Inaugural U.K. Board to include Verity Harding, Global Head of Policy & Partnerships at DeepMind (currently on secondment at Cambridge University); Seema Cunningham, former Vice President of International Marketing at NBCUniversal; and Deborah Singer Chief Marketing Officer at Girls Who Code U.S.
For the first time, the organisation will offer its free summer programming virtually in the U.K.
March 1, 2021 (London, United Kingdom) — Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organisation working to close the gender gap in technology, today announced the creation of a local charity, Girls Who Code UK, and a U.K. Board of Directors. The Board has three members: Verity Harding, Global Head of Policy & Partnerships at DeepMind (currently on secondment at Cambridge University); Seema Cunningham, former Vice President of International Marketing at NBCUniversal; and Deborah Singer Chief Marketing Officer at Girls Who Code U.S.
The creation of the charity and Board marks the ongoing expansion of Girls Who Code into the United Kingdom. Globally, the organisation has served 300,000 girls and reached 500 million people. In the U.K, in less than a year, the organisation has grown to more than 200 free after-school Clubs serving thousands of girls. Girls Who Code will also begin running its signature Summer Immersion Program virtually in the U.K., building on success when it first ran online in 2020 in response to COVID-19.
Verity Harding is currently a Visiting Scholar with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, where she is on secondment from her role as a senior leader at the world’s leading AI lab, DeepMind. As DeepMind’s Global Head of Policy and Partnerships since April 2016, Verity built a team that was the first of its kind: a research and engagement unit within an AI lab which was explicitly designed to explore the real-world impacts of AI and not shy away from its potential harms. While at DeepMind Verity also helped to found the Partnership on AI, where she serves as Treasurer of the board. Prior to this Verity was Head of Security Policy for Google in Europe, and previously a member of HM Government as a Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Sir Nick Clegg. She holds a First Class degree in Modern History from Pembroke College, Oxford University, and was a Michael Von Clemm Fellow at Harvard University. In her spare time, Verity is a Director of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts.
“It's an honour to join the Girls Who Code U.K. Board, and to have the opportunity to support the organisation's efforts to increase the representation of women, particularly those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, in tech internationally,” said Harding. “Today, women make up only 15 percent of the tech workforce in the U.K which is far too low—but we have a real opportunity to change that through the work of Girls Who Code and also by building on the many fantastic initiatives already working to combat the gender gap in tech in the UK.”
Seema Cunningham is currently an independent Marketing Consultant specialising in Global Media. She was formerly the Vice President of International Marketing at NBCUniversal, based in London. Prior to that, Seema led global marketing for the BBC’s international news services, where she provided dedicated marketing leadership across the BBC’s TV, Online, Mobile and Radio news content around the world. In addition to her roles at NBCUniversal and the BBC, Seema has worked in marketing roles for Microsoft, Sky and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Seema has a degree in European Studies and Languages from the University of Manchester and Universidad de Granada, Spain. She has also worked as an intern in the European Commission in Brussels.
“Girls Who Code is synonymous with change, innovation, and diversity in tech,” said Cunningham. “This organisation has been bringing more girls and, specifically, girls from historically underrepresented groups into a field sorely lacking in diversity at every level. It’s a privilege to be a part of their entry into the United Kingdom.”
Board Member Deborah Singer is the Chief Marketing Officer at Girls Who Code. In her role as CMO, Deborah oversees the marketing, advocacy, campaigns, and communications teams, in addition to the organization’s fundraising efforts. Prior to Girls Who Code, Deborah was a marketing and comms leader in technology at companies like Google and start-ups like Lulu. Deborah received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she served as the co-President of the Women’s Student Association.
“I’m thrilled to be named to the Board of Girls Who Code U.K—and to build on the brand we’ve established in the United States,” said Deborah Singer, Chief Marketing Officer Girls Who Code. “Together with funders, community partners, and allies, we will bring more girls into tech and into this movement in the U.K.”
Girls Who Code’s expansion into the U.K. is possible with the generous support of our corporate partners, including DeepMind, Morgan Stanley, TransPerfect, and Raytheon Technologies.
ABOUT GIRLS WHO CODE
Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organisation working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their programs, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached 300,000 girls to date through its programs and 500 million people through campaigns, advocacy work, and New York Times best-selling series. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com. Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.