Ada Lovelace Day: What top #womenintech want

It should not surprise you that when you email top women in London tech, many of them come back with polite and efficient ‘out-of-office’ replies from as far away as NYC and South Africa.

But, that’s often followed rather swiftly with exactly the information you need.

Had Ada Lovelace been alive today she might well despair at the 50, 100, 200 emails she might be expected to reply to every single day.

She could actually be about to come up with the ultimate email killer app – or have at least earned herself an assistant.

Email overload did not feature in the top things that our top #womenintech would change today, but here’s what they do want in the bicentennial year of the world’s first computer programmer.

On gender…

“Get more people (men or women) doing more of the doing (and less of the talking) to get more women in tech. There’s a lot of support that’s being given to this initiative right now, which I’m thankful for. Let’s not let these efforts slide!”

says Gen Ashley, director, Women Who Code London

@coderinheels @wwclondon

“To have more female role models going into schools to inspire and motivate our girls to study maths, engineering and science.”

says Janet Coyle, Silicon Valley Comes to the UK

@janetcoyle2 @svc2uk

“More women is my wish!!!”

says Dr Sue Black, mentor at BBC3 series ‘Girls Can Code’, founder of #techmums

@Dr_Black @SavvyTechmums

On business…

“If I could change one thing, we as a tech community would place higher value on having a positive impact on the world – on companies, on people, on society. ‘Impact investing’ would just be called investing.

“Sometimes it feels like our role models and heroes are skewed toward companies that have tremendous brand awareness and have managed to get money out of people, but not necessarily bringing true value.”

says Jess Williamson, director of the Techstars Barclays Accelerator, fuelled by broccoli

@jessinblue @Techstars

“Probably the thing I would like to change is that that the technology is still attributed more value than strong design, UX or marketing.

“The reality is, you can sell a vision and a brand and user flow WAY before you’ve built a single piece of technology or typed a line of code.”

says Victoria Albrecht, cofounder of Food Startup School and London’s first Food Tech Week 

@victoria_c_a  @FoodTechWeek

On skills…

“From me – and I would say this – but I want a concerted effort to tackle the skills shortage. It’s a no brainer.

“The tech industry is built on open source collaboration. Can we not apply that same methodology to organise action across the industry to train up the new talent we need?”

says Jess Tyrrell, director of the Centre for London think tank’s Connecting Tech City skills project

@JessTyrr @centreforlondon

“For me it’s as follows… The one thing I would change in tech is the assumption that to work in the industry you have to be mathematical!

“It’s such a varied industry, with no hard line between creative and technical. So lots of opportunities in tech for everyone, whatever your skill set.”

says Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls

@amali_d @CodeFirstGirls

“I’d love for the wider population to understand that tech is not just geeky web developers, tech is digital, and anyone can be part of it.”

says Lora Schellenberg, London marketing lead, General Assembly

@lschells7 @ga_london

On community…

“We’re all about community and people helping each other out. It’s great when people who become successful give back to the community through mentorship or speaking at events.

“Having success stories continuing to lead by example – by creating awesome company cultures, sharing how they did it, what they struggled with along the way – is definitely a benefit to all.

“There are some examples of this happening but it would be good to see more of it.”

Vicky Hunter, head of operations and community at 3beards

@VickyHunter24 @3_Beards

“I would change the way hackers are seen and the overall way the word ‘hacking’ is used. Super annoying how the misinformed media portrays the skill; and everyone fears what they don’t understand.”

says Jennifer Arcuri, certified ethical hacker and founder of Innotech

@Jennifer_Arcuri @InnotechLive