Makers announces winners of 2021 Women in Software Power List

The winners of the 2021 Women in Software Power List have been announced by software training programme Makers.

Now in its third year, the 2021 list was launched in partnership with Google for Startups to showcase women who are making a difference in the software sector.

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Haylee Potts, events lead and head of diversity initiatives at Makers Academy, said: “The impact the pandemic has had on working women highlights the need for these awards. It’s not a pat on the back – we need to highlight individuals who inspire others and, crucially, we need to showcase the organisations taking the careers of the women in their teams seriously and doing everything they can to help them succeed, so that others in the industry can follow suit.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on women, who in many cases have had to shoulder the burden of childcare while remote schooling was in place.

Makers cited research by TrustRadius which found that women were twice as likely as men to lose their jobs or be furloughed during the pandemic, and 78% of women in tech feel they work harder to prove themselves in their roles than their male counterparts – making it even more important to highlight the women who are making a huge difference across the sector and paving the way for others in the future.

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Independent judges helped whittle the initial applications down to 20 women who are considered rising stars in the software sector across various industries and who have made a significant contribution to software development in the past 10 years.

The women on this year’s list, in no particular order, are:

  • Tobi Ajala, founder, TechTee
  • Rosie Allott, founder, Zivot
  • Roop Gill Axelsen, senior product manager, Charlotte Tilbury
  • Sabrina Castiglione, chief financial officer, Tessian
  • Sophia Chambers, software engineering manager, Sky
  • Yasmin Desai, senior product manager, Impala
  • Kim Diep, software engineer and tech coach, Tech Returners
  • Arfah Farooq , founder, Muslamic Makers
  • Anna Holland Smith, director of engineer development, Automattic
  • Sjoukje IJlstra, lead coding instructor, Code First Girls
  • Bianca Jemsten, full-stack software engineer, Stotles
  • Lauren O’Mara, software engineer, Spektrix
  • Esther Ogunmefun, junior software engineer (Android), comparethemarket
  • Mathilde Pind, application engineer, the LEGO Group
  • Jennifer Rose, product director, accuRx
  • Ella Schofield, engineering manager, Bloom & Wild
  • Amber Shand, junior software engineer, American Express
  • Hattie Smith, lead data scientist, Aviva
  • Sara Tateno, founder and CEO, Happity
  • Sophie Theen, chief customer officer, Oakam

This year also marked the second year that Makers ran its Changemakers list to recognise teams who have been involved in initiatives or projects with the aim of increasing diversity and inclusion in the tech sector.

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This year’s Women in Software Changemakers are:

The lack of diversity in the technology sector is an ongoing battle, with women making up about 17% of technology specialists in the UK, a figure that has grown by only around 1% over the last five years.

Initiatives such as the Makers Women in Software Power List and the Computer Weekly list of the most influential women in UK technology aim to make role models in the sector more visible and accessible to contribute towards encouraging others at all stages of the tech pipeline to consider a role in the sector.

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