From flight and hotel upgrades to the licensing of Instagram photos, here's how Scotland's successful women in tech are changing the digital landscape
Although women remain a minority in the technology sector, holding just 24% of computer science jobs and occupying roughly 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley, change is on the horizon as a growing number of initiatives are encouraging women to enter this typically male-dominated field.
In Scotland, progress is swiftly underway. Research shows that a record number of females are joining the tech industry. For instance, analysis of the ONS Annual Population Survey shows that the number of women in tech rose from 18% to 23.4% between 2016 and 2018.
With events such as Women in Tech Scotland, the future is bright for Scottish women in technology. Those listed here have made a name for themselves in the industry and are in a strong position to inspire others to join them.
Network with other innovators in your field at Women in Tech Scotland, taking place 3rd September 2019 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)
Melinda Matthews-Clarkson – CEO of CodeClan
Melinda Matthews-Clarkson has spent her 25 year career as a leader in technology. She is currently the CEO of CodeClan where she leverages her strong business skills and passion for people to drive growth into the Scottish digital economy. As Scotland's award-winning digital skills academy, CodeClan's mission is to bridge the ever-increasing skills gap.
She has held roles as a VP of Sales, Global Executive of Business Development and Enablement, Director of Marketing, and VP of Alliances and Partnerships. Her 'can do' attitude is focused on bringing offerings to the marketplace and, as a VP at IBM, she focused on e-Commerce, Supply Chain Management, Digital Marketing, Customer Experience and the Internet of Things (Smarter Cities).
Melinda lives in Edinburgh, Scotland and is a dual citizen of the USA and Great Britain. She is a board member for the charity Smart Works that focuses on assisting women back into the workforce.
Catch Melinda's Women in Tech Scotland session 'Planning, Energy, and Perspective' at 09:30 on 3rd September 2019.
Vicky Brock – CEO and Co-Founder of Vistalworks
Vicky Brock is a serial entrepreneur who recently co-founded her 5th technology company, the consumer protection software startup Vistalworks. The business works to keep online shoppers safe from harm by providing a simple query tool to check a product or seller URL before buying – it will tell you if the product is fake, illicit, or dangerous.
Before developing this data technology, she founded Clear Returns, named 'Top Tech Startup in Europe' by the European Commission, which produced software to understand and reduce the return rates of large retailers.
Vicky was named Scotland’s 'Most Inspiring Business Person' at the 2017 Entrepreneurial Scotland Awards, won 'Innovator of the Year' at the 2014 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards, was included by Forbes.com as one of its 9 'Top Female Tech CEOs to Watch', and named by Computer Weekly as one of its 'Top 50 Women in IT'. She is an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland and regularly talks about technology and startups on TV and Radio.
Catch Vicky chairing our Women in Tech Scotland event on 3rd September 2019.
Sarah Stenhouse – CEO and Founder of Oodls
Sarah Stenhouse is the CEO and Founder of Edinburgh-based startup Oodls – an online marketplace for finding and licensing real-time Instagram images and videos. The company works with Instagrammers, brands, and other businesses all over the global to provide user-generated content. Oodls is the perfect solution to boring stock photos. Clients include RBS and VisitBritain, and Sarah's business even secured £243,000 in funding from Equity Gap, Gabriel, and Scottish Investment to help fulfil her vision.
The entrepreneur has more than five years’ experience working in digital marketing and previously worked within Scotland’s most successful advertising agency. Her specialisms include data analysis, content creation, social media strategy, web development, project management and community management.
Catch Sarah's Women in Tech Scotland session 'Your Role in Changing the Techie Stereotype' at 12:10 on 3rd September 2019.
Jo Watts – Founder of Effini
Jo Watts founded Effini, a data science company, in 2017 with the aim of making data accessible to everyone. The company helps other businesses develop and deliver their data strategies whilst building data skills across the board, from school children to practising data scientists. Services include data and GDPR audits.
Jo started her data journey with a PhD in Astrophysics and, after a brief spell as a software engineer, moved into the financial services sector for the next 15 years. She has covered a breadth of data roles from risk model development, to systems implementation, data governance, and analytics leadership. She also sits on the board of The Datalab.
Catch Jo's Women in Tech Scotland session 'Data Skills for the Future' at 14:20 on 3rd September 2019.
Urchana Moudgil – Co-Founder and COO of Upgrade Pack
Urchana Moudgil is Co-Founder and COO at Upgrade Pack, the fast-growing tech scaleup that’s transforming how flight and hotel upgrades work, whilst providing innovative companies with a unique way to reward their best customers and employees.
Successfully raising more than £1.6m through angel investment and crowdfunding within the company’s first year of operation, Urchana is now leading its expansion. As someone who is passionate about championing diversity and inclusion in finance and technology – both traditionally male-dominated environments – these values were instrumental when establishing Upgrade Pack. A board-level commitment to a 50/50 gender split is just one way in which this has occurred.
A qualified accountant, Urchana has held senior finance roles in some of the world’s leading communications and strategy consultancies – including Shine Communications and Teneo (formerly Blue Rubicon), most recently as a Finance Director.
Alongside comprehensive financial management, she has led numerous complex business change projects during her career, from building and scaling teams to establishing international offices. Her rare skills combination of shrewd financial management, operational scaling, and eye for process and detail make her the perfect COO for Upgrade Pack.
Catch Urchana's Women in Tech Scotland session 'What Angel Investors Want' at 12:10 on 3rd September 2019.
Toni Scullion – Founder of dressCode
dressCode is a non-profit charity founded with the aim of closing the gender gap in Computing Science. The organisation offers many opportunities to young girls in technology. For instance, secondary schools that sign up get free access to a pupil portal with pick up and play resources that aim to introduce girls to games design. Projects include scratch, web development, and cybersecurity – with app development coming soon!
The company also runs hackathons in tech companies, bringing pupils out to workspaces where they can complete a challenge using code. Each team gets assigned a senior girl mentor who supports them throughout the day. This is an excellent platform to show girls what potential opportunities there are for them. It also creates the chance for the girls to interact with role models working in tech.
As the founder of charity dressCode and a Computing Science teacher, Toni Scullion is extremely passionate about getting more girls into the technology sector. Toni was a panel speaker for 'Tackling the Technology Gender Gap Together 2017', 'Scottish Women in Technology Secondary Teacher of the Year 2018', 'Cybersecurity Teacher of the Year 2017' and 'Champion of Champions'.
Read more about Toni's journey in our Q&A with here: 'There is a complete disconnect between this exciting sector and school education': Q&A with Toni Scullion, Founder @ dressCode.
Catch Toni's Women in Tech Scotland session 'Inspiring the Next Generation and Increasing Access to Scottish Talent' at 14:20 on 3rd September 2019.
Leah Hutcheon – Founder and CEO of Appointedd
Appointedd provides a cutting-edge, online booking and scheduling solution. This award-winning technology is trusted by enterprises across multiple industries to create omni-channel booking journeys that positively affect conversion, UX, operational efficiencies and revenue.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Appointedd empowers some of the world's most trusted brands from Marks & Spencer and Mamas & Papas, to one of the Big Four accounting firms, to transform service offerings into bookable experiences. Their technology enables people to book online, at any time, from any device, in any time zone.
Catch Leah's Women in Tech Scotland session 'Changing How We View the Next Gen of Women in Tech' at 12:45 on 3rd September 2019.
Secure your spot among these female tech innovators today and join us at Women in Tech Scotland.
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