Claire Thorne | co-CEO, Tech She Can

Claire ThorneI jointly lead the charity Tech She Can – working to increase the number of women in technology roles, making technology work for all. There is a real, pressing need and economic case for investing in tech skills in the UK. At the same time, one half of our talent pool – women and girls – don’t think technology is for them, excluding them from co-designing our future. I’m passionate about innovation, parity and equality in the workplace, and STEM education and research.

As a young girl, technology careers and the routes into them were invisible to me; the guidance wasn’t there and today’s role models were only then breaking through. Now, as a woman in tech, a returner and a mum, I see first-hand the urgent need to inspire our next generation when they ask ‘what can I be when I grow up?’, to equip their schools and parents with the technology literacy they need to be able to make those routes a reality, and to value and retain our female talent, against the odds.

My background is in innovation in research-intensive environments, spanning universities, government and business. In former roles at UK universities I: over-saw multi-£million sales of spin-outs acquired by global technology leaders such as iKinema by Apple; authored Research and Innovation Strategies; developed the vision and strategy for Imperial College London’s White City £3bn innovation district; and operated the #1 global university business incubator. I’ve worked across digital, smart infrastructure, space, security and defence innovation ecosystems, and hold a PhD in Astroparticle Physics from Imperial College London.

As well as working to increase the number of women in technology roles, I also support the creation of deep-tech science ventures as Venture Partner at Deep Science Ventures.

Twitter: @clairethorne