Belinda Parmar

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Belinda Parmar OBE
Belinda Parmar.jpg
Born (1974-03-12) March 12, 1974 (age 46)
OccupationCEO and Campaigner

Belinda Parmar, OBE (born 12 March 1974), is a British entrepreneur, campaigner and corporate activist.

Parmar is the founder and CEO of "The Empathy Business", formerly known as "Lady Geek", a consultancy business that "embeds empathy into companies"[1] and has published an annual "Global Empathy Index" in the Harvard Business Review which claims a causal relationship between empathy and commercial performance.[2] Parmar states “it may take a pandemic to end our relationship with junk tech.[3] She claims that technology is having a negative impact on mental health and compares social media to fast food calling it “junk tech” that requires “no cognitive effort”, despite having previously been described as "the high priestess of tech empowerment".[4]

Parmar led the Little Miss Geek campaign, supported by forty MPs, which aimed to inspire women to follow careers oriented towards technology.[5][6]


Her campaign against “junk tech” provides support for parents, including workshops.[7] As part of this campaign, Parmar has stated that "we no longer control technology: it controls us", "we have become slaves to technology" and talks about the dangers of "junk technology", comparing the effects of too much technology to the ill-effects of junk food. She aims to "hold to account the tech giants who are profiting from our over-engagement".[8][9][10]

Parmar's previous campaigning mission, through Lady Geek, was "to end the stereotyping and patronising of women within the technology" and the “pink it & shrink it” approach of selling to women.[11][12]

Honours and awards[edit]

Parmar was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to women in technology.[13][14]

In 2014 Parmar was included in the World Economic Forum's List of Young Global Leaders[15] and was named one of Business Insider Australia's "100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter".[16] In October 2014 she was placed in Fortune's "55 most influential women on Twitter".[17] In June 2015 Parmar was named by The Guardian "one of the UK's leading campaigners to get more women into tech".[18] In 2017 she was included in The Cranfield Female FTSE Board Report '100 Women to Watch 2017'.[19] Parmar is listed in the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in Tech 2018.[20]

In 2020, Parmar was voted one of “Top 20 Global Diversity figures in public life” along with Obama and Kamala Harris.


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.[21] 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.[22]


  1. ^ Newman, Stephanie (28 November 2017). "How to deliver bad news with dignity". Forbes.
  2. ^ "The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies".
  3. ^ Sarner, Moya (15 March 2018). "Meet the tech evangelist who now fears for our mental health". The Guardian.
  4. ^ "Meet the tech evangelist fearing for our mental health". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". The Empathy Era. Archived from the original on 2018-10-28. Retrieved 2020-06-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Niranjan, Ajit. "We don't really understand empathy, but we know business could do with a little more". New Statesman.
  7. ^ "Revealed: first child to be diagnosed with Internet addiction by the NHS". The Telegraph.
  8. ^ "Belinda Parmar, la pionera de la tecnología que prohíbe los dispositivos y las pantallas en su casa". El Mundo.
  9. ^ "Revealed: first child to be diagnosed with Internet addiction by the NHS". The Telegraph.
  10. ^ "Meet the tech evangelist who now fears for our mental health". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Belinda Parmar". The Huffington Post.
  12. ^ "The Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network". Bloomberg Link. Archived from the original on 2012-06-13.
  13. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b14.
  14. ^ "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: OBE". The Guardian. 2014-06-13.
  15. ^ "Young Global Leaders Class of 2014". World Economic Forum.
  16. ^ Borison, Rebecca. "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter". Business Insider Australia.
  17. ^ Caroline Fairchild; Colleen Leahey; Jennifer Reingold (6 October 2014). "Fortune's 55 most influential women on Twitter". Fortune.
  18. ^ "10 of the best female role models in tech – in pictures". The Guardian. 22 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Female FTSE Board Report 100 Women to Watch 2017".
  20. ^ "Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in Tech 2018 and in 2020". Computer Weekly.
  21. ^ Belinda Parmar (23 August 2013). "I wasted four years of my life – don't make the same mistake". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Maynard, Phil; Smith, Elliot (30 September 2013). "Is an arts degree worth the tuition fees? – five-minute video debate". The Guardian.