Anne-Marie Imafidon

more STEM women

Co-founder of Stemettes and ‘Head Stemette’ credit Stemettes

 

It’s Black History Month!

Time to celebrate the amazing women who’ve achieved in their field.

Anne-Marie Imafidon   ‘Head Stemette

One of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics & Computer Science by Oxford University, aged 20. She is CEO, & Co-founder of Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring more than 14,000 girls & young women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The shortage of female talent in tech

“The challenge is in the environment. It’s true for us in STEM and also women in general. Equal pay is one step towards a more balanced workplace. HR departments need to have a better understanding of why people leave and find ways to address that to improve their culture and nurture talents. Things like parental pay, time off, sabbaticals, the language used at work and in job descriptions, to promote people, to give them responsibilities. All of these can be biased and become reasons why people leave the industry.
If we go back 30 years, 25% of people in the UK’s tech industry were women. Now we only make up 17%. Why have people left? What in the culture has made them not want to come back? “

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Steve the refugee from Germany

Dame Stephanie Shirley came to England as a refugee

Founder of the first all women Tech company.

Stephanie Shirley (later known as Steve) set up an all woman software company back in 1962 and became a billionaire philanthropist, who has never forgotten that she owed her life to the kinder transport, and the generosity of the country, which took her in. She told Sue McGregor who interviewed her, “Having had my life saved, I thought it was important not to fritter it away.” Continue reading

Your Future, Your Ambition

Rashada Harry Co-director

Rising Star winner Rashada

WATC Rising Star Awards at House of Commons

Your Future, Your Ambition is definitely my main focus at the moment and also my voluntary work.  I’ve travelled to both Ghana and Kenya in my spare time, working with children in remote villages.  Continue reading

Sue Thexton of Brightcove

 Sue Thexton of Brightcove

Senior Vice President of sales for EMEA

Brightcove, a leading global provider of cloud content services.

The most surprising thing to happen to me, was becoming pregnant months into my new job as Vice  President for Macromedia Europe, the multimedia internet software company. When the American boss came over I said: “I have something to tell you.” He was relieved because he thought I was going to leave.

Sue Thexton has had many interesting experiences: some might call it luck, but she recognizes that to grab the opportunity is one of the most important principles in business.

the media woman

new Vice President at Brightcove

The Alpha male
Although I was the most senior in the European division, I had a boss, who, had ranted, shouted and sworn at me in front of the whole office, suggesting I had no idea what I was doing. He was an alpha male, who believed this was how leadership should be interpreted. He had just flown in, tired, irritable, was taking it out on me. I suggested where his job might go, then stepped back for a period of reflection. When he rang to apologize , as he inevitably did, I told him I wanted some time to go away, analyze the business in Europe and my role within it, then come back with a proposal.

This incident was life changing in more ways than one. I was concerned that if he  continued to treat me like that at the headquarters in the States when I did my presentation, I might end up in tears, so I needed to find the strength to face him. Continue reading

Martha Lane Fox

 

Chancellor of the Open University

 

 Congratulations to Baroness Martha Lane Fox who is appointed the new Chancellor of the Open University.   A feminist and believe in the talent and potential of women. Her article on trolls, focused on violence against women.

“At the root of the problem is the sexism, both explicit and implicit, that is still rampant in this country. That’s the bottom line. We need to flush it out.

“It would be a great shame if the debate was restricted to a cacophony of noise about social media. We really do need to keep more focus on all the women who face harmful situations and actual violence against them. The debate must be focused on both ends of the spectrum,” she said.MARTHA LANE-FOX in her office

 

A moment of Serendipity in my life was setting up Lastminute and selling at the right time. I believe strongly in the importance of the support network, but I am also aggressive in going out there and looking for people, getting Alan Leighton for the chair for three years.”

 

It is harder being a woman, but it would be churlish to say that I’ve had problems.  Some people seem not to live in the 21st century. I have been very lucky. However there was one occasion. When Brent Hoberman and I were going to set up Lastminute.com we went to see our first Venture Capitalist. I was very nervous and we did the presentation, then he looked at me and said: “What happens if you get pregnant?”   I have to say that not all VCs were like that. Now that I am Non Executive Director of Marks and Spencer, these are dynamic modern companies.

The last thing we want is tokenism.      There are hundreds of great women out there. we want broader working practices, more flexible working. But the top women in the city still are few by comparison with the men.   To believe in not enough talented women for boards and in business, is both sexist and patronizing.

The most challenging event in my life was learning to walk again.  Continue reading