|Born||March 12, 1974|
|Occupation||CEO and Campaigner|
Belinda Parmar, OBE (born 12 March 1974), is an author and activist for the expansion of women's involvement in the world of technology and for a new way companies talk to women in the technology sector. She is the founder and CEO of "Lady Geek", an advocacy agency, which "embeds empathy into companies" and publishes an annual 'Global Empathy Index' which claims a causal relationship between empathy and commercial performance. The agency also leads the Little Miss Geek campaign, which aims to inspire women to follow careers oriented towards technology.
Parmar states that "The technology industry is still struggling to shake off the image of the male, pizza-guzzling, antisocial nerd", 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 as they tend to exclude the men who can help solve problems of women in technology.
Parmar stated: "I set up Lady Geek because I was frustrated (and bored) by the way 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."
Honours and awards
In 2014 Parmar became a member of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader. She was also named one of Business Insider's "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter". In October 2014 she was placed in Fortune's "55 most influential women on Twitter". In June 2015 Parmar was named by The Guardian one of the "One of the UK’s leading campaigners to get more women into tech".
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. 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.
- Chahal, Mindi (February 18, 2015). "Why brands are losing relevance with girls". Marketing Week.
- "The place for women-only events". ABC Women's Forum.
- "The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies".
- The Empathy Era.
- Ajit Niranjan. "We don't really understand empathy, but we know business could do with a little more". New Statesman.
- "Belinda Parmar". The Huffington Post.
- "The Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network". Bloomberg Link.
- Belinda Parmar (2013-07-23). "Why the next Mark Zuckerberg currently won't be female". The Guardian.
- "Why I won't speak at women-only events". The Guardian. 2013-07-03.
- "techUK members and tech pioneers recognised on Queen's Birthday Honours list".
- "Photos: Great female technology entrepreneurs". Computer Weekly.
- The London Gazette: . 14 June 2014.
- "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: OBE". The Guardian. 2014-06-13.
- "Young Global Leaders Class of 2014". World Economic Forum.
- Rebecca Borison. "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter". Business Insider.
- Caroline Fairchild; Colleen Leahey; Jennifer Reingold (2014-10-06). "Fortune's 55 most influential women on Twitter". Fortune.
- "10 of the best female role models in tech – in pictures". The Guardian. 2015-06-22.
- Belinda Parmar (2013-08-23). "I wasted four years of my life – don't make the same mistake". The Guardian.
- "Is an arts degree worth the tuition fees? - five-minute video debate". The Guardian. 2013-09-30.