Debbie Forster comes from an education and tech background. As she progressed in her career from teacher through to headteacher then working with government and industry to shape tech education policy, she gained extensive experience leading programs that were based on the skill development of young people -especially girls. She joined and became Co CEO of Apps for Good, a charity which focused on equipping youth with the resources to develop technical and entrepreneurial skills. For this distinctive work, Debbie was awarded an MBE in January 2017 for “Services to Digital Technology and Tech Development”, the year after Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) named her Woman of the Year for 2016. She has also been named on every Computer Weekly’s list of “25 Most Influential Women in UK IT” since 2013 and most recently Computer Weekly also named her in its 50 Most Influential People in UK IT; their “definitive list of the real movers and shakers in UK IT – the CIOs, industry executives, public servants, and business leaders driving the creation of a high-tech economy”.
Undoubtedly, Debbie had already enjoyed a successful career when she was approached by Sinead Bunting, co-founder of Tech Talent Charter (TTC) the UK, Sinead Debbie, and others were determined to make changes in the ‘Women and Diversity In Tech’ space – being sick of attending seemingly endless roundtable events to ‘discuss the lack of diversity in tech, particularly women’ to no real effect. “Why are there no women in tech?” asks Debbie. “We were worried at how often companies were re-inventing the wheel (and often repeating mistakes). We were determined to focus on practical action, to promote collaboration and sharing of best practice and to gather data, because what’s measured gets done.”