Amali de Alwis

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Amali de Alwis
Alma materCamberwell College of Arts

University of the Arts London

University of Birmingham
EmployerCode First: Girls
AwardsMBE (18)

Amali Chivanthi de Alwis (born April 1980) MBE FRSA is the CEO of Code First: Girls. She is a board member of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, and the Institute of Coding.

Early life and education[edit]

de Alwis attended Nonsuch High School for Girls and graduated in 1998. She studied manufacturing engineering at the University of Birmingham. In 2002 she completed a Foundation Course at Camberwell College of Arts, before studying Product Development at the University of the Arts London. She enrolled on the Graduate Program at Clarks Shoes, which she left to become a consultant at Kantar TNS.[1] At TNS Alwis advised organisations on stakeholder management and digital strategies.[1]


de Alwis spent two years at Kantar TNS before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Thought Leadership Manager.[2][3] During her time at PricewaterhouseCoopers she took a secondment to the World Economic Forum.[1] She delivered a report on resilience and risk, and the correlation between operational performance and societal value.[4] She worked at Startup Direct as a mentor, advising London and Birmingham based start-up businesses.[1] She started working with Entrepreneur First in 2015 and has worked simultaneously worked as a commissioner for the Doncaster Education and Skills Commission.[1][5][6] de Alwis has written for The Daily Telegraph the Evening Standard and The Times, and is Chair of the BIMA Diversity Council.[7][8][9][10] de Alwis is a mentor for June Angelides, an employee of Silicon Valley Bank who launched the start-up Mums in Technology.[11][12] She has been part of Debating Matters.[13]

Code First: Girls[edit]

de Alwis has spoken extensively about the need for more women in technology and the lack of computer science teachers in school education.[14][15][16][17][18][19] She joined Code First: Girls in 2015.[20][21] Under her leadership, Code First: Girls has taught more UK women to code than the British university system, providing £2.5 million worth of free technology education.[22][23] She has described Stephanie Shirley as one of her role models.[24] She launched a campaign in December 2018 to teach 20,000 women to code for free by the end of 2020.[25] The program will need £1.5 million funding, and is supported by Martha Lane Fox.[26] de Alwis is a board member of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills and the Institute of Coding.[27][28]

Awards and honours[edit]

She has been recognised the WISE Campaign for her "significant impact in encouraging girls to code".[29] She won the 2017 Women in IT award for her services to electronic skills.[30] She was selected as Computer Weekly's Most Influential Women in IT in 2018, after being in the top ten in 2017.[31][32] She was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to diversity in technology.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Amali de Alwis". Welcome to the WISE Campaign. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  2. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Amali de Alwis". PwC. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  3. ^ "Amali De Alwis – Battle of Ideas 2017". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. ^ "Resilience: A journal of strategy and risk" (PDF). PWC. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  5. ^ ltd, company check. "ENTREPRENEUR FIRST C.I.C.. Free business summary taken from official companies house information. Free alerts. Registered as 07810542". Company Check. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  6. ^ (PDF) Retrieved 2018-12-29. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "London Tech Week: how tech can start to solve its gender problem". Evening Standard. 2018-06-14. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  8. ^ Frean, Alexandra (2018-03-06). "Putting women on right track in technology". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  9. ^ Alwis, Amali de (2018-03-08). "Let's not focus solely on the downsides of being female, but celebrate what women can bring to the table". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  10. ^ "Diversity". BIMA. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  11. ^ Bateman, Jessica (2017-01-16). "'She's been life changing': Why female mentors matter in tech". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  12. ^ "Mentors". MUMS IN TECHNOLOGY. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  13. ^ "Debating Matters - People - Amali de Alwis". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  14. ^ PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Why aren't there more women in tech and entrepreneurship?". PwC. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  15. ^ Alwis 2018-04-12T14:30:14.101ZBusiness, Amali de. "The importance of getting more women into tech". IT Pro Portal. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  16. ^ "There are not enough women in travel tech and what can we do about it?". Travel Daily. 2018-05-22. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  17. ^ "Teaching tech: how coding moved from the bedroom to the classroom". The Telegraph. 2018-03-18. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  18. ^ says, Steve (2016-09-19). "How more women can get into coding". Hiscox Business Blog. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  19. ^ Bateman, Jessica (2017-12-01). "Closing the tech gender gap starts in childhood". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  20. ^ "Amali de Alwis joins Code First: Girls as CEO". Code First: Girls. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  21. ^ "Amali de Alwis the CEO of Code First: Girls appears on this episode of the Irish Tech News podcast – Irish Tech News". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  22. ^ "Code First: Girls teaches more women to code in UK than universities". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  23. ^ "Amali de Alwis | Code First: Girls". WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards. 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  24. ^ ""Weibliche Risikofreude ist auch eine gesellschaftliche Aufgabe"". herCAREER. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  25. ^ Metz, Ana. "Code Like a Girl! Interview with Amali de Alwis – CEO of Code First: Girls | EU-Startups". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  26. ^ "Code First Girls wants to teach 20,000 women to code by 2020 - and it could give the UK an edge after Brexit". Alphr. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  27. ^ Skills, Ada National College for Digital (2018-12-29). "Amali de Alwis". Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  28. ^ "Amali de Alwis – Inclusive Boards". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  29. ^ "HRH The Princess Royal honours trail-blazing women and men in science, technology and engineering". Welcome to the WISE Campaign. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  30. ^ "Women in IT Awards 2017: winners revealed". Information Age. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  31. ^ "Amali de Alwis, most influential woman in UK IT 2018 - winner's speech". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  32. ^ "1. Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls - Role models pictured - Most Influential Women in UK technology 2018". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  33. ^ "The New Year's Honours list 2019". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2018-12-29.