Women in STEM

Maggie Berry, Sophie Wilson & Lauren Shea recognised for their work in tech in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List


Maggie Berry, Sophie Wilson and Lauren Shea have been recognised for their work in tech in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Maggie Berry, Executive Director for Europe WEConnect International and Founder of Women in Technology Network has received an OBE for services to Women in Business and Technology.

Sophie Wilson, Director of Integrated Circuit Design, Broadcom Europe Ltd has received a CBE for her services to Computing. Wilson was named as one of the 15 Most Important Women in Tech History, for her part in designing the Acorn Micro-Computer, including its programming language BBC BASIC. Wilson also designed the instruction set of the ARM processor, which is used in most 21st century smartphones.

University student, Lauren Shea, has also been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to Promoting Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to Young People. Shea is an ambassador for STEM promoter, Teen Tech and aims to encourage young people into STEM.

The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019 recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the UK. In total, 1,073 people received an award this year, with 508 women being recognised, representing 47 per cent of the total. Further statistics show that 10.4 per cent of the successful candidates come from a BAME background; 5.9 per cent consider themselves to have a disability; and 2.8 per cent of recipients identified as being LGBT.

Around 11 per cent of the honours are for work in the Science, Technology and Health sectors. The respective Committees have recommended CBE’s for Professor Kenneth Brown, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow; Dr Adrian Crellin Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Trustee, Cancer Research UK; Ian Findlay, Chief Officer, Paths for All for his work on healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities; Professor Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Exeter; Professor Marie Le Quere, for her work on Climate Change Science; Dr Shubulade Smith, Consultant Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for services to Forensic Psychiatric Intensive Care; and Professor David Southwood, lately Chair, UK Space Agency.

At OBE level, there are awards for Maureen Bell lately a nurse consultant for vulnerable children at NHS Ayrshire and Arran for her work on child protection; and Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation.

women in technology featured

Women in Technology Network

women-in-techologylogoBetween 2005 and 2012, Maggie Berry ran womenintechnology.co.uk, an organisation committed to increasing the number of women working and achieving in the UK’s technology profession.

They provided a complete recruitment service, offered a dedicated online IT job board for employers, regularly hosted networking events and ran professional development and career orientated training courses - all activities to help increase the number of females succeeding in the IT.

In November 2012, Maggie left her full time job at Women in Technology to join WEConnect International, an organisation supporting supplier diversity by connecting more majority owned women's businesses into the corporate supply chain. She continues to run the Women in Technology Network on a voluntary basis in her spare time - you can join the network by following Maggie on Twitter @womenintech, by joining the LinkedIn group ‘Women in Technology UK’ or by liking the Facebook page.

Maggie shares information about events and activities for women working in technology and works towards increasing the number of women succeeding and achieving in technology careers. She is also involved with BCSWomen, WiTT and the Information Technologists Company.

You can contact Maggie on [email protected] and access IT jobs on womenintechnology.co.uk.

Inspirational Woman: Maggie Berry | Managing Director of Women in Technology

Maggie BerryMaggie Berry is the managing director of Women in Technology.  Maggie has been a mentor to the WeAreTheCity Team and has given guidance and advice to us.  We took some of her valuable time (once again) to ask her a few questions

What made you decide to set up your website?

The website was set up as a resource to increase the number of women working (and succeeding) in IT. The project grew out of a piece of diversity research that was undertaken in late 2003 that showed the acute lack of women in the technology profession. We set the website up to act as an information portal for women in that sector and to help connect them to employers. The website and our network have grown so much since we launched in March 2005 – we now have 6,000 members and over 15,000 visitors each month.

If you can imagine something, you can achieve it. Life doesn’t have to be a linear career path – there are so many different possibilities out there.

What have been your biggest challenges so far in the business?

We’re funded by the organisations who are advertising their roles on the website so it’s tough for us when firms aren’t hiring as in the current economic situation. It’s also been a big learning curve for me to be managing web development projects – it’s not something I’d been involved with before and if I build another website, I will know the technical pitfalls to avoid!

If there was one thing that you could say was a great success, what would it be?

Our network and the networking events we’ve run – over 30 since September 2005. The events have always been incredibly popular and we’re often oversubscribed for places. It’s amazing to see all these technical women networking with each other. And at one of our events you could almost forget there’s a lack of women in IT as there’s hardly ever any guys at the events (although we’d love to see more of them!).

How do you see the market performing in the next 12-18 months?

Honestly – not that well but everything’s cyclical and business will come back.

If you could go back to when you started the company would you change anything?

I wouldn’t know where to start with that! I’ve learned so much from so many of the mistakes we’ve made along the way but then you have to learn from your mistakes or you don’t gain anything. I’m so proud of the website and the network and it’s where it is today because of all the hard work that’s been put in over the last five years. So if I could go back and change things, we might not be where we are today and I wouldn’t have gained as much experience as I have.

When and if you get the time, what do you like to do in obtain a life balance?

I’ve got a busy, busy social life – I’ve got friends from home, friends from university and London friends to keep up with. I’ve got a boyfriend I want to spend time with and a family in Scotland (including four nieces under five!) to keep in touch with. I love history and enjoy reading sweeping historical novels  – I usually find the time to read them on the tube during my commute. And although I love London, I also really like weekends away from the city being out in the countryside with wide open skies.

Can you share any tips for any members wishing to start out on their own?

If you can imagine something, you can achieve it. Life doesn’t have to be a linear career path – there are so many different possibilities out there. So if you want to do something different, you can! With regards to practicalities, work out your funding / budget and check out your competitors – make sure you know what differentiates you from them, especially if they’re established in your market space. Embrace social media, get a mentor and enjoy the experience – however it works out!