Anne-Marie Imafidon, Founder of Stemettes, on being awarded an MBE: "Women in STEM is a wider problem that affects everyone, so I’m pleased it has been recognised"


‘Head Stemette’ and Founder of social enterprise Stemettes Anne-Marie Imafidon, was awarded an MBE for services to Young Women and STEM Sectors as part of the 2017 New Years Honours List.

Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles via a series of events and opportunities. In three years 7,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe have had attended Stemette experiences.

As part of the initiative she has also Co-Founded Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls. She sits on the boards of Redfield Asset Management, Urban Development Music Foundation and Inspirational YOU. She has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

WeAreTheCity recently spoke to Imafidon about her award who said: “It’s a pat on the back from the wider society. There has been lots of change in the IT industry, and a lot of companies are looking inwards still.

"But women in STEM is a wider problem that affects everyone so I’m pleased it has been recognised as this has previously not been included on the honours list. STEM has been included before, but not girls in STEM.

“I was so surprised that someone entered a nomination for me. It’s crazy to think that someone thought I deserved it.”

Imafidon added: “It is humbling and overwhelming, because I am much younger than the others on the list and on previous lists. At only 27 to be recognised at this age is insane.

“Even though it’s me who can put the letters after my name now, it’s not just me who done all the work. It’s a thank you to the whole Stemettes team and everyone who has supported us. It’s for everyone.”

Imafidon has always been interested in business, Maths and technology. Her rather unique set of achievements include passing two GCSEs aged ten (Mathematics & ICT), holding the current world record for the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing (aged 11), a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ and being one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged 20.

She was also named the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013, Red Magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ 2014, won a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in October 2014 and was named the 29th Most Influential woman in IT in 2015. Anne-Marie has also been listed as one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 and was on the Timewise List of 50 Power Part Timers.

Outbox Incubator

On 27 July 2015 Stemettes launched the first ever Outbox Incubator, which invited 45 young entrepreneurial girls, from across Europe, to stay at a large house in South London for six weeks. The house was billed as a cross between Dragons Den, The Apprentice and Big Brother.

The Outbox Incubator programme offered support and funding for girls aged between 11 and 22 who want wanting to launch their own science or technology-based business. In partnership with Wise, whose patron is HRH The Princess Royal, the programme was funded by the Salesforce Foundation.

Throughout February 2017 Stemettes will be screening its Outbox documentary - Eat.Sleep.STEM.Repeat. It will also be launching a network of youth clubs called Stemillions clubs across the world.

Imafidon added: “We will be running an event soon to celebrate the Outbox house one year on, to reach other girls and inspire others to start similar projects. This will include encouraging the girls to start their own youth clubs and to continue to reach more girls in their own communities.

“We aim to reach two million girls by 2025 who can say they have some kind of Stemettes experience.”


WeAreTech: Women | 26 ways to solve the tech gender skills gap

WeAreTechnology, the technology arm of WeAreTheCity, hosted its first full-day WeAreTech: Women conference for female technologists at Barclays, One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf recently.

Over 200 women attended the event to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks.wearetech-women-conference-featured

Speakers included Kate Russell, BBC Click Presenter and Author, Jacqueline D’Rojas, Executive at Citrix and President of techUK, Anne Marie Imafidon, Founder of STEMettes, Michelle Moody, Engagement Director Insights and Data at Capgemini UK, Stephanie Daman, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK and Dr Sue Black, Author of Saving Bletchley Park and Government Digital Services Advisor.

Throughout the day attendees were invited to put their questions to speakers via the app or in person, during several Q&A sessions. enables live Q&As to take part during an event. Attendees can pitch questions to the panel, via the host, and can keep their questions anonymous if they wish.

During the conference, the attendees also used to highlight ideas that they believe could improve diversity and gender balance within their organisations. Below is the full list complied by our attendees:

  1. Getting middle management to become aware of the un-conscious gender bias and understand the challenges women face
  2. More involvement with women on a 1:1 basis to understand the challenges we face (e.g. Focus groups)
  3. Mapping of career paths and giving us support to ensure we get there!
  4. Being more transparent about open roles and opportunities
  5. Empowering and enabling us to see opportunities through knowledge of the company's detailed roadmap and internal opportunities
  6. When an employee asks for help, support by listening, not just hearing meaning 1. follow-up 2. provide solutions/first steps
  7. Be personal. Pay attention to individuals to retain their energy and loyalty
  8. Flexible working hours
  9. Training, support for maternity and return from maternity, facilitate working from home
  10. Have a more active women’s/employee networks
  11. Provide access to senior female and male mentors
  12. Actively make sure women returning to work after a break (e.g. maternity leave) are not left behind in their career progression.  Provide on-going support.
  13. Enable managers to support lateral moves.
  14. Build in personal development time to learn new skills
  15. Hire managers who are inspiring and who are bought in to our development – their managers to check on their progress in terms of their teams on-going development
  16. Provide open and honest feedback during performance reviews. Be transparent and constructive
  17. Create initiatives that support our careers and our on-going learning
  18. Provide us with opportunities to be in the right rooms and meet the right people
  19. Let us reverse mentor
  20. Monitor firms progress by looking at promotion stats year on year
  21. Greater visibility of accessible sponsors and role models
  22. flexible working
  23. Confidence building training
  24. Mentoring and good sponsorship from males and females
  25. Give longer paternity leave to allow fathers more involvement in parenting
  26. Better access to sponsors and mentors


Sadiq Khan launches £7m tech career scheme with focus on women and ethnic minorities


London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a £7m scheme to support young people interested in digital, technology and creative careers, with a focus on women and minority ethnic groups.
Greater London Authority releases first ever gender pay audit (F)
Sadiq Khan - Via Shutterstock

The scheme aims to support businesses over the next two years, in a bid to meet the needs of tech businesses in the capital.

With funding from the London Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Social Fund will go towards building new school programmes, improving existing programmes and the creation of new apprenticeships up until 2019.

The new schemes will be designed with the help of London’s tech employers and is expected to support 1,500 young Londoners to access industry-backed training and work experience placements.

Discussing the launch Khan, said: “It is vital that we nurture the next generation of digital enthusiasts so we can continue to provide our tech firms with home-grown talent.

“Our new scheme will help to ensure that this crucial sector continues to go from strength to strength.

“It will also look to address the factors that are often preventing young women, those from minority ethnic backgrounds and our more deprived communities from accessing tech jobs and ensure there is a level playing field when it comes to being a part of this hugely exciting part of our economy.”

Women account for 30% of Accenture’s new Managing Directors

Tech giant Accenture has announced 647 new Managing Directors, with 30% of them being female.

The number of females promoted to Managing Director and Senior Managing Director is a record for Accenture, which promoted 29% of females last year.Accenture-jobs-for-women

“Each of these individuals has demonstrated leadership, passion and energy in serving our clients, developing our people and running our business,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s Chairman and CEO.

“These promotions reflect our commitment to provide our people with opportunities to develop and grow in their careers.”

There are now 145,000 women at Accenture, which accounts for more than one third of its global workforce.

“Diversity is absolutely essential to a high-performing, talent-led organisation, and I am very pleased that we continue to make progress in gender diversity,” Nanterme added.

“In addition to advancing a record percentage of women to senior leadership again this year, we recently surpassed our goal to reach 40 percent women new hires worldwide by 2017.”

Accenture recently sponsored the WeAreTech: Women conference, organised by WeAreTechnology. Agata Cooper, Senior Manager, Digital/Mobile Strategy at Accenture was a keynote speaker, at the event, who discussed digital, mobile and apps latest trends. You can see our 60 Seconds With Agata Cooper video here.

WeAreTech: Women Conference 2016 | Women in Technology Mannequin Challenge


wearetechwomen-conference-sold-outWeAreTechnology, the technology arm of WeAreTheCity, hosted its first full-day WeAreTech: Women conference for female technologists.

Over 200 women in technology descended on Barclays, One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf on 23 November to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks.

Throughout the day, attendees heard about the latest in digital, mobile and apps; big data; and cyber security. Attendees were also invited to put their questions to speakers via the app or in person, during a number of Q&A sessions. Topics ranged from career advice, how to get more women into tech and STEM, why should we dumb tech down, how to generate the right balance and closing the skills gap.

During the day attendees took part in a Mannequin Challenge to symbolise how women’s careers in technology will not be left standing still.

“Don’t freeze our careers.”

Watch the full version below.

WeAreTech: Women Conference 2016 MANNEQUIN CHALLENGE from WeAreTheCity on Vimeo.


49% of UK women wish they had pursued a career in STEM

Almost half (49%) of UK women wish they had pursued a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), according to a poll by The Open University (OU).

Furthermore, 56% of the women questioned admitted that they were not made aware of the value of STEM related subjects, growing up, and therefore did not know enough about the career opportunities available.UK women

The survey also found that the phrase ‘male-dominated’ was frequently used when respondents were asked to describe STEM industries.

Dr Clem Herman, Senior Lecturer at the OU in the Department of Computing and Communications said: "Analyses of the pay gap indicate that it is mainly caused by structural issues, in particular where and how men and women work. Key contributors to this pay gap include occupational segregation where women and men tend to work in different occupations and sectors, and the jobs in which men work tend to have higher wages with STEM being one of these sectors. The other is different working patterns.

This is where women are more likely to work part time and the hourly rate for part time jobs is usually lower regardless of the sector. Periods of working part time can be interpreted as not being serious about career and women often get passed over for promotion or for career developing opportunities.

60% of millennials questioned said they feel there is a need for stronger links between the education sector and the workplace to encourage more women into STEM. Nine in ten women were unable to identify several high profile women in technology such as Sheryl Sandberg.

Herman added: "However, the good news for women STEM graduates is that jobs in STEM occupations tend to be higher paid. In fact the pay gap is smaller within these STEM sectors compared to non-STEM sectors and overall women working inSTEM industries tend to earn more than women in other sectors.

"Many STEM employers are actively trying to recruit more women – they see the benefits of diversity for their profitability, and as a way to fill skills gaps. A number of companies now run Returnship programmes for women who want to return to STEM after career breaks – like internships but for mature entrants who want to refresh their skills. So it’s a great time to start or get back into working in STEM and may even help to reverse the gender pay gap!"

Minimum Viable Divesity Pledge launched for speakers and panellists


Softwire Technology, Women in Engineering Society and the 30% Club have join forces to launch a pledge aimed at stamping out the lack of diversity in speaker lineups and panels at technology events.

The Minimum Viable Diversity Pledge aims to ensure that speakers are represented from marginalised groups, including women, people of colour, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

There are four pledges, for speakers, attendees, events themselves, and companies, so everybody can get involved:

  • Speaker: I will never speak at any paid conferences or panels as part of a homogeneous group of speakers.
  • Attendee: I will never attend any paid conferences or panels with a homogeneous group of speakers.
  • Event: We will never organise an event lineup or panel with a homogeneous group of speakers.
  • Company: We will never sponsor or organise paid conferences or panels with a homogeneous group of speakers, we will strongly encourage our employees not to attend or speak at such events, and we’ll support them in raising diversity concerns with events directly.

In the Minimum Viable Diversity pledge it explains: “Professional events need to be inclusive, by representing a diverse range of speakers. That way everybody can be involved with and inspired by the cutting edge of their field. Too many events though don't represent any diversity at all.

“We want to take concrete steps to fix this from the bottom up. We want to end totally homogeneous events, and we need your help.

A statement from Softwire Technology said: “Diversity matters at Softwire, and we want to do everything we can to improve this. Today with the help of the Women in Engineering Society and the 30% Club we’re launching a new initiative to take a concrete step forwards on event diversity.

The goal of the Minimum Viable Diversity Pledge is to totally stop the worst offenders for speaker diversity. By pledging, you’re committing to never actively supporting a paid event or panel that includes zero diversity whatsoever. This is a minimum bar, and we’d encourage people to go further, but the low bar is key.

The world we’re aiming for here is one where every event organiser gets at least two or three of their speakers accept their invite on the condition that there’s at least some diversity in their lineup, along with attendees checking there’ll be at least some diversity included before they buy tickets. Once that happens, you can’t run an event without thinking about diversity, and you can’t host a lineup filled with a range of identical voices without a few of them publically dropping out. This won’t solve diversity overnight, but does make life far more difficult for those who totally ignore it, and provides steady pressure on every event to actively put in at least a little effort towards this issue.”

You can sign the pledge here.

BCSWomen elects new chair

BCSWomen has announced the appointment of a new chair, Sarah Burnett, Vice President of Everest Group.
Sarah Burnett and Gillian Arnold

BCSWomen is the women’s arm of the British Computing Society (BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT).

During the recent BCSWomen AGM the previous chair, Gillian Arnold, stepped down. Arnold held the title of chair for five years, in which time BCSWomen was awarded the GEM trophy and held a successful Appathon, in addition to a long list of achievements including the BCSWomen calendars and e-book.

Burnett previously served as Deputy Chair, a position that has now been filled by Sharon Moore who runs BCSWomen Scotland.

On her new appointment Burnett said: “I would like to put my name forward for the chair of BCSWomen. I have been deputy chair since September 2012 working with Gillian Arnold and our committee on a variety of events and initiatives including the app-a-thon, the various annual women in IT campaigns, and working with Fujitsu to help it increase the number of women engineers in the organisation, among other things.

I am as passionate as ever about increasing the number of women in IT. My thoughts on how to continue to build on what Gillian and the committee have already achieved are:

  • Make BCSWomen a bigger initiative: I would aim to work with BCS to turn BCSWomen into a larger program – much like Tech UK’s Women in Tech Council. The aim would be to get more funding and administrative support to help with organising key initiatives in order to achieve specific goals each year, for example, helping a number of private sector companies make their recruitment policies female friendly. This will not replace all the wonderful voluntary work that we do and all the events that we organise but will be complementary to them. I realise it will require a lot of effort to achieve this objective but I will campaign for this tirelessly and will canvas influencers until it is done
  • Work with other BCS Groups: For example work with CAS to have more female tech role models speak at schools
    · Raise our profile nationally: Continue in Gillian’s footsteps to run big headline grabbing events to raise our profile nationally – to get media coverage
    · Member training and information: Make more training and information available and accessible to our members via, our web site, career and returner events and app-a-athons.

I would work collaboratively with the committee on all activity and in particular for ideas and suggestions on the strategy that I have outlined and to set the agenda for activities each year.

In my day job, I am a reasonably well-recognised IT industry analyst. As Vice President of Research at Everest Group, I serve our European clients across Everest Group’s global services research areas including IT and business processes services. I also lead Everest Group’s research on automation and artificial intelligence globally.

I have and continue to lead teams of people who are geographically dispersed, to work well together and deliver against objectives. I have worked in the industry for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, including in-house IT practitioner, outsourcing provider, and research analyst.

I contribute articles and comments to media, speak at corporate and industry events. I am also active in social media as a frequent blogger and Twitter user.”

Sarah Burnett

What the IT industry could learn from the rise of women in UK politics


Sarah Burnett, Vice President at Everest Group, and BCSWomen Deputy Chair, looks at what the IT industry could learn from the rise of women in UK politics.Sarah Burnett IT industry

The fact that Theresa May has been able to appoint seven women to the cabinet owes much to initiatives that encouraged women into politics supported at the highest executive level.

And of the 69 junior government and whips jobs announced this weekend, 15 went to women - at 22 per cent this is doing better than the number of senior tech jobs held by women (20 per cent), as found in the study by Mortimer Spinks with Computer Weekly, and lower than the near third of female appointments in the cabinet.

We are at a momentous turning point with Theresa May as a prime minister who is determined for this to be the start of women operating on a more even playing field and being role models to future generations.

We need the IT industry to learn from our leading politicians.

What has been our prime minister’s role in encouraging women to sit at the leadership table - and what can other industries learn from the changes we are seeing in politics?

Read what industries can learn and the rest of this article here.

IET promote lack of women in engineering with #9PercentIs NotEnough


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has drawn attention, this week, to the dire figure that only 9% of the engineering industry is made up of female workers.

Highlighting the stat through a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #9PercentIsNotEnough, ladies from the engineering sector shared pictures of themselves holding up their hand to represent a need to stop and take note of the lack of women in the industry.

The statistic was taken from the IET’s 2015 Skills & Demands from Industry survey.

Furthermore, a survey called Engineering UK 2015: The State of Engineering found that only 6% of registered engineers and technicians (i.e. CEng, IEng, EngTech) are women.

Below is a selection of the tweets from the campaign.

The IET will be holding its Achievement Awards at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on 16 November 2016. To find out more and register your place see here.