On Monday 9th June, two of Code First: Girls’ 25 Ones to Watch, Anne-Marie Imafidon and Amelia Humfress, were invited to Buckingham Palace for the UK Industry Reception; a gathering of digital entrepreneurs to highlight the rising contribution of tech firms to the UK economy. Here at Code First: Girls, we were so proud of these two ladies that we thought we would catch up with them to hear all about their experiences and report back to the future young women of the tech sector. Anne-Marie is the founder of Stemettes, an initiative to encourage more girls to join the Science and Tech sector and Amelia founded Steer; one of London’s leading coding schools. They both are working towards expanding the tech sector through their startups and have been extremely successful in doing so.
Both Amelia and Anne-Marie were shocked when they received their invitations. Amelia told Code First: Girls that she was not sure if she and Anne-Marie would get to meet the Queen let alone shake her hand and have a conversation with the Duke of Cambridge about chocolate and his favourite gadget (which is top secret unfortunately). The two founders felt greatly recognised and proud they were considered for such a prestigious honour. As Anne-Marie commented, “the event was interesting as it had brought startups, small companies and large firms together in one room; everyone was able to learn from each other in a friendly, lively and open atmosphere”.
Amelia pointed out that “in a room of around 300 people around 60 or so were women”. Due to the nature of the event and the types of startups both Amelia and Anne-Marie have founded, such a gender gap is likely to decline in the future. This long term prediction partly stems from the facts and figures displaying more school girls and female undergraduates learning to code and exploring the startup world. Matt Clifford, co-founder of Entrepreneur First asserts that “this is why Code First: Girls is so exciting. It really is a game changer; in a couple of years the ratio of men to women in the tech sector will be completely different”. The event itself exemplifies the importance of the tech industry and the future opportunities it is creating that are unimaginable to us in the present day. Anne-Marie brought to light that the usual female names in tech were in attendance, such as Kathryn Parsons, Sue Black and Nicola Bates. By having well-known role models coupled with young founders such as Amelia and Anne-Marie, the tech sector is becoming an increasingly attractive option for young women from both arts and STEM backgrounds as they portray the proof, and most importantly the confidence, of women breaking through the barriers of the tech industry.
Both women left the event feeling empowered and recognised. Amelia told Code First: Girls she “felt inspired to create a bigger name for her startup”. Her aim now is for everyone to hear Steer and instantly know what is all about, especially after having a conversation with the Duke of Edinburgh about what she does. Anne-Marie felt uplifted as she got the opportunity to network with people who she has only previously been in contact with over Twitter. Amelia pointed out that a lot of people she met at the event were in education such as Computer Science professors from top institutions which made both her and Anne-Marie feel as if they were making an impact in both the tech and education sector.
Overall, we are glad Anne-Marie and Amelia got the recognition they deserve for all of their hard work and impact they have made on the industry. Hopefully this goes to show the power of learning how to code and the endless possibilities it offers. Moreover, the tale of these two women demonstrates this emerging sector’s importance in the economy and the recognition that comes along with making a large scale difference. Make your dent today. Learn to code.
To find out more about Anne-Marie Imafidon, follow her on Twitter at @aimafidon and visit Stemmettes
To find out more about Amelia Humfress, follow her on Twitter at @ameliahumfress and visit Steer
Make sure you join our mailing list, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with Code First: Girls courses and events.
Code First: Girls