Belfast-based Women Who Code UK founder makes Computer Weekly Top 50

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  • Sheree Atcheson, the founder of Women Who Code across the UK, has been named in the Top 50 of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK Technology.

    The highly respected list recognises those who have helped to increase the number of females working in the technology community across the UK.

    In 2017, the nominations list featured more than 160 women who have contributed significantly to the technology industry.

    The Top 50 were selected by an expert panel of judges. Their names will now go forward to a reader vote, which closes on 8th September, to determine the most influential woman in UK technology.

    Sheree, who is now UK expansion director for Women Who Code and a Deloitte technology consultant, is passionate about eradicating gender bias in the technology industry. Her aim is to educate younger generations on the prospective careers in STEM subjects.

    Speaking of her nomination on Computer Weekly’s Top 50 list, Sheree said: “I am delighted to be included on the list because it features some fantastic, high profile, and leading women in the technology sector from across the UK. I am obviously very happy that the work I have been doing has been recognised for the impact it is having.

    “I know that it will be a long race to encourage an equal number of girls and boys to pursue careers in this sector from a young age, but I feel that we are making progress. That is particularly noticeable in Northern Ireland. I am now seeing more young people who are interested in these roles, thanks to leading figures actively engaging with schools; games such as Minecraft; networking opportunities like CoderDojo; and apprenticeships in the technology sector, such as Deloitte’s BrightStart higher apprenticeship scheme.”

    Sheree has been an active spokesperson at several major events, including the World Economic Forum at Davos, where she represented the Global Shapers Community during a livestreamed global discussion on ‘Cities as Hubs of Innovation’. Following the event, Sheree picked up the award for “Peak Performance” from the Lord Mayor of Belfast for her extensive work.

    She is also calling for additional support to be put in place for women who take career breaks to have children.

    “Technology is a very fast moving industry. Coming back to work after a career break is always daunting and it is vital that ‘Return to Work’ schemes are in place to make this life transition viable. We have seen a shift in this recently across Northern Ireland and more companies are working to put this support in place, which is fantastic.”

    Jackie Henry, senior partner for Deloitte in Belfast, said: “We are delighted Sheree has been shortlisted in the top 50 alongside some of the most inspirational women in the technology sector.

    “Encouraging all young people and particularly women to seize opportunities in STEM and consider the future of work and the new careers that will underpin this, is important for Northern Ireland being competitive in the global economy."

    “Being named in the Top 50 is well deserved recognition for all the hard work and impact Sheree has made both locally and internationally. We wish her all the best in this process and know she will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the UK technology sector.”

    Votes can be cast via the Computer Weekly website. Voting closes at 5.00pm on Friday 8 September 2017.

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