International Women's Day – saluting the top women in UK broadband today

International Women's Day – saluting the top women in UK broadband today

IWDIn honour of International Women’s Day today (8 March 2013), here is a quick nod to eight of the top women in the UK Broadband scene today.

**Update 14 March 2013**

We’ve got a couple of additions to the list that members of the broadband family have suggested we add to our IWD list. Firstly, Dana Pressman Tobak who is co-founder and MD at fibre-based ISP Hyperoptic and has an unshakeable vision for her company’s success, picking up Most Innovative Provider 2013 on the way. She was previously joint founder and MD of Be Un limited. Secondly, as CEO of BT Openreach, Liv Garfield has been long touted as one to watch in the corporate world, and has just joined the Tesco board as a non-executive director.

The original list

1. Rt Hon Maria Miller MP @Maria_MillerMP

Maria’s plan for British broadband as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport mixes a focus on speed and providing a widespread network: “Making sure there’s complete reach and making sure there’s ubiquitous access to high speed – that’s a real USP for Britain

2. Dido Harding, CEO, TalkTalk

Dido’s has made waves in her tenure as CEO at TalkTalk which started back in 2010, and she’s also done her bit to get more women into boardrooms.

3. Martha Lane Fox CBE @Marthalanefox

Soon to be Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, the UK’s Digital Champion and Chair of the great initiative Go ON UK, will be the youngest woman in the House of Lords. Her prolific career includes co-founding lastminute.com and Lucky Voice.

4. Helen Milner @helenmilner

Helen Milner is Chief Executive of Online Centres Foundation, the social enterprise that runs the UK online centres service. Helen leads great initiatives doing grass roots work to tackle digital exclusion, an issue we’ll be looking at throughout this year. Check out their #startsomethingonline hashtag on twitter for some inspiring stories.

5. Chi Onwurah MP @ChiOnwurah

A rising star in the opposition front benches, Chi Onwurah MP is vocal when it comes to broadband and telecommunications infrastructure issues. Before becoming MP for Newcastle Central in 2010, she was Head of Telecoms Technology at OFcom, with a focus on broadband provision. Read some of her recent views on broadband on her blog. She’s even done a report on women in technology careers especially for International Women’s Day.

6. Neelie Kroes @NeelieKroesEU

Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes has been the pivotal figure in pushing the 2020 Digital Agenda. Somewhat scuppered by last month’s budget cuts to the Connecting Europe Facility, Neelie is still ready to “fight even harder, to develop a more favourable European market for investment in broadband, fixed and wireless.”

7. Sophie Turner Laing @laingsop

The self confessed “Queen of Content”, Sky’s managing director of content has overall responsibility for Sky’s portfolio of entertainment and news channels.

8. Claire Perry MP @claire4devizes

Claire Perry MP was appointed the UK Government Advisor on Childhood last year, which covers the Child Internet Safety brief. In September 2012, she delivered a petition to No.10 asking for an “automatic block” on online porn, by which over-18s would have to contact their internet service providers if they wanted to access adult material. She’s been interviewed saying that leaving internet on at night is as reckless as leaving the front door unlocked.

Think we’ve left anyone out? Leave a comment or drop me a line on charlotte.holloway@broadbanduk.org

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  • Peter Shearman Reply

    An excellent list, Charlotte. I’d add Colette Bowe, Chair of Ofcom – she was previously involved with BSG in her role as chair of the then-Ofcom Consumer Panel. Liv Garfield is a good addition – a possible future BT CEO.

    The list does bring to light the scarcity of women in top roles in the telecommunications industry. This is an issue that is replicated throughout the tech sector. We need a continued push to encourage women in to the industry, and to promote more women to senior roles. The sector is leaving growth and profit on the table by not doing enough to get the most from half of the country’s workforce.

    March 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

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