite

Wendy Tan White

>> Q&A: Wendy Tan White on selling Moonfruit for £23m


And here’s the full list of 50 from across Europe

(Listed in alphabetical order of first name and by country)

Most Inspiring 50Title & CompanyCountry
Sophie VandebroekCTO, Xerox and Xerox Innovation GroupBelgium
Camilla Ley ValentinCCO and Co-Founder, Queue-itDenmark
Linda LiukasAuthor & Co-Founder of RailsgirlsFinland
Amélie FaurePresident, AugureFrance
Anne BouverotDirector General, GSMAFrance
Catherine BarbaFounder, Catherine Barba GroupFrance
Céline LazorthesCEO and Founder, LeetchiFrance
Geraldine Le MeurCo-Founder, LeWebFrance
Jennifer SchenkerFounder and Editor-in-Chief, InformiloFrance
Lindsey Nefesh-ClarkeFounder and Managing Director, W4, Women’s WorldWideWebFrance
Lara RouyresFounder and CEO, SelectionnistFrance
Stephanie HospitalAdvisor, Board Member and Founder of One RagtimeFrance
Claudia HelmingFounder & CEO, DaWandaGermany
Colette BallouFounder & CEO, Ballou PRGermany
Kerstin GüntherSVP Technology Europe, Deutsche Telekom GroupGermany
Stephanie (Steffi) CzernyManaging Director, DLD MediaGermany
Stephanie KaiserHead of Studio, WoogaGermany
Verena DeliusCo-Founder & CEO, Fox & SheepGermany
Elaine CoughlanCo-Founder and General Partner, Atlantic Bridge CapitalIreland
Louise O’SullivanFounder & CEO, ANAM Technologies Ltd.Ireland
Barbara LabateCo-Founder, Risparmio Super (Super Saver)Italy
Paola BonomoAngel Investor and Independent Board DirectorItaly
Corinne Goddign-VigreuxCo-founder and Managing Director, TomTom NVNetherlands
Marina TognettiCEO and Founder, MyngleNetherlands
Neelie KroesDutch politician & Former VP European CommissionNetherlands
Anita Krohn TraasethCEO, Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway)Norway
Kristin Skogen LundDirector General, NHONorway
Ola SitarskaCo-Founder, Issue Stand and MakerlandPoland
Maelle GavetCEO, Ozon HoldingsRussia
Ana MaiquesCEO & Co-Founder, NeuroelectricsSpain
Stina EhrensvärdCo-Founder & CEO, YubicoSweden
Gabriele ZedlmayerVice President & Chief Progress Officer, HP WorldwideSwitzerland
Demet MutluFounder & CEO, TrendyolTurkey
Alice BentinckCo-Founder, Entrepreneur First; Code First: GirlsUK
Avid LarizadehGeneral Partner, Google Ventures; UK Lead, Hour of CodeUK
Belinda ParmarFounder, Little Miss Geek; CEO, Lady GeekUK
Joanna ShieldsInvestor and Digital Advisor to UK Prime MinisterUK
Judith CleggFounder and CEO, Takeout Consulting and The GlasshouseUK
Justine RobertsFounder and CEO, Mumsnet and GransnetUK
Karen HantonInvestor and Former Founder of Top TableUK
Kathryn ParsonsCo-Founder & Co-CEO, DecodedUK
Laura Jordan BambachCreative Partner & Co-founder, Mr President and SheSaysUK
Martha Lane FoxPhilanthropist and Entrepreneur; Co-Founded Lastminute.comUK
Nancy CruickshankFounder, MyShowcase.comUK
Natalie MassenetFounder, Net-a-PorterUK
Nicola MendelsohnVice-President EMEA, FacebookUK
Sarah WoodCo-Founder, UnrulyUK
Sherry CoutuEntrepreneur, Non-Exec Director, Investor and AdvisorUK
Dr Sue BlackFounder & CEO, Savvify; Mentor, Google Campus for MumsUK
Wendy Tan WhiteCo-founder and CEO, MoonfruitUK



Readers' comments (3)

  • Hmm Mostly unknowns, save for Martha Lane Fox who's only claim to technical fame is that she managed to hoodwink a lot of people out of a lot of money - not a good role model - but guess that counts as good business!

    From my experience the real Tech/science heroes are people (men and women) that you never hear of!

    Its probably true to say most in the list are as pointless as any male in the same role and probably just as grossly overpaid!

    Equality in inequality......were there!

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  • Impressive list, but one glaring omission, surely...Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital. Made Her own fortune with First Tuesday, and now investing in the next breed of tech entrepreneurs with Ariadne and the Entrepreneur Country platform. A virtuous circle of ever there's been one...

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  • JJ - Julie meyer has an pretty poor reputation in the industry from both the buys side, prospects and now even her employees,26.htm
    It would appear she is left of this list for good reason. Perhaps someone should dig a little deeper on Ariadne, if things really are this bad and a financial services firms employees are being encouraged to lie to clients, its a pretty significant statement. Something even for the FCA to look into - that is of course is her firm is regulated

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