Ones to watch in 2017: Yorkshire women in tech

When it comes to women in tech, Yorkshire is rarely in the spotlight, but there are many women here who should be celebrated for their achievements.

It’s important to highlight the great work happening in Yorkshire in order to improve our chances of keeping vital female talent in the region.

In no particular order, these are our hand-picked Yorkshire women in tech to watch in 2017.

Beverley Bryant – Director of Digital Transformation, NHS England

Beverley holds an important position in the NHS as Director of Digital Transformation, based in Leeds. She is responsible for ensuring that this huge public service achieves its aims of improving services with digital technology.

Before this new role, Beverley was Director of Digital Technology for three years, responsible for setting the country’s direction for technology and innovation across the NHS in England. She has also been Chief Information Officer in the Department of Health.

Beverley was educated at the University of Sheffield in Business Studies & Japanese. Amazingly, she is also a Founding Ambassador for HealthTech Women UK, which is a thriving network that encourages and supports women to achieve their full career potential in the health sector.

Helen Wollaston – Chief Executive, WISE Campaign

Helen is based in Huddersfield, and she campaigns for change in the technology industry by spearheading the WISE Campaign. Their mission is to achieve gender parity in the UK’s scientific, technology and engineering workforce, from classroom to boardroom.

WISE enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase women’s participation in STEM.

Before WISE, Helen ran her own consultancy company, Equal to the Occasion, was Director of Campaigns for the Equal Opportunities Commission and ran the Yorkshire region for the National Lottery Charities Board.

Annie Moss-Quate – Head of Planning, Epiphany Search, and founder of She Does Digital

Annie is Head of Planning at marketing agency Epiphany Search, and is also the brilliant founder of She Does Digital, which is a Leeds-based group for women working in the digital industry.

Their inspiring aim is to showcase the amazing careers in digital that are available, and help women to connect and network with one another. There are lots of women working in digital who can benefit from sharing their knowledge and support.

Annie is also an active writer on content-sharing website Buzzfeed in her spare time.

Julie Kenny CBE – Founding Investor, Dotforge

Julie is based in Sheffield and is originally from Hillsborough. She is recognised regionally and nationally for her contribution to business, as well as her commitment to helping young entrepreneurs achieve their full potential.

She is a founding investor for Dotforge Impact, a 3-month accelerator programme based in the North of England. Dotforge take early-stage ‘Tech4Good’ startups on their journey from ideation to launch, and beyond. It is the only one of its kind.

Julie founded her own Yorkshire and Humber-based company Pyronix, which manufactured intruder detection equipment company. She turned Pyronix into a global brand with a turnover of more than £15 million.

Natasha Sayce-Zelem – Head of Technology for Digital Trading, Sky

Natasha is Head of Technology at Sky in Leeds, and she has had a long, impressive career in the tech and media industries so far. Her past jobs include Senior Technical Project Manager at BBC Digital, and she was educated at Northern Film School. She refers to herself as a ‘digital stumble-uponer’, and is on a mission to help rebrand the tech industry for women.

As a result, Natasha is very active in the Leeds women in tech scene. She runs the Leeds Chapter of Ladies Of Code, who host events for female coders in the city. She also collaborates with her colleagues at Sky to manage the Leeds Tech Hub “Women In Technology” events.

In addition, Natasha has recently taken on the role of Festival Director for the tech stream of the upcoming Leeds International Festival curating 14 events including a whole day dedicated to empowering women with tech – phew!

Anna Barsby – Chief Technology Director, Morrisons

Anna has recently relocated to Yorkshire to take up her new role with Morrisons, showcasing how women are relocating to the area to take up senior tech roles. She has had an impressive history of managing IT change programs at various companies.

She joined Morrisons last year as their Chief Technology Director, bringing her experience of senior leadership at organisations such as Cass Art, Halfords and Tui Travel.

She was named the leader of the 2015 CIO 100 for her work at Halfords, especially in helping to steer the company through technological disruptions threatening household names in the retail industry. She led their upgrade to new IT systems, with a focus on developing particular online retail journeys for different types of consumers.

She was also named one of the top 50 most influential women in UK IT in 2016 by Computer Weekly.

Anna studied History of Art at the University of Warwick. She’s a brilliant example of a woman who has transitioned into the tech industry from a less traditional background, and arts skills are often very transferrable to a career in tech.

Wrap up

Yorkshire is a great place to be for women working in technology. Leeds in particular is an up-and-coming tech hub. We hope you’ve been inspired by these women to go on to do great things yourself this year. Feel free to get in touch to find out more about the many opportunities in tech, on 0113 3239730 or email sarah.pawson@fruitionit.co.uk

If you would like to find out more about the Empowering Women with Technology event with amazing speakers such as Lauren Laverne & Debbie Woskow OBE click here