The Team

Lauren Allison

CEO

Lauren specialises in the nexus between social responsibility, public diplomacy, public policy, and technology. Trained as a public diplomacy professional at the University of Southern California (USC) as a UK Fulbright Postgraduate Award Recipient, Lauren is also the Executive Director of Sulby Media working as an international strategic communications and technology consultant.

Prior to Sulby Media, Lauren worked on the foundation and operation of the first-ever public responsibility department at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Lauren has held research and writing positions at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy and in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Chris Lyttle MLA and Anna Lo MLA.

@_LaurenAllison_

April Preston

Engagement and Relationship Manager

April Preston grew up in a council house in Stockport with her two Deaf and disabled parents. At the age of 10 she went into care under the local authority and now uses her life-experiences to champion forward thinking, focusing on how we help and seek to represent those in challenging circumstances.

As a young girl she witnessed the devastating outcomes which comes from the mishandling of disability, mental health, and is determined to counter this through all avenues of her work.

Her background is in Interactive Arts, holding a Masters in Visual Anthropology and also having taught degree students. As an educator with a keen interest in peer-to-peer learning she strives to make technology an option for all; regardless of socioeconomic background, or class – using it as an aide to negate disability and discrimination.

Having raised her child on her own throughout her time as a student she wants to help other parents at #techmums, creating a network of support, raising both the woman’s confidence in technology but also within themselves.

The #techmums Board

Professor Sue Black, OBE

Founder

An award winning Computer Scientist, Technology Evangelist and Digital Skills Expert, Professor Sue Black was awarded an OBE for “services to technology” in the 2016 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. She is Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist in the Department of Computer Science at Durham University, a UK government advisor, thought leader, Trustee at Comic Relief, social entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. Sue set up the UK’s first online network for women in tech BCSWomen in 1998 and led the campaign to save Bletchley Park. Sue’s first book Saving Bletchley Park details the social media campaign she led to save Bletchley Park from 2008-2011, it has been an Amazon UK bestseller.

Sue didn’t have a traditional start to her career. She left home and school at 16, married at 20 and had 3 children by the age of 23. A single parent at 25 she went to university, gained a degree in computing then a PhD in software engineering. Sue now has 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Twitter: @Dr_Black

Kate Platonova

Board Chair & Non-Executive Director

Kate is a senior technology leader with a passion for learning and innovation and a unique blend of technical, relationship management, and marketing abilities. She drives transformation by leveraging her deep knowledge of technology and delivering tangible business benefits. Kate interacts with people through building professional connections and learning from each other.

In her current role in HSBC, Kate leads Technical Domains architecture function. She is responsible for setting and executing firmwide Architecture strategy across Application, Data Infrastructure, Cyber Security, and Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) domains. Kate is an ambassador for diversity and believes in diverse talent pools being a primary driver for innovation.

Kate has considerable experience in the global financial services industry, previously working for JP Morgan Chase, Barclay Capital, and Morgan Stanley in senior technology roles that spanned a number of disciplines. Kate holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Finance, a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.

Kate is a passionate advocate of the power and value of technology, so #techmums mission strongly resonated with the way she would like to change the world. Prior to joining #techmums, Kate served as a Trustee for Kensington and Chelsea Foundation.

She is based in London with her partner, two daughters, and two wilful cats.

Carrie-Anne Adams

Non-Executive Director

CarrieAnne brings extensive experience and an established network to the #techmums table having led successful and high profile programmes of work in both the corporate world and the not for profit sector.
CarrieAnne is currently International Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at a major global bank. This role demands a deep knowledge of diversity and inclusion issues as they affect people across the world, and the ability to lead work that challenges existing inequalities. In the banking world she has a reputation for turning up with high levels of energy, innovation, deep specialism, and most importantly for getting things done!
Prior to working ‘in Corporate’ CarrieAnne has worked in various not for profit settings – she is a disability & social mobility specialist and headed up Paralympic (and later Olympic) Legacy after the 2012 Games. This was a major programme of delivery across seven London boroughs that reached over 250,000 people ultimately influencing policy and paving the way for more inclusive delivery across the UK.
CarrieAnne has successfully raised large amounts of funding for several community outreach projects – including successful leadership of large consortium bids.
CarrieAnne also brings her personal experience to the #techmums team – she grew up in Tower Hamlets where techmums was born, and she is mum to a 4 year old likes to wear Frozen dresses – and sing songs from Frozen all the way through with no interruptions.

Nicholas Cresswell

Non-Executive Director

For over 20 years, Nicholas has helped global organisations identify, develop and deploy a truly diverse group of employees and build cultures where everyone can thrive. He is global head of talent for Ørsted, a Danish renewable energy company that’s on a mission to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. Before that he worked at Thomson Reuters for nine years; he has also worked at Google, Korn/Ferry and United Biscuits.

Nick’s passion for diversity stems from two things. First, his desire to bring more women and under-represented groups into the world of work, to benefit them, their communities and the world. Second, from the fact that he is gay, so has benefited from the sea-change in acceptance for LGBT+ people in many workplaces during the course of his career. That said, he knows how far there still is to travel to build opportunity for all, so has been part of #techmums since 2018 in order to help make that happen.

Nadira Hussain

Non-Executive Director

An experienced ICT and change management leader with 25+ years of both private sector and extensive public sector experience. Nadira has worked primarily in local government in numerous roles across London at both an operational and strategic level; leading the ICT service more latterly and managing wider teams including digital, business improvement, transformation and customer services. Nadira has also delivered complex programmes across shared services to deliver new operating models, efficiencies, service improvement, and ambitious outcomes focusing on the customer.

As the Director of Leadership Development & Research at Soctim, Nadira continues to build on the work she initiated as president of the society (15/16), focusing on building the leadership, skills, and diversity of the sector’s workforce. Her passion and commitment is to establish a fair and equitable representation of personnel, promoting professionalism, helping others realise their potential, and championing women role models.

Nadira proactively undertakes voluntary and charitable work. She is a channel board member for Ada’s List and was appointed to the #techmums board in March 2020.