This isn’t a list of Digital Marketers or the Most Influential in People in Digital. This is a list to showcase women who have been doing great work, the backgrounds and stories of these women are very different and makes for an intriguing read. These women are using Digital in their work life and are achieving greatly, whether they run a business, work for a company , freelance or just want to do better. Many of these women aren’t being showcased for the work they are doing. So we are setting about changing that.
Along with our mission to empower and skill women in digital we also think it’s really important to raise the profiles and show the world just who these incredible women are. If you’ve been following us, you would have seen some of the DigitalWomen Awards shortlists go out and seen stories and achievements of many women who are doing great work.
We had an incredible amount of entries into the DigitalWomen awards and some categories had over 100 entries in each. It was very hard to nail down the shortlists. The standard was incredibly high and the judges worked very hard to help find the winners. (which will be announced on the 9th March in London)
The hardest category of all is the Digital Woman of the year category. There were a lot of entries but not only that we struggled to get the list below 40 because so many of you deserve to be there in fact everyone does. However we had to do an incredibly difficult job.
Because of the amount of incredible entries, we have added these 40 women to this women to watch list and will award each and every one of them on the 9th March. There will be however one woman who will be crowned Digital Woman of the Year!
Please read through, share far and wide, let’s showcase these women.
Here are 40 Digital Women to watch in 2020:
Cheryl Thomas – Digital Cake & Girl Code
Cheryl wanted to put a spotlight on the women working in the digital and creative services, and use the event to bring women together to discuss issues, innovations and topics that wouldn’t necessarily be discussed in the workplace. This was a safe space to share, connect, learn and grow with like-minded women in the industry. Each quarter, she researches and reaches out to 3 x women in the industry and liaise with them about a topic they feel passionate about based around a central theme. In the past, themes have included wellbeing, starting a business, growing a business. This month the event is taking place on Valentines and is centred around leadership. Cheryl does all of this alongside running a busy ecommerce business and looking after her lovely girls. She smashes everything she does!
Having worked in ecommerce since 2006, Cheryl has a knack for starting successful businesses, having so far played a hand in creating the brands Harper & Lewis, Digital Cake Agency and most recently GirlCode. Her recipe for success? Do what you love!
The Creative Counsellors Club Ltd
Tanja Sharpe is an incredible and Inspiring Community Leader, Author, Counsellor and Mental Health Speaker and Coach. Over the last few years Tanja has built Global Communities supporting individuals in over 99 countries such as The Creative Counsellors Club (an online community supporting, connecting and inspiring therapists globally), Supported families and children within the Mental Health field through her Charitable work and dedication, Developed course platforms in building Resilience, Nurturing Mental Health and Inspiring Communities (which has empowered organisations and individuals to empower their own communities) and Published Award winning books in the Mental Health Field. Tanja’s capacity to motivate and Inspire others led to The Creative Counsellors Club being recognised as one of the 115 most inspiring communities by Facebook, and Tanja was awarded a Facebook Community Leadership Award in 2018, since then Tanja has travelled the world connecting, inspiring and consulting with the leaders of some of the most incredible communities out there. I truly believe Tanja deserves this award, for her unfounded believe that everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard, for her endless contributions and dedication to supporting mental health charities, for her invaluable leadership qualities, for her perseverance in the Creative Counselling Movement and of course for inspiring real change in communities globally. The team here at the Creative Counsellors Club are so grateful to have such an inspirational leader and we are so honoured to be a part of this journey and involved in the incredible work that Tanja does. Inspiring Leader, Digital Mastermind and the best Role Model there is!
I’m a published author, Counsellor and online social entrepreneur. Im also the Founder, Director & Community Leader for The Creative Counsellors Club, a growing digital community of over 11500 counsellors and therapists from 99 different countries. We are on a mission to end the global mental health crisis through The Power of Community & Creativity. I founded our community in April 2017 from my kitchen table and in 2019 I was recognised by Facebook as “one of 115 most inspiring Community Leaders in the world” and invited to join their year long fellowship program. In 2019 we launched our Big Ripple Project and held 45 in person community gatherings, trained 1400 members through our online courses & membership platform, hosted self-care retreats, conferences and launched peer support circles in 21 cities run by our team of 21 Ambassadors. We are a self-sustaining community and aim to triple our impact in 2020 by reaching new members so we can continue to make waves in the mental health world.
Debbie Clarke – debbiedooodah
Co-authoring the toolkit with the Uni of Nottingham seemed pretty innovative, especially the way we wanted to change the conversation around what it meant to be a woman in business, and to support women to feel legitimate in an entrepreneurial space. We also put it forward for #ingenuity19 which looks to award innovative projects and support them to grow. And with that funding we created a 6-week programme for women on low-incomes with a start-up idea, with money they could access at the end to get their business idea started. When we started Blue Stockings back in 2014, Facebook groups had just started and most networking was pretty dull, full of business card thrusters and we wanted to create a space for women that was supportive and encouraged relationships to grow, rather than being purely about business. And when we created the Women Who Create podcast in 2017 most of the podcasts we found aimed at women in business were American, we wanted to create a space for conversation, so listening to us would feel like you’re with us sharing a cup of tea and still today in 2019 78% of podcasters are men, so we need more women’s voices in this field. I’m also a top 100 female entrepreneur and was told this year that I was a top 50 twitter influencer for gender diversity and equality. I spoke before Mary Portas in Nottingham as she launched her book Work like a Woman and I was called a Nottingham legend! It’s been a pretty good year! Plus this year I was 40 and 10 years cancer-free, so what more could I ask for!
Debbie Clarke aka debbiedooodah started her business as a single mum after winning a fight with cancer. She works with female entrepreneurs who want to learn the tools to market their business online and get the confidence to create financial freedom. She’s founded the Indie Freedom Seekers, the Blue Stockings Society, the Women Who Create Podcast and co-authored ‘My Business My Way’ with Nottingham University. This year she was named one of UK’s top 100 female entrepreneurs, one of top 50 twitter influencers in the world for gender inclusion, a Nottingham legend and her podcast one of the top 5 podcasts in the UK for women in business.
Berenice Smith – Full Stop Podcast
I set out to create a new life. Since my late twenties and all through my thirties I had wanted to be a mother. Hello Lovely is the culmination of multi-hyhening my work so that I have time to give my design, tech and speaking skills to communities in need of a voice. Through Hello Lovely and the discount I offer to the childless not by choice community, I have helped many men and women start their plan B with bespoke design work and seen their businesses grow.
Berenice Smith MA, is a wearer of Dr Martens, typography obsessive, designer of practical and beautiful bespoke websites, branding, books and marketing material. She lives in Cambridge, where she can be found chatting to her dog or podcasting in her spare time.
Laura Hogan – JellyBean
I like to think that I’ve shown that even when people are trying to put roadblocks in your way, you can build a business from practically nothing. My agency is the only in Birmingham that operates a remote working culture – so we’re differing ourselves from competitors here and helping others to understand how it can work. Our Digital PR strategies have generated coverage for clients in The Sun, Daily Mail, Refinery29, Yahoo, BBC radio, Four Four Two, Daily Star and more. Whilst our SEO results have seen clients have year on year traffic increases over 70%, double referral revenue over Black Friday weekend and over 50% of rankings increase following an algorithm update. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved!
Laura is a proud Brummie and the owner of JellyBean: a digital marketing agency focusing upon SEO, PPC and Digital PR.
Sian Meades-Williams – Freelance Writing Jobs
Freelance Writing Jobs is a digital initiative that really filled a gap in the market. I launched the newsletter on Valentine’s Day in 2018 after a particularly difficult six months of freelancing; I had to postpone my MA halfway through because I couldn’t afford the fees. When work finally picked up again (and I went back to university to finish my degree), I had honed my job seeking skills to quickly seek out the best freelance writing gigs. The newsletter was my way of sharing these opportunities with other freelancers.
Job hunting is a real slog, but it’s particularly challenging for freelancers because they often have to search through full-time and unpaid roles listed on job boards. The sifting takes up so much time and when I realised that there wasn’t a platform exclusively for freelance writing jobs, I created one myself. The newsletter has become more than just a service, over the last two years it’s become a digital community. Every Thursday when it lands in inboxes, it’s a burst of optimism for subscribers, and a splash of humour, too. There’s always a GIF and a joke or two, and they’re just as much of a draw for some readers as the listings. I’ve encouraged job sharing in an industry where contacts and leads were once a closely-guarded secret. The newsletter is levelling the playing field in the industry, giving every writer the same access to opportunities, whatever their circumstances and background. It’s giving editors the opportunity to commission different voices. And it’s making writers braver.
Sian Meades-Williams is a freelance writer with over a decade of writing experience. She’s made digital newsletters her speciality, as editor of the popular media newsletter Freelance Writing Jobs, and cult lifestyle newsletter Domestic Sluttery. She’s also the newsletter editor for the slow lifestyle magazine The Simple Things. Alongside her digital projects, she’s written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and Sunday Times Style magazine. She’s also Project Calm’s travel columnist. She’s working on a book with Unbound – The Pyjama Myth: the Freelance Writer’s Survival Guide and is freelance agony aunt for the IPSE – The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. When she’s not writing or searching for London’s finest pain aux raisins, Sian can be found in her ballet shoes trying to nail a pirouette.
Kirstie Smith – Social Circle & Digital Cake
Kirstie is a pioneer of social media marketing – she is currently working to build the digital marketing offering at small agency Digital Cake, but alongside this she also lectures in digital marketing at a Birmingham University and runs a social media networking group in Birmingham.
As well as her job leading the digital marketing at an agency and lecturing at a Birmingham university, she also co-founded a social media networking group in Birmingham called Social Circle. The group started as 4 friends gathering to talk about social and has grown into a monthly meeting attracting over 40 people, meeting to learn about innovations in social and general socialising with others in the industry. She loves what she does and her enthusiasm shows, she is driven, hard working, but also really fun to work with and a great mentor.
With 10 years’ experience working in Social Media and Digital Marketing as a practitioner, Kirstie’s work is focused on driving revenue through co-ordinated ecommerce, social media and digital strategy, consultancy, and training. She currently heads up the Marketing team at Digital Cake – an ecommerce agency based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Kirstie is also a lecturer at Birmingham City University for the BA(Hons) Digital Marketing and the Future Media: Pro MA / MSc courses, where she is encouraging the development of the next wave of passionate creatives by teaching them about the joys of digital marketing! She also runs a monthly meet-up for like-minded marketers called Social Circle. Social Circle was born out of curiosity and the pursuit of delivering great work for our businesses and clients. They meet monthly in Birmingham and Sydney to discuss innovations in the world of social media and host an industry guest speaker.
Charelle Griffith – CharelleGriffith.com
In 2016 I started reading and reviewing non-fiction books and started a book club to support women. My intention was to inspire more women to read, concentrate on their personal development and achieve their goals. This led to women following me from across the world and sharing their pictures of them reading the recommended book. What started as a book blog and book club grew into a YouTube channel, a personal development blog and a weekly #MotivationalMonday email. Then as a professional marketer I began to notice how many women were struggling with marketing their businesses. So I started to blog to share my knowledge. Whilst most bloggers are concentrating on one thing I technically am running three different blogs alongside a weekly podcast. Within the first year the podcast whilst focused on supporting UK millennial women has been downloaded in over 56 countries.
Charelle is a professional marketer, blogger, podcaster and founder of PropelHer. By day Charelle works in the marketing department of the UK’s largest ticketing company and by night (and weekend) Charelle supports service-based solopreneurs to consistently market themselves as the expert they are. With a passion for supporting women to acknowledge and achieve their goals, Charelle founded PropelHer, a personal development blog and book club in 2016 with the mission to support ambitious women to move forward in their life. In 2018, Charelle started Free and Figuring It Out with Verity Brown, a podcast designed to support, empower and reassure fellow independent, millennial women that they can be self-sufficient, successful and seen. Charelle is currently reading and reviewing a book a week. All information can be found at http://www.charellegriffith.com
Katie Underwood – Digital Cake / Social Circle
Katie has been instrumental in the setup and running of the community event (Social Circle). We’ve run 16 events to date, each one building on the success of the last. Social Circle was born from monthly get-togethers between friends, where we’d gather round with a few drinks and chat about the latest in social media marketing. Katie wanted to be better for herself, her clients, and because she really love social media and digital marketing. After a couple of months of meeting as an intimate group of 4 friends, she suggested we open the circle to other digital marketers and small business owners, with the goal to take social to the next level and share inspirational, instant and actionable insights – and to put Birmingham on the map for digital. The audience for our event consists of business and agency owners and their teams, in-house marketeers, social and digital freelancers, students and local SME owners. Each month we receive 60 registrations for our free tickets. Community size We have built a loyal following across our digital channels, with circa 1,200 people in our community. We currently have 300 engaged members within our email database. We plan to run a conference this year – of which Katie will be a huge part of.
Kate is one of the co-founders of monthly social networking event, Social Circle. She’s also a self-confessed online shopper, so when you visit her for strategies to make your brand stand out, don’t expect to see the same outfit twice.
Hollie Whittles – Purple Frog Systems Ltd
Hollie is a Director Purple Frog Systems. Purple Frog is a Shropshire SME developing and managing business intelligence solutions. It is at the cutting-edge of its industry, innovating systems and programmes for businesses of all sizes to help them improve efficiency and effectiveness. It specialises in taking all forms of business data, from wherever they originate, and transferring them into meaningful business intelligence which can be viewed, understood and acted on to maximise performance, efficiency and, therefore, profitability.
Purple Frog has a global client list and has worked with some of the world’s largest brands – space agencies included. Hollie has built an enviable network of business relationships predominantly through networking and working with business owners on a one-to-one basis and through group workshops. Hollie has established strong partnerships with local businesses and Councils and recently became recognised as a Growth Hub Guru by the Marches Growth Hub, was invited to join Telford Business Board as Digital Campion and more recently proud to become the FSB Area Lead for Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. As area lead, Hollie is using her expertise to influence and drive business growth across the region. She is working with a range of small businesses to deliver high-quality networking and events.
As Director of Purple Frog and FraggleWorks, Hollie not only knows what it takes to deliver results but is also a master at teaching business owners how to transform their businesses. Using her love of speaking to help build 2 successful businesses, Hollie has spent more than 5000 hours on stage, speaking to audiences across the UK. She has a particular specialism in supporting entrepreneurs with their online business strategy. Her ultimate goal is to empower business owners to feel confident and knowledgeable about growing their business through strategic planning and marketing. In 2018, Hollie was awarded a certificate of recognition from the British Computer Society for her work in the UK digital industry and was a Woman’s Who award winner. Hollie has previously been voted one of the Top 50 Women in Tech by PCR Online and was Woman of the Year finalist.
Pam Obasa – The Lucrative Lady
One of the most recent achievements is that we recently launched our Talk Show, The Lucrative Lady Talk Show which will be published weekly from Monday 13/1/20. One of the most interesting things about this talk show is that it the entire season of 7 episodes are filmed in ONE day.
Pam Obasa is an incredibly powerful Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Writer, an Optimist with unshakable faith, a no-nonsense business accelerator dedicated to equipping women around the world to create a life and business that exceeds their imagination! The Founder of The Lucrative Lady, Pam’s secret weapon is ‘Storytelling’. Not only does she use the power of storytelling to engage, captivate and compel diverse audiences, but Pam has taught audiences globally, ‘How to use Stories to Sell!’
Tereza Litsa – Lightful
The idea of setting up a campaign on your own, in terms of social media marketing and planning, that reaches 60 million people in two years is very exciting. What’s more exciting though, is that it opens the doors to continue the conversation to meet new people who want to support you and involve you in their own campaigns for social good. I’m currently working on the campaign’s third year and it is very inspiring to see the campaign’s impact through the years and how it raises important questions on our own use of social media and how we can improve it.
Tereza Litsa is a social media manager and trainer at Lightful, helping charities improve their social media skills. She’s been working as a social media and content marketing manager for the last 7 years and she is passionate about social media and how it can be used in the tech for good sector in a more impactful way. Her posts have been featured in sites such as Nptechforgood, NTEN, ClickZ, CharityComms, Social Media Week and she has delivered training and webinars for many organisations on all things digital. She has received the Highly Commended award as ‘Community Manager of the Year’ and also the Highly Commended award for ‘Campaign for Social Good’ for Lightful’s #ReclaimSocial campaign at Social Media Marketing Awards 2019. She is also the host of the #ReclaimSocial podcast and you can find her tweeting @terezalitsa
Katie Thompson – Katie Lingo
With a wealth of digital agency experience, combined with the high editorial standards that are part and parcel of journalism training, I stand out from the crowd. I’m also fluent in Spanish and trained in proofreading, so I can help people at every stage of their content journey.
I’m Katie, and I’m here to take on the content tasks that are too daunting for you and your teams. Providing a unique mix of journalistic and digital marketing experience, I can provide content for a wealth of different mediums, all on-time, on-brand and with a smile. When you work with me, you’ll have round the clock access to new ideas, quick changes and high-quality content. I believe in getting to know all my customers personally and really understanding a brand to ensure its marketing has the maximum effect. I’m happy to help with blogs, magazine features, press releases, email campaigns, proofreading and anything else related to the written word. Whoever you are and wherever you are, you can guarantee your brand will be represented in the best light possible when you work with Katie Lingo.
Katrina Young – Katrina Young Consulting Digital
Katrina is a hard working mum who is always creating opportunities for those she works with.
Katrina deserves this award as a role model, she is bringing up children and creating a business that is making change in the world and helping others do the same.
I am an award winning Digital, Tech and Marketing Consultant and Specialist – Business Solutions Architect specialising in Digital Business Strategy – Automated Sales Marketing Funnels – Business Process ROI Solutions. A Prince 2 Qualified Digital Project Manager, with a Degree in Marketing & Advertising with a certificate in Teaching and Lecturing. A Digital and Innovation evangelist, conversant with a range of methodologies. Helping you to create a compelling messaging, monetise your skills and knowledge and create active and automated sales and client acquisition systems. Helping to assist you to increase your revenue, productivity, passive income and profits.
Lauren Hampshire – The Milky Tee Company
I am a mum of two and the owner of The Milky Tee Company, which is an online store selling breastfeeding clothing. I am a huge believer in the fact that just because you are a mum it doesn’t have to mean the end of your career, it can, in fact, be the start of a whole new one. Before having children I worked as a broadcast journalist but after having my second child, with the cost of childcare and travelling in and out of London, it was not viable to go back to that career. So while on maternity leave I had an idea for a breastfeeding top with hidden zips and it developed into The Milky Tee Company. I now run the business while juggling being a mum to my two daughters (who are 3 and 6),
I am a mum of two, former broadcast journalist and founder of award-winning breastfeeding clothing brand The Milky Tee Company.
Kim Rowell – BBC Stories
Kim is a brilliant storyteller; currently Assistant Editor for BBC Stories, heading up a young team of talented journalists telling digital stories for the 16 – 34 demographic across themes of climate change, gender, identity and community issues. She was named as a Kindness & Leadership, Leading Light 2019, an accolade recognising the contribution of kind leaders to business the economy and society. After winning a ‘Women of the Future’ Award she launched their podcast in 2019, and now produces and publishes the ‘Women of the Future’ podcast voluntarily on a fortnightly basis featuring alumni from the Programme and Awards discussing their careers, big breaks, successes, failures and inspirations.
After her experience working with Bryony Gordon on her mental health podcasts and following the birth of her daughter, she wrote and published the children’s book ‘Townie Spider’; aimed at introducing themes of friendship and kindness to children of a preschool age. It was named as in the ‘Top 7 Books for Children’s Mental Health’ by parental wellbeing magazine ‘Motherdom’.
Shelley Grierson – Space Between
I have been working in the digital industry, within marketing, for 15 years. After a scholarship at University, I transitioned full time into my digital career path, which has included tech start ups to some of the worlds leading consultancies. I am very involved in digital within my work, but more importantly, I eat, sleep and breathe digital in my spare time. I am very focused on developing female talent and leadership within the industry, and I support this through various initiatives. These include mentorship, providing training and networking events, building industry partnerships and relationships, speaking at key industry events and contributing to future leaders through developing educational curriculums.
Shelley is an experienced marketer, with a passion for innovation and creative thinking. She has a broad experience across the marketing function, and has delivered on growth KPI’s for some of the worlds largest brands, as well as excelled in devising creative strategies in fast-paced tech environments. In her spare time, Shelley is heavily involved in helping women in business to upskill and knowledge-share. This includes mentoring young women in business through The Princes Trust, hosting Linkedin Ladies events in her local area, and supporting the University of the Gambia with developing their Digital Marketing curriculum.
Suzanne Alderson – Parenting Mental Health
From a simple Facebook group, Parenting Mental Health now connects thousands of families to others with similar experiences each year through online Peer Mentoring, online Listening Circles, and online training from me and psychologists and other professionals that they may not get an opportunity to connect or engage with. This digital community has created opportunities for others who have been through the experiences to give back. We have placed our videos promoting the free Community support on digital signage in over 500 GP’s surgeries in the UK, as well as Australia – giving us a monthly offline reach of around 3.5m.
Suzanne Alderson is a speaker, writer, and community leader and Founder of Parenting Mental Health. Suzanne started the organisation in 2016 to support, educate, and empower parents of young people suffering with mental illness following her experiences with her child. She supports over 15,000 families across the digital channels, and delivers online training in her methodolgy, Partnering, not Parenting. She was recognised by Facebook in 2019 as one of the world’s leading community leaders and made a Fellow of their inaugural Community Leadership Program. Suzanne’s first book on parenting a child with a mental health issue will be published by Vermillion in October 2020. Suzanne’s digital experience started in the 1990s when she co-founded the first of 2 digital agencies and completed the first online transaction in the UK in the ‘90s.
Julia Bramble – BrambleBuzz
Being a Mum of 6 has also honed not only my communication skills generally but my persuasion skills specifically – it also means I can see the world through the eyes of several different ‘digital generations’ which is a source of constant learning! I have a very strong belief that all humans (and animals) should be respected – and it’s an opinion that I’m not afraid to voice on social media and I bring into all the work I do. I’m a chair of governors at the local primary school and I absolutely champion respect for all aspects of every child in that role (it can be easy for feelings, for example, to be overlooked in the quest for good SATs results!)
Julia brings her skills from a career in forensic science to the world of social media marketing. As an international strategist, speaker and trainer for small businesses, her work centres on the human behind the digital.
Anita Wong – Bommiemedia
I love to empower women to use the tools at their fingertips to reach their marketing goals and Win big and have been an entrepreneur for just over 7 years, creating my company in 2018. I am a mum to four teenage daughters. I am also World No 5 in the 40+ Women’s BMX cruiser category and UK No 4 and one of only 7 factory team riders representing Twisted Concepts BMX worldwide. I have been growing my business alongside raising my children and competing at an international level in BMX
Anita Wong is a Digital Strategist and Tech Queen of all things social! Anita is passionate about empowering you with the tools you need to achieve your marketing goals and feel more confident, competent and ready to tackle any changes within the digital arena. Anita can help the next generation of big businesses who are ready to start WINNING BIG accelerate their Learning and start LEADING with their online visibility whether that be Facebook, Instagram or their WordPress websites, Anita is the women to call.
Verity Hurd – Style Up Social Academy
Work for me has to be fulfilling. I want to make a difference. Becoming a mum had also given me a new and deeper sense of always achieving for the best. My career was not just for me anymore. It is for my son and I knew this was the time I had to leap from the corporate world. I didn’t want to be trapped in a set role, set hours, set salary and set expectations. My son deserves the very best and so this was the time for me to combine all my skills and experience into one to create an opportunity that had no limits.
Style Up Social Academy is a boutique Social Media agency that empowers fashion brands and personal stylists. Delivering a suite of creative solutions to help them grow their businesses online by focusing on intentional and results driven strategies.
Carolyn Strand – C J Strand Cyber Hype
After 22 years in the IT services industry, consulting for large corporate and government clients, Carolyn started with her first online store, rockedout.com in 2001. This was in a digital landscape that did not include social media, mobile technology, widespread broadband or mass e-commerce. She then launched earlywhirly.com in 2007 – an online specialist high quality educational and early-years toy retailer. In 2017 Carolyn streamlined these two e-commerce websites were consolidated into one new one – theusefulshop.com to make shopping easier for customers and deliver operational and cost improvements to the business, as well as to free up her time to help other businesses with their digital presence and sales. Since then, the business has developed from an e-commerce B2C one to a full-service B2B digital marketing consultancy and was re-launched and rebranded as C J Strand Cyber Hype in 2018.
Carolyn Strand is the Founder and Managing Director of C J Strand Ltd, The Useful Shop and C J Strand Cyber Hype. Since starting her business in 2001 she has been and warrior of the digital world, an evangelist of digital technologies for small business and an advocate for women in business. Always ready to support entrepreneurs and small business owners, she’s a reliable source of business and technology advice and support, helping established business owners and start-ups to expand their businesses and navigate the ‘digital jungle’ with clarity and success. Carolyn lives in Angmering, West Sussex where she is involved in many local and community organisations, supporting interests from helping local families in need to theatre and the arts. She is a proud mum of her son Aengus, who is 13 and has grown up with a business loving mum!
Holly Billinghurst – Teach All About It
Holly is a highly qualified computer science and ICT teacher and founder of TeachAllAboutIT who specialises in programming in multiple languages and computational thinking skills. After working as a software developer in the commercial business sector, Holly followed her passion for supporting young people and now dedicates her time tutoring them through and surpassing all expectations at KS3, GCSE and A Level. Many of her students have faced adversity or other learning challenges, but through her nurturing and motivational approach she brings to life the digital environment and the relevancy of its applications in the world of work which has resulted in high achievement rates for her students. Holly is also a prolific writer with 5 books published to date guiding both schools and pupils to achieve successful outcomes in the digital curriculum, plus a range of classroom resources and revision guides which she supplements with free website updates.
Holly is the founder of TeachAllAboutIt and a Computer Science Master Teacher who works with both students and teachers across the UK and internationally. Having moved to full time tutoring in 2019 after a decade of classroom teaching Computer Science & ICT in both independent and state schools, she founded TeachAllAboutIt as a way to continue to support both students and teachers of Computing in a non-traditional setting with a focus on accessibility for everyone. In 2018, she released her first book ‘Teach All About It: 100 Down-To-Earth Tips To Make The Most Out of Your Classroom’, aimed at helping secondary school teachers implement activities that promote progress and reduce stress for both students and teachers. In 2019, her visual revision guides for GCSE & iGCSE Computer Science were published and are now used in schools across the UK.
Julie Plumb – Plumb Digital
At the time I didn’t realise it but I’ve been a trailblazer for women in IT for 35 years. After starting as a boring Data Control Clerk I knew I wanted to learn more and work in the computer room, despite my manager explaining that it wasn’t for girls. I realised I had an aptitude for computers and I was bitten by the bug. When I moved to a technical manager role in higher education I built one of the first 23,500 websites in the world – there are now 2 billion. After building the website I also worked for an agency and went around the UK teaching people how to use the Internet via dialup! My career has taken me to financial services where I have held both Intranet and Ecommerce Programme Manager roles, manufacturing as UK Intranet Manager, hospitality as B2B Ecommerce Manager and then back into higher education as Head of Web Department.
Julie built one of the first 23,500 websites in the world, and to put in context there are now almost 2 million. She has trailblazed the way for other women in IT for 35 years in what has long been a male dominated profession. Although starting in very technical roles, Julie has held many senior management roles in financial services, manufacturing, hospitality and higher education. Mentoring and encouraging women into the digital world has always been a passion for Julie. Despite being a North Notts lass, she now runs her own digital agency, Plumb Digital, in South Wales.
Yvette Pearson – Small Business Admin Network
I have built up networks from scratch – 50k globally in the craft industry, 8k in the bodybuilding industry, and more than 3k in the small business sector. The craft fair report I mentioned in my previous answer can be found here: https://www.bookastall.com/the-craft-survey-2019/ I have done absolutely everything in my spare time whilst working full time in a job that takes me traveling throughout the UK. I am determined to bring communities together and continue to utilise technology within these industries to make it easier for people to build their businesses and achieve their goals. I also wrote my first book whilst doing all of this. I have lots of plans for 2020, including an app for crafters, networking events for bodybuilders, and more insights reports for all of the industries with whom I work.
An innovator in everything she does, Yvette looks to transform small businesses using data and analytics. As founder of Bookastall, Prepping Partner, and Small Business Admin Network, she works across the globe to help businesses of all kinds. An international public speaker, author, bodybuilding competitor and triathlete, Yvette also has a decade-long career in Executive Support, Office Management and Business Intelligence.
Jovana Paredes – Jovie’s Home
In 2019 I took a leap of faith and started my own business in an industry where I’m “too old” and completely inexperienced. I had some dreams but there was no way they would materialize if I just sat back and kept dreaming, without taking actions. On February 7, 2019 I posted the very first video on my YouTube channel. In less than one year it has: – grown to 10,000 subscribers – achieved 100,000 views on a single video – achieved 1,250,000 channel views – was nominated for three Digital Women Awards.
My name is Jovie and I am a Serbian/Canadian/American Expat Mama (married to a Spanish/Frenchman) living in and LOVING The Netherlands. I moved to The Netherlands with my husband in 2009 to work as international criminal lawyers at one of the tribunals in The Hague. Eventually, I became a YouTube-from-home mom. I make videos about life in The Netherlands as a foreigner. The goal of my videos is to teach viewers how something works in NL; to share my observations of Dutch life and culture and to get to know my home country. I don’t always get it right but I am always happy to learn. Won’t you come on over, kick off your shoes and stay awhile?
Charlotte Wibberley – VIPVA & Charlotte Wibberley Ltd
Following the running of my award-winning VA and Automation companies, I set up VIP VA in 2016, frustrated with the lack of authentic support out there for VAs and on a quest to pioneer standards for an industry in a huge stage of growth. I wanted to build an organisation, training academy and community that would make VAs more visible and support them in growing their businesses. I am hugely passionate about helping VAs to see their own worth and engaging with business owners around the value a great VA can bring to them and their businesses. Over the past 4 years, through coaching, connecting, supporting and championing existing and aspiring VAs, I feel that I have made a significant contribution to driving the industry forward, creating a collaborative community and improving awareness around VAs. I’ve built a 2000+ VA strong online community, helped dozens of freelancers to build sustainable and professional Virtual Assistant/Online Business Manager businesses, and introduced VIP VA accreditation to help make professional business standards (insurance, professional business contracts, etc.) the industry norm.
Charlotte leapt into self-employment and started her first online business, Blossom Executive Support in 2012. This multi-award winning Virtual Assistant business provided entrepreneurs and small business owners the opportunity to outsource their admin, client relationship management, social media and more. This success enabled her to find my own passion in supporting successful women juggling family and businesses. She transitioned into an Online Business Manager, Project Manager and founded VIPVA in 2016. Today, Charlotte works with female business owners as an Online Business Strategist, Technical Implementor and Business Coach. She’s deeply passionate about coaching and mentoring both established and aspiring female entrepreneurs to realise their potential, be top of their game and build a business around their lifestyles. Charlotte’s big why is focussed around her two big passions: supporting women in creating and growing businesses and supporting her young family.
Sian Conway – Ethical Hour
I provide good, honest, expert advice to help brands in line with their values, budget and business needs – and every strategy, tool or technique I recommend is something I’ve personally tried and tested on my own business first. I strongly believe in empowering people. I am a self-taught marketer who has gone on to win awards for my highly-converting, successful strategies, which just proves it is possible to learn how to do it yourself – if you understand strategy. Unlike other marketers in my field, my work is a combination of consultancy and mentoring designed to empower people to do their own marketing and build their own brands.
Sian Conway is the Founder of #EthicalHour – the world’s first and largest online network for people who want to live and work more ethically and sustainably. She has worked around the world on social impact projects and now supports ethical and sustainable entrepreneurs and organisations as an ethical marketing strategist and business mentor. A bestselling author and speaker, Sian was Green & Eco Influencer of the Year 2018 and in 2019 she was personally invited to be a DEFRA Year of Green Action Ambassadors in recognition of her work to inspire individuals, communities and businesses to live more ethically and sustainably.
Sheryl Jefferson – Light Tree Media & Light Tree Lead Gen
It gives me great honour to be amongst a community of Digital Women that recognises, supports and celebrates the achievements of individuals who are recognised for the work that they do. Often at times, it can seem very lonely and there are a lot of challenges. You have no idea how happy that makes me. I started my business in 2016 with £30 in my pocket and a dream. All I knew with the skills that I had that I wanted to make a difference and create a legacy for my family and to be the very best I can be by delivering a world-class service. I’m a single mother of 3 boys and this means my life is hectic! I not only run a successful agency which I started from scratch, but my work and expertise have also been recognised by one of the biggest online platforms on the planet. I’m a Facebook Partner and my peers are amongst the biggest agencies in the world; Adobe, AdEspresso, MailChimp, Hootsuite and DunHumby to name a few. When I attend Partner events, there are a few double takes when I rock in being one of the very few females in the room who, does not have a team of hundreds or is a well-recognised name. What most people don’t realise that behind it all is 1 woman and a very small team who runs her business sometimes whilst on the school run, cooking dinner or reading bedtime stories. I’m not a big agency who only cares about the numbers. I’m small but was serious about wanting to make an impact.
Sheryl is the founder and Director of Light Tree Lead Gen Facebook & Instagram Ads agency. She’s had over a decade of experience working with one of the biggest retailers in the world and uses her insight to help e-commerce businesses scale their profits using advanced marketing strategies. She is also the founder of Light Tree Media which provides a source of learning for smaller e-commerce business owners all over the world. Sheryl is a badged Facebook Marketing Partner and has worked and consulted with some of the worlds biggest brands including Cath Kidson, Ebay, Zazzle, Jigsaw UK and Australia Facebook and Ohmme.
Laura Davis – The Hub for Social Media Managers & Virtually Savvy
‘m only as good as I am because of the people around me. I’m forever learning from the people around me and I hope I offer good and useful advice too. I’m 100% about community over competition and although that phrase is thrown around a lot I feel like “The Hub” is a perfect example of how this really can work.
Laura Davis is a freelance Social Media & Ads Manager and also co-founder of The Hub for Social Media Managers. She loves social media & supporter other freelancers to achieve their goals in their hugely popular and busy free Facebook group and via their much loved Social Media Manager Toolkit and Facebook Ads Course.
Laura Moore – The Hub
I’m nominating Laura for her work (amongst other things) on the SMM hub facebook group, i have dealt with Laura many times before the group was started as she was always a key person to lead on for advice on fb ads and general freelancing, she’s strong, confident, really knows her stuff and always keen to help. Laura has a no nonesence approach so you know you are always hearing it how it is which is refreshing and as a new freelancer means a lot. It’s incredible to watch Laura at work, she’s always a step ahead with her ideas and thinking and is a true thought leader in her industry. She is inspirational.
Laura Moore is a freelance Facebook Ads strategist and co-founder of The Hub for Social Media Managers. She is a self confessed social media addict & is passionate about supporting other social media pros to achieve their goals inside their popular (and free) Facebook group and with the legendary Social Media Manager’s Toolkit and Facebook Ads Course.
Pam Finn – Hashtag Media
I created Hashtag Media and asked my now co-business partner to join me in creating good social media content for our clients – we combined our multimedia powers to create one of the most innovative digital media agencies to emerge in the last two years. I saw a gap in the market to bring an alternative viewer experience to social media and wanted to not only stay ahead of digital trends but create them, hence the advent of Social TV. This brings the experience of an event to life online for the viewer. Streaming live across the event but in an entirely new interactive way which moves away from traditional broadcasting
Award winning entrepreneur ‘Best PR Agency in Ireland 2020, Founder of Hashtag Media – Voted Hottest Company of 2019…Pamela Finn aka PR Pam has worked in the media industry for over two decades in social media years that’s about a century.
Naomi Gilmour – Happy Heart Online Marketing
It’s my 20th business birthday this year and I am celebrating the 20 years riding the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship… so here’s a few experiences I thought I would share with you… When I first set up in business.. we were still on ISDN lines and Google wasn’t really a thing!… Back in 2002 – I was one of the first ‘power sellers’ on eBay and managed to convert 80% of my online visitors over to my website! 📈 In 2010 I turned over nearly a million pounds in my online retail business (never quite made the other £7k i needed and ended the year on £993,000 !!!) Shortly after my huge success came the huge fall I lost it all and my lowest point was bailiffs arriving at my door to take my car and I didn’t know how I was even going to get my kids to school the next day! (this is a story best told over a bottle of wine) But my story is one of resilience!… I used to be such a workaholic that I only allowed myself 3 days maternity leave with my two girls and used to work 7 days a week (thankfully this is NOT the case these days) – I’m a big believer in boundaries. Just 4 years ago I had zero confidence and wouldn’t even record videos! I was absolutely petrified at the thought of it… I faced my fear and now I love connecting live and being visible in my business online.
Naomi Gilmour, Website Designer and Online Marketing Coach. Naomi loves helping small businesses to be super successful online. She believes your website is the heart centre of your business online and your shop front to the world. Naomi shares simple but powerful lessons that you can implement straight into your business so you can really create an impact online, an without bamboozling you with a tonne of tech talk (a tech talk translator and geek that doesn’t even look like a one 🤓)!
Suzi Witt – Pretty Witty Academy and Female Entrepreneur Journey
When my journey started, I thought I was building a cake school. What I didn’t know back then was how much I loved online learning and online education. Empowering other women to know they can build fully digital online businesses like I did is my next goal. After all, if someone who had to google “what is CSS/html?” and “what is a plugin” in 2018 can go on to build a complex membership site, then anyone can do it. I want to use my next business – The Female Entrepreneur Journey (just launching in 2020) to really help promote women building their own online businesses. I also want to collaborate with as many digital females as I possibly can. I have had a lot of success in my entrepreneurial life and it is time for me to give back so my goal is simple – to help as many women as possible to become digitally competent. Both on the tech side and on the mindset side
Suzi Witt is a former lawyer who quit her job to build a business around her family. Having never baked before, she turned 12 cupcakes into a global multi 7 figure online business teaching women all over the world how to make cakes. In 2018, Suzi launched a second self-built membership site which is a multi 6 figure online school teaching business to cake decorators. She focuses on helping other women to start, build and grow their own cake businesses – both offline and online. Due to her own experiences in building her businesses, in 2020 Suzi launched The Female Entrepreneur Journey with the aim of helping as many women as possible in every industry around the globe to build their own online business. Suzi focuses on tech and the mindset needed to build a successful online business – drawing entirely from her own experiences in building 6 and 7 figure businesses. Suzi’s strongly believes that women can use the digital world to change the world as we know it and her mission is to help empower as many women as possible on their own journey.
Hedvig Algotsson – Wildfire
Born and bred in Gothenburg, Sweden, I made the big move over to London just after I turned 19, unsure about what career to pursue I eventually studied Media, PR and Communication at University. In 2014 I started working in digital marketing after I stumbled over an SEO project manager position whilst I was still at University. It was a great introduction to the ever-changing world of digital. I went on to teach myself paid search, coding as well as social media, whilst managing several e-commerce businesses. This allowed me to fully explore the relatively new (at the time) phenomena of influencer marketing and social strategy. I was instantly hooked and made the move over to an influencer marketing agency and platform. I since have broadened my horizons working not only with influencer marketing but paid and organic social and online-first content creation. As the account director at Wildfire, I lead the accounts team in creating and running award-winning campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands on a global scale. Our clients include Sainsbury’s, Volvo, BBC, TikTok and Channel 5 Rugby, for the latter we developed the social-first creative concept “Little and Large” which went on to win the Sports Business Award as well as the best sports campaign at the influencer marketing award.
An award-winning Swenglish influencer and social media expert with many years of experience across digital industries. Trying to encourage the younger generation to go into digital and tech.
Georgina White – Pineapple White Media
I’m Georgie White, a Social Media Manager and Consultant turned Pinterest Coach and Specialist! I graduated in 2017 from Digital Mums and set up my business Pineapple White Media initially Managing, then offering Workshops and 1-2-1 coaching sessions for Instagram, Linked In and latterly Pinterest. Last year I niched down and decided to focus entirely on Pinterest Marketing, both misunderstood and undervalued in the U.K. Seeing an obvious gap in the market coupled with a passion and excitement about this platform I re launched the business in mid 2019 to focus entirely on teaching and educating people about the Power of Pinterest.
Georgina White is the Founder of Pineapple White Media. She is a Pinterest Strategist and Educator, offering Pinterest Coaching and Consultancy to those looking to market their business on this powerful platform. Georgina works with clients nationally and internationally coaching and supporting them with Pinterest Marketing tactics, tips and easily actionable strategies, boosting their Pinterest Marketing and enabling them to create great results in their product driven or service-based business. Georgina is also a local Influencer and proud Ambassador of both Boden Clothing and The Lygon Arms Hotel, part of the Iconic Luxury Hotels Group.
Amy McManus – AM Marketing
Six years ago, I founded AM Marketing – an award-winning, top 30 Google partnered Kent-based agency specialising in digital marketing delivering campaigns for brands of all sizes across the globe. We are a team of five full-time staff and a roster of more than 20 freelancers offering industry-leading digital marketing ensuring our clients’ vision and goals are met in line with budget, time frames and quality. My business continues to expand, and in two years I’ve seen it go from a spare bedroom business with two people to taking over a whole second floor in a Canterbury office that we’re continuing to fill with permanent staff. This is not only because of the considerable business growth, but also to allow the opportunity to bring talent in-house to offer our clients a one-stop shop under one roof. We also offer graduate placements for young digital talent. One of my big passions is young women in digital and being able to house, educate and nurture the next generation of female digital talent by offering space for students to come and work with AM Marketing. This was a huge factor when selecting the new office space. Championing the next generation of females in digital is something I am very passionate about as, sadly, there is a lack of equality and diversity in this sector, something which I’m dedicated to changing by being a leading female figure in the digital marketing field. I am very proud to say that more than 50% of our agency staff are female and over 60% of the young entrepreneurs I mentor through Kent Business School are female.
Amy McManus is the CEO and Founder of AM Marketing, a digital agency based in Kent. She is a UK Women of the Future finalist, freeman of the London Guild of Entrepreneurs, an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, finalist for National Businesswoman of the Year and winner of UK Female Business Speaker of the Year. AM Marketing is an award-winning Google Partner agency that was placed in the Top 30 UK Google Agencies and has a portfolio of clients all over the world. The team at AM Marketing are experts in their field and have worked on some of the largest marketing accounts in the world, including Disney, Marvel, Very.com, and Easy Jet, winning numerous accolades for their work.
Ann Scott – Girl Gone International
This nomination for Anne Scott comes from the current team of 234 Girl Gone International volunteer and geographically dispersed community managers who are inspired and supported by Anne every day and live the same mission she had on day one : to create a meaningful online and in real life community for one another to belong to wherever we are. We all share her belief that together we go farther. We are nominating the founder and leader of our community because our community turns 10 this year and therefore winning such an award would mark a massive milestone for all. Anne is a powerful example to so many women of strong, mission led, value driven community leadership which has created a strong healthy culture over 10 years. Anne makes online and offline worlds collide which is why we think this award would be perfect for her. The culture she has inspired has created an empowered community of both local community leaders like me and community members who together have a deep social impact globally and locally, online and offline.
Girl Gone International is a not for profit community started in 2010 in Hamburg when I moved to my 10th city in 10 years and felt alone in the world, trying to start a new life far from friends, family and the familiar all while navigating in a foreign language.
I felt if I could just find a friend, another woman in the city who was living a similar experience, I wouldn’t feel so alone on this journey.
I went online and I did find one, in fact over 300,000 to date!
Girl Gone International is now a safe home away from home for women from every country and culture in the world. Our community represents the fast growing nation of digital generation, mobile women who live far from their place of birth through choice or circumstance.
On a budget of zero, I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to building the community so that women can connect online and face to face in 200 local communities (we use Facebook, Meetup, Whatsapp and Wechat) in 40 countries via 15000 free events to date.
My mission is the same mission I had on day one : to create a meaningful online and in real life community for one another to belong to wherever we are. I am proud that my team of 260 community managers all share my belief that together we go farther.
Our community turns 10 this year.
I believe in leading from the centre, and am known for strong, mission led, value driven community leadership which has created a strong healthy culture over 10 years.
My personal mission to to make online and offline worlds collide.
Girl Gone International is an empowered community of both local community leaders and community members who together have a deep social impact globally and locally, online and offline.
I have over 10 years personally on-boarded and trained over 600 women has developed a unique digital training and support system for community building across the whole community lifecycle and across the globe so we can recruit and train our local volunteer teams (of 1000s). We share our strategies with other non profit organisations and communities to help them scale and deepen their reach and impact.
I have spoken across the world on how to create community to connect a disconnected digital world and I am a regular keynote speaker and panelist (for example at Facebook alongside Jay Shetty, headliner at MSessions and more)
I am also an advisor to large brands such as Facebook, Tui, Etsy, Emoov, Neighbour, Ella and more, working in the digital marketing and community space to create communities with meaningful social impact and ROI, taking communities and platform based business and multi-sided marketplaces from ignition to scale.
I was awarded in 2018 and 2019 as one of Facebook’s 100 most meaningful community leaders online and offline for my work on reducing social isolation among womxn using digital platforms.
I also have an interesting backstory as the daughter of the first lesbian couple to marry in Scotland. I attribute my love for community building to my mothers (Susan Douglas Scott was awarded a CBE in 2019) who spent their life fighting to reform oppressive structures and taught me that community is crucial for well-being and equality. I now harness the digital technology that was not available then to those women, to connect and empower women.
This year marks 10 years that I have been using digital technology to build a global and local, online and in real life non profit volunteer run communities for women living far from the location of their birth which empowers women to go anywhere and belong everywhere.
Lenka Koppova – Cambridge Social Media
Probably the biggest achievement thus fas was running 2 annual social media conferences for people in Cambridge and beyond. This event was designed to help local freelancers and SMEs to get a better grasp of social media marketing, without the hassle of travelling to London and without spending too much money on the tickets. Both events were a huge success. We’ve got speakers from all around the UK and sold out both years. Aside from organising the annual conference, I’m also running free monthly meetups (for 3+ years now), where people can get specific advice each month from our guest speakers and where they can meet other local business owners in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Lenka Koppova is #OrganicSocial Strategist and Trainer. She’s helping badass entrepreneurs to achieve their goals by leveraging the power social media marketing (the right way).
Suze Cooper – Big Tent Media
I have always had a keen interest in tech and digital, spurred on by my dad’s computer building and interest in the very early iterations of the internet. But, it wasn’t until I retrained as a social media manager that the tech world revealed itself to me fully. Working with clients to plan digital marketing strategy, create content and implement campaigns, drew on my love of tech and creativity. My experience as a broadcast journalist, coupled with a keen interest in new technology, drew me into voice technology and slowly away from digital marketing. While, a risky leap to take, it has also been the most exciting journey. I am now working with brands and businesses to draw up content strategy for smart speaker applications, and look at how they can use the wider voice eco-system. Being in at the start means a lot of learning through experience, building contacts and connections, and maintaining faith in the tech and the belief it can make a difference, when others aren’t yet fully behind it.
SUZE COOPER is a voice content strategist with Vixen Labs, a voice consultancy working with brands and businesses on the creation of Voice experiences. With 20 years of experience in journalism, Suze merges her broadcasting skills with her Voice tech knowledge producing news stories for the London Evening Standard. These can be heard on Google Assistant’s AI-driven news feature. She is also a freelance newsreader for Kent radio station, kmfm. Now a director of her own company Big Tent Media, she works alongside her husband creating content for small businesses with a specialist eye on audio content, from podcasts to audiograms. Suze is the creator of the Social Days Flash Briefings; an audible social calendar for content creators which can be heard daily via Alexa-enabled devices. She is a confident public speaker, eager to inspire and educate others about the possibilities of voice technology.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE INCREDIBLE WOMEN IN THE DIGITAL WORLD and beyond!