Anne-Marie Imafidon Named Most Influential Woman In Tech For 2020


Anne-Marie Imafidon has been named the most influential woman in the UK’s tech industry for 2020. The honour, which was given out by ComputerWeekly saw her take number one place ahead of 49 other candidates as part of their annual countdown. This distinction also comes a year after she placed second behind the 2019 winner Debbie Forster.

Upon receiving her award she expressed both gratitude and surprise at her triumph before acknowledging the importance of the award for providing a platform to a variety of nominees since it's 2014 inception.

Imafidon's victory is evidence of her continued excellence within the tech world, and during her speech, she admitted to the process having brought her to the realization that she wasn't 'so unique'. While some may have otherwise been deterred by this, Imafidon used the moment to both acknowledge and encourage the 'Anne Marie's' within and outside the industry. Her three points of encouragement were:

  1. That they belong
  2. That they influence 'more than they can appreciate'
  3. That they are brilliant

She added that these were all 'fundamental things which can't be changed' which In her case also included her background as a young, black woman from East London. Her comment, was made in the broader context of those who like her, had failed to fit the 'one narrow definition of success' in which women may encounter in their industries.

Work still to be done

Her comment is especially timely given the relatively slow pace at which the tech industry has changed to reflect female as well as minority influence. Imafidon spoke of fitting outside this narrow definition as both a black person and a female and though BAME is certainly not interchangeable with black, the available statistics suggest that on the whole individuals from a 'BAME' background are still underrepresented, accounting for less than a fifth of all UK tech workers.

This imbalance is also apparent for women within the Tech Industry and is best highlighted within positions of leadership where women make up just 12.6% of board members and 16.6% of Senior Executives. This is compounded by the fact that 65% of boards in the top tech firms have no female directors, with a similar showing (75%) when considering individuals from a 'BAME' background, according to analysis from Inclusive Tech.

Nonetheless, while this is reflective of the field as a whole, Anne-Marie's achievement is more than merited. The once child prodigy who passed her A-Levels in Mathematics and Computer Science at the age of 11, and at 19 became the youngest ever Masters graduate from Oxford has long been a high achiever. Her social enterprise group Stemettes has also helped bridge the back for young girls making their way into the tech industry. She has also had a markedly successful career across a number of established firms including Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard and Deutsche Bank

To close her winning speech she thanked those who had helped open doors for her and the 'Anne-Marie's' as well as those that had come before her. All in all, It was a speech displaying great perspective from the 2020 Tech woman of the year.

Mayowa Ayodele


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