Holly Armitage

I love creating game plans and delivering impact. I take technology and data-related aspirations and turn them into reality, creating real difference for organisations.

On paper I’m referred to as a strategist but I’ve been referred to as a ‘professional opportunist’, which resonates with me. I spot opportunities, untangle the knottiest of problems, and then create a plan to take advantage, shepherding resources to make the biggest bang possible. I am recognised for my ability to establish and lead high performing multi-disciplinary teams that deliver plans that respond to need, and move organisations forwards. It’s my role to help organisations get excited by technology, and help them understand and explain to everyone – their people, their customers, and their shareholders – why technology truly matters for them.

I have been fortunate to work for a number of organisations, where I have gained extensive hands on experience of technology and data strategy development in both the private and public sectors. Before joining BAE Systems, I worked in the Civil Service where I learnt first hand the importance and power of being able to interpret strategic priorities into direction and delivery, whilst translating technical information into straightforward and easy to understand concepts.

When I was growing up I never saw myself working in technology. I studied economics at university, and whilst I knew I wanted to work in and around science and technology, I couldn’t have imagined doing big thinking and making big choices about technology. It never even crossed my mind! As time went on, and technology advanced exponentially, I started to realise that data was changing the world. This was exciting… and scary at the same time. Channelling this transformative power and ensuring that it has a positive – not nefarious – impact was what first drew me to into this space, and it’s why I love what I do.

I am a regular speaker on data strategy, AI ethics, culture, and the challenges and opportunities facing a data-driven society. I have presented at events including The AI Summit, Smart London, EveryWoman Tech Forum, WeareTech, and the Athena Code Show, while I was a key note speaker at Tech London’s flagship event.

I am honoured to have won the Management Consulting Associations Rising Star Award in 2020, and to be recognised by the Influential Businesswoman Awards as an ‘Influential Women in Aerospace and Defence’.

When I reflect on where I am now in my career, I am grateful to have had exceptional mentors who were gracious with their time and experience, and I am proud to be paying this forward, volunteering with the Stemettes as a sherpa mentor.