‘We simply don’t put women on the leadership team’, Jacqueline de Rojas was once told.
The latest guest on Capital Conversation with Michael Hayman has come a long way since, now president of techUK and christened by the Evening Standard as ‘one of our nation’s tech titans’.
techUK is a trade association representing over 950 technology companies and supports businesses’ growth, aiding the development of markets and networks and helping them to reduce business costs and risks.
Jacqueline’s path to success wasn’t plain sailing. Self-described as “invisible” as a child and facing a male-dominated technology industry, her career hasn’t been without its challenges. “I certainly thought I had to emulate what men did in order to succeed in the tech world.”
Jacqueline soon learned that in order to be successful she had to do something different.
“That was about empowering my team, showing my vulnerabilities”
Named as one of Europe’s most inspiring female role models in 2017, Jacqueline is encouraging young girls to develop skills that will be invaluable for a future in technology, including launching Girl Guide badges in AI.
Speaking about the future of tech, Jacqueline describes the UK as a “nation of pioneers” and has a confident and optimistic outlook for the UK’s future in the industry post-Brexit.
“We have the best regulation system in the world, we have a very trusted legal system, we have got the most flexible workforce in Europe, we have a great time zone. We have huge advantages – there is no reason for us to get this wrong”.
Looking back to a period of her life full of self-reflection, Jacqueline recalls a memorable lesson from the Dalai Lama: “You are never too small to make a difference.” This is the message she is passing on to young girls and women from the Girlguiding Association, right through to the board room.
You can watch the full episode here.