Programme List - Women in Tech Festival UK



Registration and breakfast

Delegates register, network and breakfast in Connections Area


Welcome speech and opening remarks

Viv Groskop, Comedian and Author of How to Own the Room


Mindfulness in a nutshell

Hannah Loveday, Mindfulness Consultant and Yoga Teacher, Yogaloveday

This introductory session by expert Hannah Loveday looks at the health benefits of mindfulness and some of the science behind it. We live in a culture which is ‘always on' and juggling work responsibilities and family duties with a hectic social life can often be a challenge. Meditation, breathing exercises and other mindfulness practices are rapidly becoming recognised in the West as some of the cheapest and most effective ways of maintaining a healthy mind and therefore improving physical health too. Touching upon the negative effects of technology and the many mental health issues today that mindfulness can alleviate, delegates will also be guided through a practical exercise to help quiet the mind.


Inspirational Act: How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

Viv Groskop, Comedian and Author of How to Own The Room

In this interactive presentation on the speaker skills of a variety of brilliant women from Michelle Obama to JK Rowling, Viv Groskop will pinpoint exactly what it is that these women do to get their audience to sit up and really listen - and then advise you how to apply their qualities to your own life.

From Michelle Obama's position of 'happy high status' and Hilary Clinton's stillness, to Joan River's wild gesticulations and Virginia Woolf's melodic storytelling, there'll be so much to take away from Viv's analysis of how these great women have captured our attention when they speak. Plus lots of achievable tips and exercises. As a stand-up and author of bestselling book and hit podcast How to Own the Room, Viv draws on her experience of coaching senior executive women, plus five years of one-woman shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and hosting book tours for Graham Norton, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Jo Brand. 


Headliner: Insight on the journey from the bottom to the top

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Co-Founder, Stemettes 

In her keynote, Anne-Marie will cover tactics and strategies she's used to get to her unique position in the tech industry. In a bid to inspire the audience and empower them to be great leaders in their own organisations and beyond. Expect to get a new perspective on building your dream career path, and some pertinent lessons learnt.


Refreshments and Networking in Connections Area

Next Gen Stage


What I Learned About Networking From The Taliban

Emma Dutton MBE, Managing Director, Applied Influence Group

We all appreciate the value of networking when done right and strategically - it can be a game changer for our careers and can create huge opportunities for our businesses. But, to do it well, it requires us to meet the right person at the right time and have the right conversation - so, what opportunities are we leaving on the table when we don't?

Emma spent her 20s face to face with members of the Taliban, would-be-suicide bombers and smugglers on military intelligence operations, leading teams to collect life-saving information. She now leads the Applied Influence Group, a specialist influence consultancy, and works with some of the biggest tech businesses in the world to overcome their toughest influence challenges. The learnings from Afghanistan when influencing the Taliban are remarkably useful for networking in business - Emma will share her story and key takeaways to make you a more effective networker immediately.

11.15– 11.35

Moving up to middle management

Helen Gidney, Infrastructure Design Manager, Softcat Plc
  • How to take the ‘next’ step.
  • Using examples of every-day life to demonstrate your managerial capabilities.
  • Smashing the glass ceiling without jumping through hoops.
  • How to challenge boundaries to climb the corporate ladder.
11.40– 12.20

Panel Discussion: Balancing the scales of life

Gill Holloway, EMEA Director of Operations, Insight
Anne McMunn, Professor of Social Epidemiology, University College London

Tripta Kershaw, Head of Portfolio, Programmes and Project Delivery, Hermes
Sofy Richards, Senior Digital Manager, Prev. EE/BT
Moderator: Diane Mullenex, Global Head of Telecom, Gaming and Gambling Practices, Pinsent Masons
  • Striking a balance between work-life, home-life and the sacrifices being made.
  • How to manage the unpredictable and demanding expectations of the tech industry.
  • How can companies create a culture that enables you to look after yourself.
12.25– 12.55


Hosts: Gemma Bloemen, Chief Operating Officer, Elder
David Clues, Talent Acquisition, HP Inc. UK Ltd
Andjela Djukanovic, Analyst, KPMG
Deborah Kelly, Membership Manager, WISE
Madiha Khan, Channel Development & Partner Manager Cloud Economics, Microsoft
Liem Le, Co-founder and CEO, Little Lion
Sofy Richards, Senior Digital Manager, Prev. EE/BT
Aubrey Stearn, Chief Technology Officer, Nationwide Digital Accelerator Platform

Delegates are invited to join one of two roundtable discussions. These will be set up and hosted across our streams so feel free to join the one you're most interested in. 

Gender bias - human element

  • How can the language used in job applications be less tailored towards men?
  • What benefits should you be advertising to be more gender neutral?
  • What barriers need to be changed to help encourage women to progress in their careers?
  • Does your interview technique need a rehaul?

Inspirational Leaders Stage

10.50– 11.10

Building and supporting your A-Team

Anusha Nirmalananthan, Head of Growth, Data Products Division, Just Eat
  • How to build and maintain a highly motivated team.
  • Ensuring you’re supporting your team both professionally and personally.
  • Being approachable from above and below.
11.15– 11.35

“We were on a break!”

Jodie Carroll, HR Director, TechData
  • What is the best way to present a career break?  
  • Keeping up with technological changes whilst you’ve been away.
  • Advocating flexible working to support returners.
11.40– 12.20

Panel Discussion: Millennials: what, where, why, how?

Zaynah Din, Digital Marketing Apprentice, Facebook
Andjela Djukanovic, Analyst, KPMG

Santa Keirane, Junior Risk Analyst, Financial Times
Freya MacLachlan, Product Owner, Aviva
Moderator: Sophie Adelman, Co-Founder and President, WhiteHat
  • What enticed these young women into the technology industry?
  • What are the biggest challenges they faced?  
  • Their most and least favourite elements of their current roles.
  • How to stand out as an employer to the upcoming generation.
12.25– 12.55


Hosts: Graeme Burton, Group News Editor - Enterprise IT, Incisive Media Gemma Carver, Director of Digital Innovation, Pentland Brands
Myrto Lalacos, Partnerships and Network Manager, and Director, L Marks and AccelerateME
Connie Li, Head of Solutions IT, Pentland Brands
Vanessa Lovatt, Founder, Time 4 Equality
Sarah Meares, Senior Manager, Azure Customer Success, Microsoft
Anusha Nirmalananthan, Head of Growth, Data Products Division, Just Eat
Didem Un Ates, Senior Director, AI Customer & Partner Engagement, Microsoft
Sara Yirrell, Consulting Editor, CRN & Channel Partner Insight
Nicola Whiting, Chief Strategy Officer, Titania

Delegates are invited to join one of two roundtable discussions. These will be set up and hosted across our streams so feel free to join the one you're most interested in. 

Tech team diversity

  • How can men and women collaborate to improve diversity in the industry?
  • What successful programmes have companies been implementing?
  • Where are the key failings of diversity in the industry, and how can it be over-come?

Industry Innovation Stage

10.50– 11.10

The heart of the technical revolution

Sabrina Castiglione, Chief Financial Officer, Tessian
  • Why is it vital for women to be at the heart of the technical revolution?
  • How can we encourage women to become more involved in established technology, in addition to emerging tech?
  • Potential pitfalls if women do not adopt a central role.
11.15– 11.35

Code Today, Shape Tomorrow

Anisah Osman Britton, CEO, 23 Code Street
  • Understanding what coding is and the trends we are currently seeing.
  • How coding is shaping every industry and the challenges that we need to solve.
  • How to be part of the future.
11.40 – 12.20

Panel Discussion: Ready, set, start-up!

Gemma Bloemen, Chief Operating Officer, Elder
Julie Fedele, Founder, TwoFeetIn
Myrto Lalacos, Partnerships and Network Manager, and Director, L Marks and AccelerateME
Kike Oniwinde, Co-Founder and CEO, BYP Network
Moderator: Sukhi Jutla, Co-Founder and COO, MarketOrders
  • Exploring opportunities to create a start-up within your employer's organisations.
  • How to build and maintain highly motivated teams.
  • How to set up and drive your own organisation.
  • Creating time to fit your start-up around your life.
12.25 – 12.55


Delegates are invited to join one of two roundtable discussions. These will be set up and hosted across our streams so feel free to join the one you're most interested in. 

Please view other streams to discover our round-table topics. 

12.55– 14.10

Extended lunch with ‘building your network’ session

During this lunch session delegates will be invited to join a speed-networking session. This will be 30 minutes of 5 minute intervals – we recommend talking to a variety of industries and seniority levels. The session is designed to address some of the following areas:

  • How to navigate the challenges of traditional networking.
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with supportive connections.
  • Building a network inside and outside your organisation.

14.15– 14.45

Ask Me Anything Session

Emma Dutton MBE, Managing Director, Applied Influence Group
Cassandra Glavin, Head of IT Business Management, Thames Water
Fiona Macaulay, Head of Global Delivery, Mars
Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology and Product Officer, BBC Design and Engineering
Moderator: Stuart Sumner, Editorial Director, Computing and Delta

In this session delegates will be given the opportunity to ask our panellists any question they would like answered. Delegates will be given an opportunity to send questions in prior to the event, but there will also be a limited opportunity to submit questions on the day. This is a great chance to ask a question that may feel too awkward to ask at work, or perhaps you’ve not felt confident enough to ask before. The topic can be on any subject, but please do be respectful to the panellists and other delegates.

14.50 - 15.30


During this session mentors and mentees will pair together to discuss the challenges both are facing. Whilst not limited to the following, it will provide an opportunity for 'next generation' to seek guidance on their careers, and for 'inspirational leaders' to seek guidance on how best to support their teams. We recommend pairing with someone at a different level to you. Introduction from CWJobs will provide insight on the following:

Can female role models drive diversity in tech?

Bonnie Andrews, Head of Product, CWJobs
  • How female role models can inspire more women to join tech
  • Why it is important to tap into female tech talent
  • Actionable ways to promote diversity within tech

15.30- 15.55

Refreshments and networking break

16.00– 16.20

Entering the tech industry

Angelique Vu, Software Engineer and Co-Chair, Financial Times Women UK
  • Emboldening young women to identify their transferable skills to find an entry point into tech.
  • How can education regarding roles within the industry be improved?
  • How to encourage women into a broader spectrum of technology roles.
  • What qualifications should you be aiming for, and how much of an impact will they have?

Anything but FLUFFY - why human skills are crucial in Tech

Natasha Sayce-Zelem, Head of Technology, Sky (Digital Service)

Tech as an industry focuses a lot on hiring for ‘hard skills' i.e. the technical skills. Don't get Natasha wrong, she totally understands why. However this neglects a keen focus on the soft skills which is an unfortunate label because these skills are anything but fluffy.

With the skills shortages that the industry is facing, we need to have more of an inclusivity pivot to the potential that candidates with great soft skills offer, whilst also looking at the benefits that a non-linear background also brings to a team.

Natasha is also going to discuss her take on personal development. Rather than just focusing on objectives in work, she's gained a huge amount by creating things outside of work that take her well and truly out of her comfort zone and also hopefully do good too. Natasha wants to inspire you to do the same.


Closing remarks

16.30- 18.30

Drinks reception and networking with surprise entertainment

Please note: programme is subject to change