Belinda Parmar

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Belinda Parmar
Belinda Parmar.jpg
Born (1974-03-12) March 12, 1974 (age 42)
Occupation CEO and Campaigner
Website http://ladygeek.com

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.[1] She is the founder and CEO of "Lady Geek", an advocacy agency, which "embeds empathy into companies"[2] and publishes an annual 'Global Empathy Index' which claims a causal relationship between empathy and commercial performance.[3] The agency also leads the Little Miss Geek campaign, which aims to inspire women to follow careers oriented towards technology.[4][5]

Campaigning[edit]

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 of selling to women.[6][7]

Parmar states that "The technology industry is still struggling to shake off the image of the male, pizza-guzzling, antisocial nerd",[8] 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[9] 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."[10][11]

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.[12][13]

In 2014 Parmar became a member of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.[14] She was also named one of Business Insider's "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter".[15] In October 2014 she was placed in Fortune's "55 most influential women on Twitter".[16] 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".[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chahal, Mindi (February 18, 2015). "Why brands are losing relevance with girls". Marketing Week. 
  2. ^ "The place for women-only events". ABC Women's Forum. 
  3. ^ "The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies". 
  4. ^ The Empathy Era. 
  5. ^ Ajit Niranjan. "We don't really understand empathy, but we know business could do with a little more". New Statesman. 
  6. ^ "Belinda Parmar". The Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ "The Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network". Bloomberg Link. 
  8. ^ Belinda Parmar (2013-07-23). "Why the next Mark Zuckerberg currently won't be female". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ "Why I won't speak at women-only events". The Guardian. 2013-07-03. 
  10. ^ "techUK members and tech pioneers recognised on Queen's Birthday Honours list". 
  11. ^ "Photos: Great female technology entrepreneurs". Computer Weekly. 
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b14. 14 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Queen's birthday honours list 2014: OBE". The Guardian. 2014-06-13. 
  14. ^ "Young Global Leaders Class of 2014". World Economic Forum. 
  15. ^ Rebecca Borison. "The 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter". Business Insider. 
  16. ^ Caroline Fairchild; Colleen Leahey; Jennifer Reingold (2014-10-06). "Fortune's 55 most influential women on Twitter". Fortune. 
  17. ^ "10 of the best female role models in tech – in pictures". The Guardian. 2015-06-22. 
  18. ^ Belinda Parmar (2013-08-23). "I wasted four years of my life – don't make the same mistake". The Guardian. 
  19. ^ "Is an arts degree worth the tuition fees? - five-minute video debate". The Guardian. 2013-09-30.