Women in Tech: Dr Sue Black OBE

Throughout our crowdfunding campaign we'll be interviewing leaders and upcoming women in the UK tech industry, asking how they got involved in tech and the importance of role models.

In this interview we speak to Dr Sue Black OBE, computer scientist, academic and social entrepreneur.


Tell us a bit about yourself and what you're working on

I'm an Honorary Professor in Computer Science at UCL, CEO of a social enterprise I set up called #techmums which teaches digital skills to mums and an author currently writing a book on coding for Penguin. I also do a lot of public speaking at conferences and events around the world.

Dr Sue Black OBE and #techmum team (http://techmums.co/)

Dr Sue Black OBE and #techmum team (http://techmums.co/)

How did you first get involved in tech?

I always loved maths as a kid and when aged 26 I decided to go to college to study I chose maths. When I passed that course I needed to decide what to study at university. I chose computer science because I believed then and still believe that technology is the future ❤️

Dr Sue Black OBE speaking at a Bloomberg event (https://blackse.wordpress.com/)

Dr Sue Black OBE speaking at a Bloomberg event (https://blackse.wordpress.com/)

Why are role models so important? Can you give us an example of how a role model has influenced you and your career?

Role models are really important. You can't be what you can't see. We need to be able to see people like us achieving to give us the vision we need to keep going towards our goals.

Incredible role models like Dame Professor Wendy Hall, Dame Stephanie Shirley and the women who worked at Bletchley Park have been great role models for me in my career. Before that I was inspired by amazing women like Oprah Winfrey, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou, they helped me to realise that just because I was in a difficult situation in my life I could change things for the better. They really did help me turn my life around. 

You can find Sue on Twitter as @Dr_Black

Her best-selling book 'Saving Bletchley Park: How #socialmedia saved the home of the WWII codebreakers' is available to buy now.