Mark your diaries — we’re looking for the UK’s top rising stars in software

Earlier this year, we partnered with Computer Weekly and Level39 to create the UK’s first Women in Software Power List to recognise rising stars in the coding community.

In 2020, we’re excited to be doing it all over again!

This time, with community champion Google for Startups and new sponsors to be announced.

What’s new in 2020 is that along with listing the top 30 women in software, we’ll have one overall winner for Female Software Developer of the Year — and she’ll receive a £3,000 cash prize on the evening.

This time, we’re also launching the Changemakers list.

We know that businesses have huge influence when it comes changing the status quo. This is why in 2020 we’re also spotlighting initiatives supporting the rise of women in tech.

Our Changemakers List celebrates teams from HR, Tech and beyond to showcase best practice in creating a more inclusive tech industry. These industry examples are paving the way forward for other businesses to follow.

We’ll share more about the criteria later on, but broadly we’re looking to celebrate progress, impact and innovation.

After all, as our Chair Claudia Harris recently shared in CityAM:

“A strong message from experts is that companies should try to ‘fix the system, not the women’.”

When it comes to women working in software, it’s not just a pipeline problem: there’s also a culture problem. Researcher Kieran Snyder interviewed over 700 women who left tech after seven years: almost all of them said they liked the work itself but most were unhappy with the work environment.

This is why we launched the Women in Software Power List. So much of the conversation around women in tech is depressing — we wanted to amplify the positive.

There are women in software who are doing incredible work.

You can read about them in last year’s shortlist here.

The final list of winners featured women from organisations such as GoCardless; Monzo; Vodafone; EY; KPMG; and the UK government.

One of the winners was Sarah Rench:

  • Sarah worked in EY’s Data and Analytics team, to deliver AI assets and ‘intelligent automation’. She’s now Director of AI and Industry Solutions at Avanade (Microsoft/ Accenture joint venture);
  • She’s one of the Advisors on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI and works with MPs, universities, AI companies and UK businesses to discuss the impact of AI;
  • She’s on the Executive board of Cass Global Leadership Programme and DevelopHer, non-for-profit 12,000+ community, promoting women in business and technology
  • She’s also a TedX speaker and LGBTQIA+ champion.

Another winner was Stephanie Itimi:

The list was judged by an impressive panel of industry leaders, including Joann McCann (Information Technology Director, Unilever) and Kim Rowan (Head of Engineering, Ministry of Justice).

Here in the UK, women represent just 19% of the digital tech workforce, as opposed to 49% across all jobs, according to the 2018 Tech Nation Report. In 2017, female programmers and software developer made up only 3.9% of tech and telco professionals in the UK (down from 10% in 2007).

At Makers, diversity is embedded into our DNA. From our first year we offered a discount to women applicants to make the course slightly more accessible and to send a signal that women, being underrepresented in tech for no good reason, are particularly welcome to apply.

We celebrated when we achieved a 51% female cohort (without ever introducing quotas or changing entry criteria). We’ve always taken inclusivity and diversity into consideration when attracting, training and placing developers into jobs.

If you’d like to get involved in nominating women for the Women in Software Power List or teams for the Changemakers List, please remember these key dates.

Key dates for 2020:

  • Feb 6th — nominations open (and we’re hosting a launch party!)
  • March 6th — nominations close
  • Late April — judging sessions
  • June 11th — evening reception

We’d also appreciate any support you can give on social media — we’ll be posting on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Want to be the first to know when nominations open? Leave your details here.



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Creating a new generation of tech talent who are ready to build the change in society and thrive in the new world of work.