Belinda Parmar

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Belinda Parmar
Belinda Parmar.jpg
Born (1974-03-12) March 12, 1974 (age 40)
Occupation CEO and Campaigner
Notable credit(s) The Guardian, Huffington Post, Wired
Website
http://littlemissgeek.org/ , http://ladygeek.com

Belinda Parmar, OBE (born 12 March 1974), is the founder of Little Miss Geek[1] and CEO of Lady Geek, a campaigning agency which aims to make technology more appealing and accessible to women.[2] Parmar has stated that her personal mission is "to end the stereotyping and patronising of women within the technology" and the “pink it & shrink it” approach marketing to women.[3][4]

Little Miss Geek aims to get young women to be inspired by a career in the technology and games industry. This campaign received coverage in BBC,[5] WIRED,[6] Metro,[7] The Guardian,[8] Independent.[9]

She has written for Wired,[10][11] Glamour, The Times and has appeared on BBC Programmes[12][13][14] and Channel 4 News as a technology commentator.[15] She also has a column in the Huffington Post.

Parmar is the author of book "The Empathy Era" which has received coverage [16] from Guardian Women in Leadership,New Stateman, The Sunday Times and Metro.

Career[edit]

While a planning director of the Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency Parmar became interested in marketing to women: "There's a real opportunity here for brands and retailers in the consumer electronics sector to target women. This group of women told us loud and clear that they do not want diamante encrusted mobile phones and baby pink DAB radios. Our aim is to get clients to think differently about how they develop, distribute and market products to women."[17]

Parmar is the CEO of Lady Geek and Lady Geek TV. Having left Saatchi and Saatchi in 2001, Parmar stated: "I set up Lady Geek because I was frustrated (and bored) by the way technology companies design and market products. Despite the fact that women account for 4 out of every 10 tech purchases, technology and gaming companies continue to patronise professional women by 'pinking up' and 'dumbing down' their products and marketing."[18][19]

Parmar was a judge at the 2013 Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in IT awards.[20]

Parmar writes a column for Guardian Women in Leadership[21] section.

Campaigning[edit]

Parmar states that "The technology industry is still struggling to shake off the image of the male, pizza-guzzling, antisocial nerd",[22] and that it is this image problem which reduces the appeal of careers in technology to women. Parmar states that she will not speak at women-only events[23] as they tend to exclude the men who can help solve problems of women in technology.

Parmar's 'Her In Hero' campaign has gained the support of Ms Jo Swinson MP, Hon Ed Vaizey MP, and Rt Hon Theresa May MP,[24] among others. The campaign took place in over 15 schools, reaching out to over 10,000 students.[25]

Honours and awards[edit]

Parmar won the Internet Breakthrough category of the Red Hot Female Entrepreneur Awards 2011[26] and was voted by Cosmopolitan[27] as top 40 under 40. She has been cited as one of the "top UK tech twitterers" by Silicon.com.[28] She was also selected as one of WIRED's inspirational women supporting Ada Lovelace Day.[29]

Parmar was placed amongst Huffington Post's "Top 10 Innovative Women to Follow on Twitter",[30] and was picked as one of the Guardian's 'Ten Women in Tech You Need to Meet' in October 2013.[31]

In 2014 Parmar became a member of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.[32] She was also named one of Business Insider's "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter"[33]

Parmar was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to women in technology.[34][35]

Media[edit]

Parmar caused controversy in her Guardian column by claiming that her language degree had been a "waste of time", calling for more girls to challenge the presumption that there are 'girls subjects' and 'boys subjects' by taking up coding and pursuing degrees in the technology sector.[36] This was followed up with a video debate between Parmar and Adrian Searle, questioning the value of arts degrees and the wider financial return of a degree as a whole.[37]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lady Geek". 
  2. ^ "Lady Geek". Lady Geek. 
  3. ^ "Belinda Parmar". The Huffington Post. 
  4. ^ "The Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network". Bloomberg Link. 
  5. ^ Belinda Parmar (2012-10-12). "'Viewpoint: More women needed in technology'". BBC News. 
  6. ^ Olivia Solon (2012-10-03). "Little Miss Geek campaign encourages more girls into tech careers". Wired UK. 
  7. ^ Hayley Leaver (2012-10-23). "We are the Geeky Girls: The mission to get girls creating gadgets". The Metro. 
  8. ^ Jemima Kiss (2012-10-01). "Why are so few women working in technology?". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Rebecca Armstrong (2012-10-08). "Kicking myself as Lady Geek catches the IT bug". The Independent. 
  10. ^ "You know, for girls". WIRED. 
  11. ^ "Still think gaming is a man's world? Meet four women bosses". WIRED. 
  12. ^ "Belinda Parmar on BBC Breakfast News". 
  13. ^ "Woman's Hour". BBC Radio 4. 2011-07-26. 
  14. ^ "Augment Your Reality with a new App". BBC. 2011-06-01. 
  15. ^ "The Lady Geeks". Lady Geek. 
  16. ^ http://empathyera.org/coverage/
  17. ^ "Retailers Told, Ignore 'Lady Geeks' At Your Peril!". Saatchi and Saatchi. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  18. ^ "techUK members and tech pioneers recognised on Queen's Birthday Honours list". 
  19. ^ "Photos: Great female technology entrepreneurs". Computer Weekly. 
  20. ^ http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240183766/Most-Influential-Women-in-UK-IT-Nominations-open
  21. ^ "Guardian Women in Leadership: Belinda Parmar". 
  22. ^ Belinda Parmar (2013-07-23). "Why the next Mark Zuckerberg currently won't be female". The Guardian. 
  23. ^ "Why I won't speak at women-only events". The Guardian. 2013-07-03. 
  24. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/89012755@N05/sets/72157636397947356/
  25. ^ http://littlemissgeek.com/her-in-hero
  26. ^ "Red Hot Woman Awards". Red Online. 
  27. ^ "Awards". 
  28. ^ "Awards". Lady Geek. 
  29. ^ "Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day". WIRED. 
  30. ^ "Huffington Post". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  31. ^ Harriet Minter (2013-10-18). "Ten Women In Tech You Should Meet". The Guardian. 
  32. ^ "Young Global Leaders Class of 2014". World Economic Forum. 
  33. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com.au/most-influential-tech-women-on-twitter-2014-5#36-courtney-boyd-myers-65
  34. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b14. 14 June 2014.
  35. ^ "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: OBE". The Guardian. 2014-06-13. 
  36. ^ Belinda Parmar (2013-08-23). Guardian "I wasted four years of my life – don't make the same mistake". 
  37. ^ "Is an arts degree worth the tuition fees? - five-minute video debate". The Guardian. 2013-09-30.