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Role models are an important part of making sure the future generation is encouraged to pursue a role in the technology sector, whether that role exists now or is yet to be created.
But sometimes it can be hard to see the path to greatness – while the women featured in Computer Weekly’s list of the top 50 women in UK technology, these women are already influential, and although they are amazing role models, it can be difficult to map out a career that will lead to the same position 10 or more years down the line.
Each year, alongside this top 50 list, Computer Weekly asks its judges to suggest Rising Stars who are starting their journey towards a possible place in the top 50 in the future, and who represent the future of the tech sector.
The Rising Stars category was introduced in 2014 as a way to increase the number of women showcased as industry role models.
This year’s Rising Stars are:
Harry is founder and CEO of HACE, an organisation that uses data to reduce child labour. There is often unknown child labour in businesses’ supply chains, so HACE collects and uses datasets about communities to determine where and why child labour may be used, helping businesses to then reduce their involvement.
As well as HACE, Harry is a regular public speaker and has in the past won an Everywoman in Tech Award.
Isabel Oakley Chapman
Already prolific in the diversity and inclusion space, Oakley Chapman is currently the director of Power2Connect, a company launched in the Covid-19 lockdowns to help families in the Wandsworth area to participate in home schooling during the pandemic.
In the past, she was the head of operations for #techmums, Sue Black’s project aimed at helping mothers become more comfortable using technology.
Gabrielle-Chapman is very transparent about how she hires diverse technology talent into ManyPets, where she is head of talent acquisition and inclusion.
Using her 15 years’ experience with talent, this transparency as the organisation scales could help pave the way for diverse hiring for other tech-driven organisations in the future.
Opal first broke into the tech world as part of a Code First: Girls cohort, leading her to become a DevOps engineer at Dropbox.
Alongside her work at Dropbox, Opal advocates for, and writes about, neurodiversity in the technology sector in her role as a member of the co-production board for Neurodiversity in Business.
Patel founded, and is chair of, network Women in Tech Scotland, which aims to reduce the skills gap for women working in tech in Scotland.
In her day job, she is the social manager for tech firm Leidos, where she helps develop the company’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability approaches.
Elvie, part of the “femtech” sector, develops smart technology for women, including Kegel trainers and breast pumps. It is headed up by Boler, who founded the company in 2013 to address women’s health issues that are often taboo.
Scullion is a serial founder, having founded dressCode, a not-for-profit that encourages young women in Scotland to consider a career in computer science, and co-founded the Ada Scotland Festival, which aims to use collaboration to close the gender gap in computer science education in Scotland.
These endeavours stem from her being a computer science teacher passionate about encouraging more children to take the subject.