Inspiring Fifty UK award – influential women in tech announced

Inspiring Fifty UK: Karen Blackett OBE, Country Manager, WPP, CEO, GroupM

The Inspiring Fifty UK awards, hosted by accelerateHER, has announced 50 trailblazing winners of this year’s contest. 

Female co-founders and founders of dynamic, fast growth start-ups were amongst the winning 50 including Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder & CEO of food sharing app OLIO and Melinda Nicci, sports psychologist founder and CEO of Baby2Body, the health and wellbeing coaching app for pregnancy and motherhood.

The Inspiring Fifty awards exist to spotlight women excelling in technology careers across the UK and take place at London Tech Week, the largest and most influential tech event in Europe, from 20th – 24th September.

The Inspiring Fifty are important role models for encouraging more girls and women in technology, as well as inspiring future leaders and entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps. 

Supporters of Inspiring Fifty, both men and women, champion women and minorities in tech and value the positive impact that increased diversity has on everything from business growth and innovation to culture and productivity.

Says Elka Goldstein, Interim co-CEO at accelerateHER:

 “We are delighted to announce such an impressive array of winners for this year’s Inspiring Fifty UK competition. The judges were blown away by the calibre of entries. It is fantastic to see so many inspirational women excelling in their fields and increasing gender diversity in technology businesses.

“Becoming more inclusive is essential for the tech industry to thrive and evolve. Inspiring Fifty highlights just how many women are the backbone of UK tech businesses today and through this competition we seek to raise awareness of these incredible women that are driving change.”

Adds Natalia Pawlak, COO, MY WARDROBE HQ, COO & Co-Founder, MY VENTURES:

“To be listed alongside such accomplished women is humbling and I’m very grateful to be considered a winner of this year’s Inspiring Fifty. It is a privilege to chosen and I’m delighted to be amongst game-changing women who are not afraid to push boundaries and help make women role models more visible in what is a very male-dominated and hugely competitive sector.”

Natalia Pawlak, COO, MY WARDROBE HQ, COO & Co-Founder, MY VENTURES

Inspiring Fifty UK winners 2021

1. Mei Chen, Director, Head of Fashion & Luxury, Alibaba Group

2. Karen Blackett OBE, Country Manager, WPP, CEO, GroupM

3. Dr Larissa Suzuki, Data/AI Practice Lead UKI, Google Cloud

4. Linda Knutsen, Division Head, Exploration, Defence Science & Technology Laboratory

5. Sheree Atcheson, Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Valtech

6. May Al-Karooni, CEO & Founder, Globechain

7. Mikela Druckman, CEO & Co-Founder, Greyparrot

8. Melissa Di Donato, Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Management Board, SUSE

9. Kathleen Breitman, Co-Founder, Tezos

10. Tessa Clarke, Co-Founder & CEO, OLIO

11. Yodit Stanton, CEO & Founder, OpenSensors

12. Priya Guha MBE, Venture Partner, Merian Ventures, Member of InnovateUK Council

13. Sherry Coutu CBE, Serial Entrepreneur, Mother, Non-Executive Director, Investor and Philanthropist

14.  Maria Pasquale, Co-Founder, UpSpark

15. Tanya Suarez, Founder & CEO, IoT Tribe & BluSpecs

16. Dr. Verena Rieser, Co-Founder & Head of NLP, ALANA AI

17. Natalia Pawlak, COO, MY WARDROBE HQ, COO & Co-Founder, MY VENTURES

18. Kayleigh Oliver, Founder & Developer, Junction 5 Studios

19. Dr Marzia Bolpagni, Head of BIM International – Associate Director, Mace Group

20. Melinda Nicci, CEO, Founder & Chair, Body Collective Group

21. Triin Linamagi, Co-Founder, Sie Ventures

22. Dr Bhavagaya Bakshi, General Practitioner, Obama Leader, Co-Founder & CEO, C the Signs

23. Ana Bakshi, Executive Director, Oxford Foundry, University of Oxford

24. Sonali De Rycker, Partner, Accel

25. Rita Martins, FinTech Partnerships Lead, HSBC

26. Marta Jasinska, CTO, Bloom & Wild

27. Rachel Murphy, CEO, Difrent

28. Marija Butkovic, Founder & CEO, Women of Wearables, Forbes contributor

29. Saswati Saha Mitra, Research Leader, WhatsApp

30. Evelyn Ngatia, Founder & CEO, TechaWatt Ltd

31. Tanu Chellam, VP Product, Seldon, Chair of the Board of Directors, Rosetta Digital

32. Stephanie Eltz, CEO & Co-Founder, Doctify

33. Rebecca Sparrow, Delivery Director, Centrica

34. Hera Hussain, Founder & CEO, Chayn

35. Dee Saigal, CEO & Creative Director, Erase All Kittens

36. Alison Loehnis, President, Luxury & Fashion, NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER and THE OUTNET

37. Rashmy Chatterjee, CEO, ISTARI

38. Tania Boler, CEO & Founder, Elvie

39. Chloe Macintosh, Founder & CEO, Kama

40. Eshita Kabra, Founder & CEO, By Rotation

41. Sonya Barlow, CEO & Founder, LMF Network

42. Katie Grosvenor, Head of Sales, Buy Side, Northern Europe, IAS

43. Yin Noe, CEO & Co-Founder, Savium

44. Renee Watson, Founder & Head of Explosions, The Curiosity Box

45. Chantal Epp, Founder & CEO, ClicknClear

46. Sophie Neary, Group Director, Facebook UK & Ireland

47. Anushka Sharma, Founder, Naaut, Co-Founder, London Space Network

48. Sarah Jane Thomson, CEO & Founder,, CEO, First News, Director, Priority One IT Limited

49. Dr Devaki Bhatta, Co-Founder and Director, multiple healthtech/agritech startups

50. Cathy McCabe, Co-Founder & CEO Proximity Insight, Board Member for AIOTI, & Quantum Industry Consortium

Chris Price