Taking Ctrl in Tech with Anne-Marie Imafidon

“Tech is no longer niche, but fundamental to life in Industry 4.0…”

A great conversation with Anne-Marie Imafidon about the importance of women’s involvement in technology as well as the importance of breaking stereotypes and having diverse voices around the table for inclusive product development. Tech is no longer niche, but fundamental to life in Industry 4.0 and it is dangerous to have a small number and limited range of people making tech decisions that are also social, moral, political and ethical decisions.

Anne Marie and I discuss tech fluency, democratising tech access and how to foster these diverse voices, distributing power differently and understanding that technology allows us to have a multiplicity of experiences. Diverse voices lead to more inclusive product development, which is crucial for the success of any tech venture in today’s world. A call to action for us all to get curious, get involved and take control. Through her multiple tech ventures, authorship of the insightful book “She’s in Ctrl,” and tireless efforts in systemic change focusing on Science, tech, engineering, Arts and maths, we discuss how to make shaping a more inclusive future a reality from an individual, collective and societal perspective. 

Anne-Marie shares her thoughts, insights, stories, humour and incredible vision for recognising women’s historical contributions and addressing male-dominated industry challenges whilst advocating for a lens of continuous learning amid the 4th industrial revolution to ensure more inclusive technology moving forward. 

The main insights you’ll get from this episode are :

–      Passionate about future-looking tech ventures; breaking stereotypes around access to tech for women; engaging with tech and other people to improve society; and looking to effect systemic change.

–      We are making progress in terms of talking about women in tech but currently they are not high-profile and the ‘herstory’ is hidden, which is both frustrating and perilous. 

–      Tech is no longer niche, but fundamental to life in Industry 4.0 – it is dangerous to have a small number and limited range of people making tech decisions that are also social, moral, political and ethical decisions.

–      All decisions about tech carry risks, can be wrong or even harmful on both an individual and wider level; the biggest mitigation lever is to have as many different perspectives as possible.

–      If multiple elements are missing from the tech, it becomes harmful when deployed – we must see the value in everyone; overlooking huge tranches of society can have serious consequences.

–      We must value the impact of tech as opposed to simply its prowess, understand that it enables a multiplicity of experiences to be reflected and this is a serious responsibility; our default is to think that tech is neutral, but it isn’t.

–      Divergent thinking is absent in our (convergent) education system and in organisations: no company is an island, e.g. what they do affects the supply chain, customers, and ultimately society at large.

–      The exponential speed of tech alongside the glacial speed of societal change means that technological advancement will create more problems than it solves.

–      Education must transform for learning to take precedence over knowledge – we need the right structures and support for teachers to stay in post and a culture of learning at all ages and not just in formal spaces.

–      The Institute for the Future of Work looks at upskilling, the new knowledge that is being created, and promoting wellbeing at work through the deployment of tech – an agile learning loop that requires an agile mindset.

–      Tech fluency is about digital literacy and fluency, understanding ‘the basics’ that are applied in different scenarios, but today’s basics may no longer be relevant in five years’ time.

–      Government policy is the biggest lever for democratising access to tech and digital, e.g. civically inspired policy, long-term investment in and funding for national infrastructure.

–      The next 10 years should see formative, positive STEM/STEAM experiences; career permeability into and out of the tech sector; and a more robust policy ecosystem with improved technical literacy.

–      CTA: read Better Allies, Everyday action to create inclusive, engaging workplaces by Karen Catlin; pursue social justice projects such as yesstem’s Equity Compass; engage young people; make high-quality mistakes.

Find out more about Anne-Marie & her work here :





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Suzie Lewis

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