Who's headlining today's Women in Tech Festival UK 2019?

Holly Brockwell
clock • 4 min read

And what can they teach you?

Every tech festival has a huge list of speakers and panellists, impressive and interesting in their own right. But honestly, we all want to know who the biggest names are. In other words, who's headlining?

Here's a quick introduction to our host and our three headliners for the Women in Tech Festival, plus why you won't want to miss a minute of their talks.

Our host: Viv Groskop

The Women in Tech Festival 2019 will be hosted by the brilliant Viv Groskop, comedian and author of How to Own the Room, plus host of the popular podcast of the same name.

She'll be giving an interactive presentation about how inspirational women get the world to sit up, pay attention and really hear what they're saying. She'll cover everyone from Virginia Woolf to Michelle Obama via Joan River, pointing out their signature techniques and explaining how you can use them for your own benefit.

Viv has spent years coaching senior executive women, as well as hosting book tours for the likes of Jo Brand, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. She's been taking one-woman shows to the Edinburgh Fringe for half a decade, and has written books including The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature, and of course How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking. Right now, she's working on the next one, called Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature.

You might also have seen her on The Week on BBC 1, and presenting Front Row and Saturday Review on BBC Radio 4. Her talk will begin at 9.20am.

Headliner: Anne-Marie Imafidon

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE is the Co-Founder of Stemettes, which -in the unlikely event you haven't heard the name - is a multi-award-winning social enterprise that encourages girls into careers in STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths).

Dr Imafidon earned her Masters' degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford at the age of just 20, and went on to win the Barclays UK ‘Woman of the Year' award among many others. She's frequently listed in compilations of the brightest and most influential tech stars in the world, and received her MBE in the 2017 New Year's Honours for services to young women and STEM sectors.

Anne-Marie's keynote speech will take you through the journey from the bottom to the top of tech, working for companies including Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard and Deutsche Bank on the way. She's given brilliant talks at huge festivals including SXSW and Founders Forum, and now brings her inspiring brand of tech activism to the Women in Tech Festival.

You'll come away with tactics and strategies you can use to climb the ladder in tech, ways to lay a path to your dream career and insights from the stumbles Dr Imafidon made along the way. This will undoubtedly be one of the most popular talks of the day, so make sure you're comfortably seated for the kickoff at 9.50am.

Headliner: Angelique Vu

Software engineer and co-chair of Financial Times Women UK, Angelique specialises in publishing software and content management systems for newsrooms. This focus has put her at the heart of the news industry for the past decade.

Having moved over from the art world, Angelique was surprised to find how few women there are in tech when she transitioned into software development at the Financial Times. As a result, she founded FT Women UK, which she still co-chairs, and has spearheaded several other initiatives aimed at getting more women to join and stay in the industry.

Angelique's headline speech is titled Entering the tech industry, and covers how to identify transferable skills from other roles to help you make the move into tech. She'll also discuss how we get women into a wider range of tech roles, how we can improve education around the jobs available in tech now and in the future and how to choose which qualifications to take when the future is ever-changing. Her talk starts at 4pm.

Headliner: Natasha Sayce-Zelem

Head of Technology at Sky, Natasha's talk will be happening at the same time as Angelique Vu's - so you'll need to choose between them. Tough call!

Natasha heads up technology for Sky's huge Digital Service sector, but she's also the founder of Leeds' Ladies Of Code group as well as being on the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Leeds' School of Computing. If that wasn't enough prestige, she's been named one of the top 100 women in tech for founding the national Empowering Women With Tech initiative, which has welcomed more than 1,000 people to its educational events and mentoring scheme.

Meanwhile, The Times' named Sky as one of the top 50 employers for women.

Natasha's talk will discuss why human or 'soft' skills are every bit as important as the 'hard' skills, aka the technical stuff. The title - Anything but FLUFFY - refers to the fact that while they might be called 'soft,' human skills aren't some woolly nice-to-have attributes. They're actually vital, especially considering the skills shortage in tech right now.

Natasha will also cover personal development, especially outside work, and how we improve inclusivity in tech.

Decided which talks you most want to see? Grab your tickets for the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019 here.

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