#SWiT

Meet our SWiT Board Superstars

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Sam has been a digital disruptor for over 25 years working in both the UK and US for brands such as SmashHits, Match.com, Vodafone and more recently Virgin Money where she established an accelerator to deliver innovation. 

 

Sam is a bold, compassionate and forward-thinking leader.  She’s a mindfulness teacher and has an MSc in Mindfulness and Compassion from the University of Aberdeen. Sam is currently exploring the role of mindfulness and compassion in transformational leadership and female leaders.

 

A feminist and gender equality activist Sam is a trustee with Close the Gap and a non-executive director of a digital healthcare startup. Sam joined the SWiT board in 2019 to play a more active role in driving diversity in tech.

Samantha Bedford

 

Silka Patel is a strategic marketing expert with 21 years’ experience of working within the technology industry and is currently the Social Value Manager at Leidos UK. Silka set up Scotland Women in Technology which is now in its 14th year, championing women and girls in the technology sector.

 

Silka has a number of external roles including as a Non-Executive Director at the Glasgow Women’s Library which she has held for 10 years, Non-Executive Director at Technology Scotland and a member of Changing the Chemistry which seeks to improve board effectiveness and quality through the Diversity of Thought.

She is a keen supporter of women in technology and mentors STEM graduates and apprentices so they can be involved in the life changing opportunities that the sector offers.

 

Married and a mother of two boys, she enjoys pilates and cooking whilst juggling life and would have it no other way!

Silka Patel

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With more than twenty years in the technology industry Margaret has a unique understanding of how technology and change can facilitate business transformation and digital conversation.  With a passion for accessibility and a drive to use the technology she knows to level the playing field Margaret founded Akari a Gold Microsoft Partner with a true focus on making technology accessible.

 

Using technology to enable and empower employees and foster open, productive environments. Margaret works with organisations of all sizes to help them identify and, develop core business strategies and facilitate inclusivity. A strong advocate of the Microsoft stack and the ethos of empowerment and enablement, Margaret is a member of the global Microsoft partner influencer panel driving change and championing partner to partner enablement and ensuring that organisations realise the full scope of their Microsoft investment. 

 

Margaret is also passionate about driving and championing the Women in Technology movement and has also been named one of the top 50 most influential women in the UK IT channel.

Margaret Totten

Mhairi Galbraith is an ACCA qualified accountant, currently undertaking specialised work within the third sector. Mhairi joined the SWiT team in early 2019 and is involved in various charities, both as a volunteer and at board level. She is a passionate believer in the empowerment and advancement of women in the workplace, believing that it will increase the quantity and quality of the human resource within the organisation and in turn provide societal development.

 

Given the surge in the Scottish technology sector, Mhairi sees this as an opportunity to implement her vision for women, allowing them to be at the forefront of the technology curve.

Mhairi Galbraith

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Caroline has over 20 years in the technology industry and specialises in the delivery of large transformation and digital change programmes. She has worked in several technology leadership roles across both the public and private sector and is currently Head of Technology Delivery for M&G Wealth Advice. Most recently Caroline led a disruptive change for M&G, leading a diverse multi-continent technology team to deliver an industry leading hybrid advice solution, closing the advice gap in the UK to millions of consumers who cannot afford wealth advice.

 

As a technology leader, Caroline is passionate about creating opportunities for women to consider a career in technology through attracting more women to join the sector and supporting their growth and development in technology leadership roles. Working with disparate teams often across multiple locations, cultures and countries, she is passionate about building and changing perceptions both how women view technology and how they are viewed by the industry.

 

As a trustee for SWiT, Caroline hopes to support women find a place in technology where they can flourish in their careers, support others and build high performing teams.  

Caroline McDowall

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As project manager for the Scottish Government funded Digital Skills Investment Programme, Ketty has designed, developed and led a number of initiatives to help close Scotland’s digital technology skills gap with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion. Amongst many things this has included creating an evidence base on which to inform positive action to support tech employers and educators to increase workplace diversity. Ketty leads delivery of both the “Neurodiversity in Digital Technology” and “Tackling the Tech Gender Gap” programmes, engaging with industry, public agencies and stakeholders throughout the skills supply pipeline and helping to create partnerships on which to drive action forward. 

Ketty has driven forward a number of initiatives to support closing the tech gender gap including: Scotland’s first Digital Technology challenge badge for Girl Guiding Scotland; a best practice gender diversity guide for technology employers; and a number of best practice events for education, industry and public sector.

Previous to this Ketty worked in the digital tech industry for 7 years including client services and business development in an app and games development company, and a digital marketing agency. Ketty has experienced many of the skills challenges facing employers and individuals working in tech and is passionate about working with others to overcome these.

Ketty Lawrence

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Ashley has been a police officer for 18 years with Police Scotland, conducting investigation and gathering digital evidence to ensure people within Scotland’s communities are and feel safe.  She has continued throughout her career to push and expand the boundaries of investigative capabilities, allowing law enforcement to remain ahead of the exponential growth of societies digital landscape. In policing, Ashley has utilised her academic studies in IT to innovate and progress Police Scotland’s ability to investigate, through data and evidence gathering techniques.  The implementation of a Cisco Networking Academy, the first of its kind in the world for law enforcement, was the highlight of her career which is actively up-skilling investigators across the UK. 

Being passionate about supporting the next generation of technology genius’ to develop, grow and innovate is embedded in Ashley's ethos and over the past year developed and delivered, with the support of other partners such a Scotland Women in Technology, Glasgow Caledonian University and Police Scotland, a training programme in her own time which allows young people to achieve Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Certification.  

Ashley has a ‘can do and will do’ attitude and as she has recently come on board with Scotland Women in Technology she intends to inject energy, determination and commitment to reach, develop and lift women in technology to open opportunities, realise their potential and bridge that gender gap in industry.

Ashley Beck

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Lianne joined the SWiT board in late 2021 and brings more than 20 years working in the technology industry, 18 of those years supporting non profit and education focused organisations. In her time in global software companies, Lianne has gained expertise in how technology can drive successful careers, customer engagement and positive impact to some of the world's biggest challenges - supported by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Lianne's passions are technology, non profit and women's development which she feels makes SWiT a perfect fit for her board role. 

Lianne McGrory