Holly Rafique

Holly is on a mission to save the world through technology, believing that an understanding of technology is critical to living in the increasingly digital and integrated world.

For children today, digital literacy is as fundamental a skill as reading and writing.

After over a decade as an IT Consultant and developer in Financial Services, Holly took some time out to focus on building Lego and cardboard swords with her two boys, rather than building software systems. Now Holly has rediscovered a life-long curiosity for how things work and is reapplying her skills to new technology challenges and helping others to educate themselves in all things digital.

Holly is currently Head of Digital and Content at #techmums, a non-profit that seeks to empower women, their families and communities through technology. In her role she has overhauled and recreated the #techmums digital skills course to teach Mums, who start with limited tech experience, a range of topics including Blogging, App Design, Web Design, Python Coding and educates them in keeping themselves and their families safe online. Holly has created the physical content, build an online portal to support and enhance learning and created educational videos for an accompanying online course.

Holly has re-trained extensively in diverse areas, including analytics, genetics, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, to ensure that she is able to normalise prominent technologies and bring them into everyday conversation. Holly is focused on taking every opportunity to demystify technology and remove stigma and stereotypes around technology. In her spare time she works with her children to create videos to encourage children to explore technology and robotics.

Holly is also pushing the agenda on ethical computing – she contributed to a manifesto, by the Women Leading in AI group, recommending regulation and evaluation of algorithms that utilize artificial intelligence solution. This manifesto, containing 10 regulatory recommendations, was put forward to MPs at the House of Commons in February 2018. Holly is passionate that ethical computing should be a core teaching requirement for all computer science courses.

Holly is keen to reframe the question from “How can we get more women into tech?” to “How can we bring more technology into women’s lives?”; encouraging women to consider how digital solutions can enhance the areas they are already passionate about.