PR Research 3 minute read
Women are becoming more influential in the tech sector, for example, today’s top UK tech influencer Emily Gosden, energy editor at The Times, according to agency Tyto PR’s Tech 500 Power List. Women now represent 34% of the list, which is 3% up on last year.
Top 10 UK tech influencers
- Emily Gosden – energy editor, The Times
- Simon Calder – journalist, the Independent
- Dr. Michael Mosley – executive producer, BBC News
- Chi Onwurah MP – shadow minister for Industrial Strategy
- Richard Branson – founder, Virgin
- Fiona Briggs – editor, Retail Times
- Gideon Spanier – global head of media, Campaign
- Stephen Fry – actor, comedian and writer
- Anne Boden – CEO, Starling Bank
- Rory Cellan-Jones – technology correspondent, BBC
Talking about the rise of female tech influencers, Brendon Craigie, co-founder and managing partner of Tyto, says: “There’s still a long way before we reach equality in this list, and even further to go before that’s reflected in the wider workforce. However, even though women make up just a fifth of the UK tech workforce, I have no doubt that these leaders are playing a vital role in helping to shift the perception of the industry as an old boys’ club and encouraging more women to enter the sector. Representation is important, and I’ve got no doubt this growing gender equality in influence will ultimately feed through to a more gender-balanced UK tech workforce.”
Discussing why it is important to keep track of top influencers, Craigie explains: “Without influencers, public relations simply wouldn’t exist. And not only are influencers central to our industry, they’re also central to the business landscape as a whole. Influencers shape the narrative around current events, they define how information is presented and even the products we buy.”
Craigie talks about how influencers are not who they used to be: “In the past, influencers consisted of celebrities and those in national media – who acted as the gatekeepers of influence. The advent of social media changed this dramatically, when influence became much more nuanced and, in a sense, democratised. All of a sudden, non-media professionals were able to share their voice in front of wider business and consumer audiences. Seemingly ‘regular’ people now have access to large platforms from which they can reach a multitude of people, build a personal brand, and garner influence. Thanks to social media, the lines of influence have been blurred – local politicians, academics, and business leaders have all been able to increase the impact of their voice.”
Because of this fragmented, ever-changing landscape, Craigie says it is more important than ever for PR professionals to understand who the new influencers are, how they connect to each other, and the broader trends that are driving the success of these influencers. “For instance, the surge of consumer interest in environmental issues hasn’t gone unnoticed in the tech world – with 12 GreenTech influencers making it on to this year’s list.
“On top of this, 74% of the influencers listed are business leaders. This is huge for those working in PR as it shows just how impactful company spokespeople can be. If the work you’re doing is only focused on engaging with media, and not proactively building the profile of your company’s execs – you're missing a trick.”
The Tyto Tech 500 Power List was created using a five-stage data-driven analysis process, assessing an individual’s traditional and social media influence as well as prominence at public events.