There has been lots of good news about the Tech Sector in the North West. The number of tech start-ups in the North West is increasing, we are seeing more investment and more and more of these businesses are choosing to remain based in the North West.  

However, for a cutting edge industry one area where the Tech Sector continues to lag behind is the number of women involved.  Research suggests that, on a generous estimate, only 20% of employees in STEM fields are female, with a similar proportion of females completing studies in these fields at undergraduate level. 

We all know this needs to get better, the how is a little more difficult. For today though, rather than debating what's going wrong let's celebrate that female minority because it takes courage to be an early adopter and these women are my inspiration. 

Ada Lovelace - born in 1815 and credited with writing the first computer program, all in a time before women even had the right to vote. 

Grace Hopper - a computer scientist and admiral in the US Navy. Grace always wanted to develop a programming language written in English and was involved in creating  COBOL, a computer programming language still in use today.

Padmasree Warrior - previously serving as Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco Systems, Padmasree is now the US CEO and Chief Development Officer for an autonomous vehicle start-up, NIO. Not only is she hugely successful in the industry, she is an inspiration and mentor for many women in tech. 

Sheryl Sandberg - love her or hate her, no one can deny the impact Sheryl has had. Currently riding the storm as COO of Facebook  and author of Lean In; Sheryl has shown that it is possible to succeed in a man's world. 

Denise Coates - the co-CEO of Bet365, she spotted an opportunity in the market and launched what is now one of the largest online gambling companies in the world.