Sky awards £125,000 to five new Women in Technology Scholars
Sky has announced its second cohort of Women in Technology Scholars, awarding five talented women a total of £125,000 to accelerate a business idea which harnesses technology innovation.
The winners are a diverse mix of ages and industry experience however, they share a desire to use technology to bring about positive change. The five Scholars will focus on: improving children’s cultural experiences; helping the elderly stay independent; interactive television; advancing agriculture and educating young people on mental health.
From hundreds of applications, ten high quality candidates were shortlisted, before the impressive final five were selected by a panel that included Sky’s Group Chief Information Security Officer, Elaine Bucknor, who said:"I was blown away with the ingenuity of the projects presented and the calibre of talent and creativity. It’s widely acknowledged that attracting women into technology is a challenge, so we have a responsibility to bring about change. Boys are more than twice as likely to be encouraged to work in tech, so it’s little wonder that half the girls we spoke to had ruled out working in the industry by the time they reached 18-years-old. Our Women in Technology Scholars programme enables us to nurture new talent and highlight inspiring role models to encourage others to follow.”
Talent Charter CEO, Debbie Forster MBE
also on the panel, added:“It’s been fantastic to help select such a
brilliant group of women with ideas that can help shape the future of tech.
It’s vital that organisations like Sky take action like this to deliver greater
diversity in the UK tech workforce and better reflect the make-up of the
Girls switch off
New research shows that nearly half
of boys are advised to consider a career in tech – compared to only one in five
girls. And by 18-years-old 48% of girls have already discounted a career in
At present, just 22% of the UK core
STEM employment is female*. As a leading UK technology organisation serving
23.7 million customers, Sky wants to attract and attain women of all ages and
levels to our technology teams and to help achieve this we have introduced a
range of programmes, including our
Get Into Tech coding course and our
Sky Software Academy and Apprenticeships.
Sky’s Women in Technology Scholars
for 2019 are:
Olga Kravchenko (24, Ukrainian): Olga’s VR App Musemio
transforms the way children experience culture by using engaging VR elements to
educate. She now plans to develop the app so that parents and families can
track how their children are learning, whilst also continuing to help cultural
institutions improve how they interact with younger digital generations.
Colleen Wong (43, British/Canadian): With no
technical experience Colleen set-up the successful
My Gator Watch. Now,
the inspirational mother of two plans to evolve the product from a tracker for
kids, to a wearable mobile device for seniors that can track location and
detect falls, to help the elderly maintain independence.
Rebecca Saw (23, British): Rebecca is looking
to create never-before seen interactive story-telling that will mix linear
television and gaming to provide viewers with a dynamic blended reality.
She recently worked on
Traitor, a VR-live theatre thriller that premiered
at the Tribeca Film Festival
Mary Murphy (20, Irish): Our youngest Scholar,
Mary, alongside her twin sister was a CEO at 16 years old after designing and
Sheep Marking Gun to help on her family farm. She will
continue to engineer agritech products and develop a new software-based product
that could prevent sheep theft
Rachel Clancy (27, Irish): Rachel is looking to
develop a game she has made called ‘Get Closer’, where players open dialogue
with a forest creature who needs their help. The game teaches young people how
to talk about emotions and support themselves and others through mental health
in Technology Scholars will receive financial investment and have access to an
expert network of mentors and leading industry executives to accelerate their
innovation. Following the success of previous years, Sky has increased the
number of scholars on the scheme from three to five, emphasising its position
that female potential must be supported for the successful and inclusive future
of the technology industry.
Press contact Sian Parry Sian.Parry@sky.uk 07585242821
Women in Technology Scholars
2017 we launched the search for our first Women in Technology Scholars – an
exclusive Sky initiative designed to encourage more women to pursue a career in
Hannah, Oishi and Kike were successful in securing a
place and have spent the past year developing their projects in the areas of
Virtual Reality, Machine Learning and an app for Black Young Professionals.
With 23.7 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading
media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group.
31,000 colleagues and together we want to connect our customers to more of what
they love, including our award-winning original productions, like Patrick
Melrose and Save Me, and great shows from our partners including HBO, Showtime
and Warner Bros. And our ever-improving technology makes it even easier for
customers to watch more of the shows they love with personalised
recommendations and voice control and, our online streaming service, NOW TV,
brings all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract free
We treat our
customers better than anyone else in our field, as Ofcom’s complaints data
shows, and we look after our staff too. Sky is one of The Times Top 50
employers for women and we’re in Stonewall’s list of Top 50 LGBT-Inclusive
We also use
our position as the leading entertainment business in Europe to do the right
thing. As part of Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, we’re committing to be completely
single-use plastic free by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in
ocean-saving tech and we’re supporting the WWF to protect our oceans with
designated Marine Protected Areas.