[IN MY OPINION] The Importance of Encouraging Female Role Models in Tech

Sarah McVittie
Co-founder and Co-CEO at

Sarah McVittie is the co-founder and co-CEO of Dressipi, an innovative fashion discovery and online styling service helping customers to find clothes that match their 'digital fashion fingerprint'​.

A week ago Donna and I set off to join the incredible group of women (and a few lucky men) at the Everywoman Technology Awards. We were finalists in the Entrepreneur category with two other brilliant women (Emily Brooke from Blaze and Joanne Smith from Recordsure). We were expecting to have a fun evening, but had absolutely no expectations of winning!

Winners of 2016 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards announced
FDM everywoman in Technology Awards. Photo by Steve Dunlop (Steve@SteveDunlop.com)

We were gobsmacked at our win and completely over-the-moon to get the recognition for all the hard-work that both ourselves and our brilliant team have put in to Dressipi. Building genuinely good and personal recommendations in the fashion domain is certainly not as easy as we expected and it is great that, 6 years on, not only is the business seeing great success but that the team can also be rewarded for all of their efforts.

“Building genuinely good and personal recommendations in the fashion domain is certainly not as easy as we expected.”

Aside from winning our category, one of the most compelling parts of the evening was the other brilliant finalists that we got to meet. From Ellora James and Amy Naden – (both 16, still at school and ridiculously impressive) to Kate Newhouse from DoctorCareAnywhere, Sophie Newton from BrainLabs, Georgina Orso from Doppel and of course the overall winner of the evening Emily Brooke from Blaze. All 36 women working in very different areas of technology, but all equally dedicated and inspiring.

Dressipi Founders Sarah McVittie & Donna North
Dressipi Founders Sarah McVittie & Donna North

Not ones to push the female agenda too aggressively, Donna and I both believe in working hard and with tenacity to deliver our vision. We do, however, recognize that there is a real need for role models to encourage more women to use and accept their brilliance in the technology field, and so are both huge supporters of organizations like Everywoman.

“Not ones to push the female agenda too aggressively, Donna and I both believe in working hard and with tenacity to deliver our vision.”

We were struck by the number of hugely talented women who ended up winning their categories who (although asked to prepare acceptance speeches) did not genuinely expect to win. Perhaps we can all inspire future generations by being more confident in our own success.

This point was very well made in the speech made by last year’s overall winner Carole Mundell, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics (now that’s a job title I’d like to have!!) where she talked about the award#women making her recognize, accept and celebrate her own success – something she had not done in her career previously.

Carole Mundell, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics
Carole Mundell, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics

So on reflection, we all have a very important part to play celebrating the success of our companies and teams – being visible and inspiring others to have the confidence to win in this sector.

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