Empowering Women with Tech logo


We are a Leeds based group that works to elevate, educate and empower women in digital, tech and science careers.

Celebrate International Women's Day with us on Friday March 8th with an evening of fireside chats with phenomenal role models from Accenture Digital, the European Space Agency, Google, Guardian Newspaper and Leeds City Council.

Tickets are free and open to all (m/f/gn).
We're so grateful to our event partners Accenture Digital and Leeds City Council for generously supporting this event.

Get your free ticket here!

Our Speakers:

Photo of Ana Jakimovska, a speaker at empower with tech

Ana Jakimovska.

Director of Product Management, Guardian News & Media

Ana Jakimovska is Director of Product Management at Guardian News & Media.

She holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Surrey (2010).

photo of milena nikolic, a speaker at empower with tech

Milena Nikolic.

Director - Software Engineering at Google

Milena Nikolic is a Software Engineering Director leading Google Play team in London. She has been at Google for more than 10 years, having joined as a new grad Software Engineer in London in 2008.

Milena enjoys growing people and building efficient engineering teams, and is deeply passionate about software distribution, developer services and Android - all of which are areas she has worked in throughout her career at Google.

photo of Vinita Madill, a speaker at empowering women with tech

Vinita Marwaha Madill.

Space Operations Engineer at the European Space Agency (ESA)

Vinita Marwaha Madill has worked at the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and NASA Ames Research Center. At ESA, Vinita helped design the Skinsuit and conducted a study on future extravehicular activity suit design. At DLR she worked on ISS operations, writing astronaut procedures and guiding astronauts through experiments.

She studied mathematics and physics with astrophysics at King’s College London and went on to gain master’s degrees in space management from the International Space University and in astronautics and space engineering from Cranfield University, UK. Vinita is an advocate for space outreach, founding the site Rocket Women that aims to inspire women to study STEM and consider a career in the space industry.

She is now also a Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) public relations and communications team co-lead. Based in Canada, Vinita led the Intelligent Transportation Systems team as an engineering manager and is now a consultant. She was recently mentioned in ELLE magazine’s feature on 12 Genius Young Women Shaping The Future.

a photo of niamh mckenna, a speaker at empowering women with tech

Niamh McKenna.

Managing Director at Accenture Health, UK

Niamh McKenna, managing director, is responsible for leading Accenture’s Health business in the UK. Niamh has worked across many different industry sectors in Accenture leveraging a wide range of skills from management consulting to technology delivery. Her particular passion is helping clients to make sense of the many and varied technology changes that are taking place in the market at the moment - transforming the way healthcare will work for clinicians and patients.

She helps find the path between the buzzwords and focus on what really makes a difference in the day to day challenges in her clients. She is currently working on how we can place humans at the heart of future health services and deal with some of the thornier challenges that technology can bring.

Niamh studied Social & Political Science at Cambridge University and is a globetrotter and has lived and worked in several different countries– finding those different cultural experiences ever more useful in our increasingly connected, digital world.

a photo of judith blake, a speaker at empowering women with tech

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood

Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood has been the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults at Leeds City Council and the Chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board since May 2016. She has a particular interest in the link between health and social care organisations and local authorities, including how they can work together to achieve a more integrated model.

Rebecca has also previously worked at a UK wide level in social care and nursing compliance for five years. Prior to this, she also worked in the field of supported housing, with vulnerable people who have escaped domestic violence, ex-offenders and people with mental health issues and learning difficulties.

Rebecca has also completed a Master’s degree at SOAS in public policy and management, where she carried out research on the participation of vulnerable people in society and the services which affect them.   Rebecca has been the local ward councillor for the Moortown and Meanwood ward in Leeds since 2011.

a photo of eve roodhouse, a speaker at empowering women with tech

Eve Roodhouse.

Chief Officer - Economic Development at Leeds City Council

Eve leads on Economic Development at Leeds City Council where she is responsible for bringing forwards the delivery framework for the city’s Inclusive Growth Strategy. Eve also leads on economic policy, business growth support, inward investment and visitor economy. Eve is a member of the Leadership Group of the Chamber of Commerce and a Director of North Invest.

Prior to joining Leeds City Council Eve worked for NHS Digital where she established a nationwide implementation team to support the delivery of major national IT programmes across health and care. She remains passionate about all things digital and the potential that the digital revolution brings for people and businesses.

When she is not at work Eve enjoys running with her local running club, Harrogate Harriers, and spending time with her family.

a photo of natasha sayce zelem, a speaker at empowering women with tech

Natasha Sayce-Zelem.

Founder of Empowering Women with Tech and Head of Technology for Digital Service at Sky

Named as one of the Top 100 women working in Technology, Natasha Sayce-Zelem is the Head of Technology at Sky across its extensive Digital Service estate.

Sky is one of The Times Top 50 employers for women, with an award winning ‘Women in Leadership’ programme and a number of external free initiatives to encourage more women to get into a Tech career. Natasha speaks and writes nationally to inspire more people to consider side-stepping into a Tech career using existing transferrable skills and reinforcing how important it is to focus on the creativity aspects of a Tech career, especially in encouraging more diversity into the sector.

Outside of Sky, Natasha founded the ‘Empowering Women with Tech’ community. Over 1000 people have attended a EWWT event with past keynote talks from Lauren Laverne, Dr Sue Black OBE, Anne Marie Imafidon MBE and Debbie Wosskow OBE to name a few.

Natasha also founded the Leeds ‘Ladies of Code’ meetup and is on the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Leeds School of Computing.

Who are we?

Empowering Women with Tech is a Leeds based group that works to elevate, educate and empower women in digital, tech and science careers.

Annoyingly only 17% of the Tech workforce are female, with less than 10% in leadership positions. With the significant role Digital/Technology plays in all of our lives, we need more of us to be active creators, not passive consumers and help shape what the tech products will look like in the future to ensure they meet all our needs.

We run a mentoring scheme and host events with inspirational role models working across all levels of science/digital/tech (from fashion bloggers to computer scientists/inventors to website entrepreneurs) to show just how varied and exciting the careers paths are, and to break the stigma that tech isn’t creative.

Code of Conduct

We’re a friendly bunch here at Empowering Women with Tech, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a code of conduct. Here is ours:

  • Empowering Women with Tech is committed to creating a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for learning, sharing, and professional networking.
  • We strive to provide a positive, harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age or religion.
  • All skill levels are welcomed, from newbie to experienced. Open dialogue is very much encouraged, and all perspectives are appreciated.
  • We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Event participants include attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers and staff.
  • If you notice any troubling behaviour or spot a breach of the code of conduct, please let an organiser know as soon as it is possible to do so.

Anyone who violates these rules will be asked to stop. Should you not comply, the participant may be expelled from the event immediately. The event organisers of Empowering Women with Tech, and the events sponsors reserve the right to expel anyone who violates these rules.


We endeavour to make our event venues wheelchair accessible, and will support accessibility requirements for all attendees. Space is always available as a quiet area for attendees who need a calm space to step out. If you have needs or concerns around participation, please let us know and we will make every effort to help.

Contact, Comments, Feedback

Inclusion is an ongoing process, guided by learning from people about their needs and experiences. We would be very happy to hear from you if you have any concerns, questions, or requests. Please let us know by sending us a Direct Message on Twitter @empowerwithtech

Tickets are free and first come, first served:

Get your free ticket here!

Our Sponsors

Accenture Digital helps clients in Leeds and around the world pivot from thinking digital to being digital at the core. From interactive experiences that captivate customers, new intelligence that is applied across every industry, function and process, and the digital reinvention of industry through smart, connected, products, services, plants and workers, we’re creating value across more than 40 industries and all business functions, delivering transformational outcomes for a demanding new digital world.