Digital Women UK

Abstract shape
  • When Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, we were getting ready to open our Founders in Formation programme in Bristol, the South West of England. For everybody’s safety it was cancelled.

    Two years later, much has changed, shifted and been exposed in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic and the amplification of pre-existing inequalities.

    So where are we now? That is a question we cannot answer with confidence as we are in a new world and are still in recovery.

    When we originally launched in 2013, women in the UK were largely invisible regarding digital enterprise, especially women of colour. We developed our impactful Missing in Action Programme to highlight the fact that women were an active part of the digital economy but were not being recognised or invested in.

    Next, our attention turned to women founders. We wanted to know who they were, why they had chosen to set up their own enterprises and what support they needed.

    As the Covid restrictions ease, what is the true situation they face?

    With your help, we plan to find out. More will be revealed in the summer 2022.

    • Founders-in-Formation_Potcard_Front
    • Founders-in-Formation_Potcard_Back


    OneTech commissions DWUK to produce digital filmed interviews, podcast and portrait photography with diverse founders with Dr Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London.

    Digital Women UK plans to bring its new Founders in Formation professional development programme for budding and emerging women founders in the creative, entrepreneurial, digital and tech sectors to the South West for International Women’s Month 2020.

    Featuring Bella Ngo Co-Founder, Brarista, Shameika Byfield, award-winning Business Adviser and Managing Director, Shy Figures Ltd, Lorna Henry and Rachel Samuels, Qi Gong Practitioners and Patsy Isles, Yoga and Creative Wellbeing Practitioner, the March event had to be cancelled for everyone’s safety due to Covid-19.

    DWUK and its host organisation Words of Colour Production launch a free four month Creative Response to Covid-19 for writers, creatives and entrepreneurs of colour as a well-attended virtual programme.


    Joy Francis and Angela Martinez Dy launch Founders in Formation, a personal development programme for budding and emerging women founders in the creative, entrepreneurial, digital and tech sectors


    DWUK hosted Tackling the myths of money, self care and the Imposter Syndrome II, part of its Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK programme in response to the success of the 2017 event. Now a full day event, presenters included Natalie Lue, founder, Baggage Reclaim,  Mindy Kaur, founder, ESHQROCK, Philomena Francis, art psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, Patsy Isles, media skills consultant, writer and Kundalini Yoga teacher


    For International Women’s Month DWUK and Loughborough University London held Building Resilience as a Female Entrepreneur, a special panel discussion and networking event for International Women’s Month. entrepreneurially-minded women to face their professional fears, tackle gender inequality, allow themselves to celebrate their achievements and build a personalised definition of self care. Panellists included Dr Angela Martinez Dy – Glendonbrook Institute for Enterprise Development, Loughborough University London, Valerie Brandes – Publisher and founder, Jacaranda Books and Jennifer Agwunobi – Blogger at Bootyful and founder, Hashtag Fash Mag.

    • MIA-2016-AMC-Media_59-transformed
    • MIA-2016-AMC-Media_62-transformed
    • MIA-2016-AMC-Media_63-transformed
    • MIA-2016-AMC-Media_74-transformed
    • MIA-2016-AMC-Media_78-transformed


    DWUK launched Tackling the myths of money, self care and the Imposter Syndrome, a half day workshop hosted in partnership with Loughborough University London.  Part of our Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the UK programme, the half day event provided a creative, reflective and dynamic space for female creatives, women in tech and emerging entrepreneurs, to explore internal barriers (and myths) around their relationship with money, self care and the so-called ‘Imposter Syndrome

    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-21-november-2015_23168175049_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-21-november-2015_22907989564_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-21-november-2015_22907912644_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-21-november-2015_23168246329_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-21-november-2015_23453795291_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-22-november-2015_23430854162_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-22-november-2015_23243709350_o-transformed
    • missing-in-action-women-and-digital-enterprise-in-the-uk-22-november-2015_23513308396_o-transformed


    Missing in Action: Women and Digital Enterprise in the 21st Century programme launched with a two day conference at the University of Nottingham, hosted by co-founders Joy Francis and Dr Angela Martinez Dy.

    Digital Women UK runs a series of Digital masterclasses with presenters such as Minna Salami.

    • _MG_0613
    • _MG_0123
    • _MG_0221
    • _MG_0317
    • _MG_0598
    • _MG_0505
    • _MG_0490
    • _MG_0480
    • _MG_0350


    Get Connected: Digital Women UK Turns 1

    Digital Women UK is celebrating its first anniversary by hosting a dynamic one day programme of activities on social media, technology and the arts for women who are, or who want to get, connected online.

    The one day conference provided space for participants to improve their digital confidence and network with likeminded souls. Over 50 women from tech, broadcasting, publishing and print media attend. Speakers included Jude Kelly (CEO, Southbank Centre) Sunny Singh (academic and novelist), Foluke Akinlose MBE (Precious Online Magazine and Network) and Campbell X (award-winning filmmaker and digital strategist), Neela Debnath (Former blogs editor and online arts journalist, the Independent) with veterans Clare Munday, Sophie Freiermuth, Matthew Curtis and Femi Adesina. Acclaimed poets Malika Booker and Jacob Sam-La Rose performed with music by DJ Chillz.

    • Co-founders Joy Francis and Julie Tomlin with Jennette Arnold OBE AM and some of our digital women
    • Digital Women UK co-founders Julie Tomlin and Joy Francis with award winning blogger Minna Salami
    • Jenette Arnold OBE at Digital Women UK launch 2
    • Joy Francis co-founder of Digital Women UK at the launch
    • Julie Tomlin, co founder of Digital Women UK at the launch
    • Malika Booker capitvates the audience with her poetry
    • Rachel Mars points to her hilarious presentation on a screen
    • Some of the 50+ guests at the launch


    Digital Women UK (DWUK) is co-founded by Joy Francis and Julie Tomlin to actualise the skills, confidence and vision of women in tech, creatives and entrepreneurs.

    DWUK’s launch on Wednesday 25 September 2013 at City Hall is hosted by Jennette Arnold OBE AM for North East London.

    Hosted and developed by Words of Colour Productions, DWUK’s launch attracts public support from Jude Kelly OBE (artistic director, Southbank Centre), Malorie Blackman OBE (children’s laureate) and Indhu Rubasingham (artistic director, Tricycle Theatre).

    The three core strands announced include:

    • a website with guest bloggers spanning academia, the media and the arts with a focus on trends and advice with bi-monthly online debates, podcasts and filmed interviews.
    • Training and events with a focus on sharing skills, networking and facilitating the creation of new online pieces of work.
    • online campaigning and research to raise awareness, particularly at a policy level, of key issues and concerns facing women (especially from black and minority ethnic communities) about the digital divide, funding, discrimination and visibility, and to identify practical solutions.
  • Get Connected programme

    The Get Connected event was brilliant. It was delivered in an accessible, friendly and warm environment. It was immediately refreshing to be told that we were in a space ‘where we could play’; mobile phones on, laptops to be used.

    The presentations were excellent, insightful and pitched at a level which allowed even the novice and ‘technophobs’ to learn and thrive. I attended the morning session and the Digital Clinic provided answers to vexed questions about digital promotion, establishing sites, best platforms and making the most of social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The Blogging for Impact presentation has also given me the tools to develop engaging and flourishing sites, providing do’s and don’ts and expert tips

    QuKay Playwright

    Get Connected programme

    Digital Women UK’s Get Connected conference was full of women buzzing with innovative, creative and out of the box ideas that they wanted to share with each other.  The workshops were informative and covered a variety of digital topics. The digital publishing 101 workshop was beneficial to me as an author, as I learned I could look outside the UK to distribute my book. The day gave me confidence to address my fears of social media and use it widely to promote and raise awareness of my work. I also won a fantastic book in the raffle.

    Sarah Linklett

    DWUK’s Missing in Action series

    “I left with new ideas, burgeoning friendships and a rejuvenated sense of what I want to and can do. The fear that my plans are too big was squashed. It whimpered off into a corner and is now gone.”


    DWUK’s Missing in Action series

    I found Missing in Action incredibly useful. It made you look at having value for yourself and your achievements, and I enjoyed connecting with other women and their voices. I got in touch with how I can improve myself and big up myself. I realised that I need to come to more things like this. That was my lightbulb moment as it is bloody useful and powerful stuff. The whole day was illuminating, powerful and rewarding.

    Irenosen Okojie

    DWUK’s Missing in Action series

    I absolutely loved this event. I loved hearing about new people – the presenters and participants – and about how we can develop ourselves in new ways. This event had depth and it was valuable having workshops where we had the time to sit and think about what we needed to do for ourselves. Missing in Action gave you the time and space to make a difference.

    Jenny Kovacs