The Team

Victoria McKay

Chief Executive

Victoria McKay has a record as a successful empowerment champion and joined #techmums  as Chief Executive in the summer of this year.

Previous roles have seen her use her professional standing to advocate for inclusion; during her tenure as Chief Operating Officer of the highly respected London Diamond Bourse she founded and ran the Women’s Jewellery Network, a global community of women in the jewellery industry. Her career has seen her write extensively for trade journals; typically about gender diversity / next generation talent and developing the skills needed for sectors to flourish.  Victoria was an award panel judge for four consecutive years and also holds diplomas in Digital Marketing, Branding, Social Media Marketing and Membership Management. She sat on the Camden Business Board and was an executive board member for the Hatton Garden BID board. She has been acknowledged twice in the PJ Hot 100 as a Business Big Shot. In early 2020, Victoria was celebrated as one of Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in the UK by F:Entrepreneur.  Victoria also serves as Clerk to The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers, has 1 grown up son, and 3 step children and her favourite quote is, “if you want something done, ask a busy woman”.

Lauren Allison

Programming & Content Advisor

Lauren was previously our Chief Executive and was responsible redesigning our core delivery model and content. After launching #techmumsOnline in the summer of 2020, Lauren moved into the position of Programming and Content Advisor, responsible for developing #techmums offering so that we can reach more mums across different sectors.

Lauren’s career as a Public Diplomacy specialist focuses on enhancing how tech and political organisations engage with their stakeholders in productive, innovative, and meaningful ways. Trained as a public diplomacy professional at the University of Southern California (USC) as a UK Fulbright Postgraduate Award Recipient, Lauren has served as an executive for organisations bringing technology and people together, including in her current position as Executive Director of Sulby Media- an international strategic content and public diplomacy consultancy company.

For her research and work, Lauren received an International Peace Scholarship from the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) Scholarship Fund and the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) Education Scholarship Trust Award. In addition to her professional Master of Public Diplomacy degree from USC, Lauren holds a Master of Arts (Honours) in International Relations from The University of St Andrews in conjunction with L’Institut des Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and is a former student of the Centre for Comparative Conflict Studies at Singidunum University, Belgrade.

Lauren currently serves on the UK Fulbright Alumni Council Board and acts as an application reader for the UK-US Fulbright Commission, is a member of the US Ambassador to the UK’s Young Leader’s UK (YLUK) Program, is a Fulbright 1:1 Mentor with the Sutton Trust, and often speaks at Fulbright and other UK-USA events.

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.

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.