Inspirational Women in Business Series

Excited to announce this week’s inspirational woman in business is Jacqueline de Rojas CBE. Not only is Jacqueline the President of techUK, but also the President of Digital Leaders, as well as holding three NED roles with Rightmove, Costain and ao.com. She was awarded a CBE for Services to international Trade in Technology last year, and has previously been voted the Most Influential Woman in IT.

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE – President - techUK

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE – President - techUK

1.       What excites you most about the future of your industry?

That diversity has found its voice. And in so many different ways: Industry leaders have understood that if machines powered by algorithms are going to be making decisions about whether you get a place at university or that job interview, or your application for a loan is accepted, they need to have diverse teams designing, testing and implementing the technology. In a world where machine dependency is increasing, soft skills matter more. In cyber we know that neuro diversity can help to see trends and patterns across vast amounts of data and help keep the nation safe. Authors like Caroline Criado-Perez in her new book, invisible women lay bare the in-built bias in our world built for men with examples like your phone is too big for your hand...given that we take 2.3 times longer to pee, isn’t it odd that women always have to queue? So, I am excited that the conversation is finally on the table and that it is becoming socially unacceptable not to embrace diversity - not just because it is the right thing to do but because it creates better business outcomes.

2.       Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I believe that we are all role models whether we choose to be or not. Our behaviour (Good or bad) is watched and emulated - you only have to mutter a single swear word under your breath in front of a small child to realise how that works! So, my inspiration comes from so many places: Our daughter, Stephanie, inspires me endlessly with her resilience and her values, our sons who are just so smart and loving. Of course, I am inspired by incredible humans who have become the best versions of themselves and demonstrate humbling generosity of spirit: Michelle Obama is one of them for sure, as is Malala and my very creative and accomplished husband, Roger. But I also take strength and learning from role models in my life who have not always been positive or supportive. I choose to forgive and to find positive intention - Ultimately, I believe there is always a miracle if you look hard enough. 

3.       Best piece of advice you’ve been given –

In a debate the Dalai Lama led about change, he reminded us that the cavalry’s not coming. If you want change start with yourself. His words: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room!”

4.       Worst piece of advice you’ve been given –

“Eat everything on your plate....” #Cursed! #Parents!

5.       What would you tell your younger self? 

That you do not have to be a man to make it. The technology industry that I entered 30 years ago was so male dominated that they told me they ‘simply didn’t put women on the leadership team’. So, I spent my early career emulating what the men did, being a scary boss lady, metaphorically ‘eating razor-blades’ for breakfast and being a terrifying alpha female. And to be honest it worked to a certain level! I was successful but I was not fulfilled. It took me ten years to realise that I was always going to be disappointed, always going to be an angry feminist banging my head against the glass ceiling and raging against the machine.  Not because I was a woman in a man’s world but that I was a woman trying to be a man in a man’s world. My own self-limiting belief was that you had to be a man to make it. And that is simply not true... SO, I would tell my younger self to find your values, honour your authentic-self. Realise that nobody else but you can make the shift from a mindset of not worthy to worth it, from management to leadership and from being the kind of woman that makes other women want to up their game. 

Inspirational Women in Business Series

Our next inspirational woman in business to feature is MADE.COM’s Chief Commercial Officer, Annabel Jack. She works with her teams based in London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam to create a great customer experience to MADE’s UK and European customer base, to achieve high growth sales targets. She has previously held roles within mydeco.com and Freshminds, and she is also a key part of Founders Forum, a community of digital entrepreneurs and innovators in tech.

Annabel Jack – Chief Commercial Officer at MADE.COM

Annabel Jack – Chief Commercial Officer at MADE.COM

1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given -

Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given –

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be an architect. I was lucky enough to do some awesome work placements. I was advised by a couple of the people I shadowed that it’s not a suitable career for women if you want your own family in the future. This was the mid-nineties. 


3. What would you tell your younger self? 

I tell my teenage children constantly to take advantage of all that their education offers, and to embrace extra-curricular opportunities that provide life skills such as public speaking, debating etc.


4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?

Made.com and our industry is focused on constantly providing a better customer experience. If you think about how much better the “shopping” experience has come in the last ten years, I think the next decade will be even better. Many different things will drive this. 


5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

Depends what for. If it’s work-focused, then I have an army of awesome mentors I’m grateful for their continued wisdom. But life in general, and pertinent to my situation today, it would be my awesome girlfriends that juggle so much, so well, to enable their families to thrive.

Inspirational Women in Business Series

In celebration of International Women’s Day this week, we’re launching our series of Inspiration Women in Business across the US and UK. These women have been disrupting and leading their various businesses and industries and we believe through role models like them, we can inspire a new generation, championing gender equality. Each week we will feature an impressive figure and ask them 5 simple questions, giving insight into these key women – our very own weekly #WCW.

This week we begin with Alexandra Depledge, currently the Founder & CEO of Resi, the start up disrupting the architecture industry. She is also well known for her online marketplace, Hassle.com, which connects cleaners to people. Built with Jules Coleman, they successfully sold the company in 2015. Alex also received an MBE in 2016 for services to the sharing economy.

Alex Depledge MBE – Founder & CEO of Resi and Hassle

Alex Depledge MBE – Founder & CEO of Resi and Hassle

1. What excites you most about the future of your industry?

Resi is redefining the workplace while redefining home creation using an ethical, profitable and sustainable business model.
2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

The Economist!

3. Best piece of advice you’ve been given -

You cannot change people’s behaviour towards you, only your behaviour to them.
4. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given –

The first to market wins. Bullshit. It’s those that execute the best regardless of when they enter. Very few businesses have natural network effects; you have to create them.

5. What would you tell your younger self?

Embrace your difference, it will become your brand.

Gordon & Eden’s C-Level Women’s Networking Event

Last Thursday, we hosted an event at the AllBright to bring Female leaders across the start-up, scale up and corporate digital landscape together. Olivia Wayne interviewed the founders of the AllBright, Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones and we heard about their successes and how they have overcome challenges along the way.

Please see our pictures from the event below.

Gordon & Eden - Winners: Lessons in Leadership Event

We recently hosted an event that brought together key figures from the Tech industry to debate what it takes to win.  Panelists included: 

  • Monzo Co-Founder Tom Blomfield
  • Anne Marie Huby, co-founder & Managing Director, Justgiving 
  • Chieu Cao, Co-founder, Perkbox
  • Maria Scott, CEO & co-founder, TAINA Technology Ltd
  • Hamish Grierson, CEO & co-founder, Thriva 
  • Tom Blomfield, CEO, Monzo
  • Matt Elek, CEO EMEA, Vice Media
  • Ishaan Malhi, Co-founder, Trussle
  • Pip Jamieson, Founder & CEO, The Dots
  • Alliott Cole, CEO, Octopus Ventures
  • Sitar Teli, Managing Partner, Connect Ventures
  • Alastair Campbell, Author - "Winners: And How They Succeed" and former Labour Communications Director

Please see photos from the event below. 

may '17 - gordon & eden executive networking drinks with tech crunch editor mike butcher

We were delighted to host an event for CEOs, Founders & investors of high-growth startups and corporate businesses on May 4th at The Trampery in Shoreditch. The evening saw Mike Butcher, Tech Crunch Editor,  reveal some of his provocative predictions for the next wave of digital disruption. 

Check out some photos below.
 

In Demand: London Tech Talent & the EU

A week before the UK voted Leave, Gordon & Eden hosted In Demand: London Tech Talent and the EU. Key members of the digital community were invited to Bloomberg HQ to share their perspectives on what the referendum result will mean for them, including Steve Hilton former director of strategy to the Prime Minister, Eric Van der Kleij from Entiq, Harry Briggs from BGF Ventures; Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK.