TechGirl: Empowering Girls in Technology Step by Step

All you need to know about the TechGirl competition in partnership with NTT Ltd.


At HotTopics we're committed to providing C-suite leaders with the right platform to connect and engage with like-minded peers. However, in 2022, we began to think about our influential female leaders and how the community can come together to support and nurture girls who want to enter the technology sector. And so, TechGirl was created.


TechGirl is a biannual competition that seeks to accelerate the imaginations, careers, skills and experiences of girls entering or considering entering the technology sector. Girls aged 16-18 years old, from across England, can submit their ideas on how technology can be used to improve schools and education.


Once the final winners have been chosen, they are invited to HotTopics’ flagship technology event, The Studio, at Abbey Road Studios, where they get to meet with their assigned mentors. Throughout the day the winners will be busy receiving exclusive confidence training from top TV presenter Bridgid Nzekwu to build on their media and confidence skills and help prepare them for any interview, public speaking or talk.


The mentors


The TechGirl winners will be partnered with one of our inspirational competition mentors, who will be on-hand at The Studio to offer their mentees valuable career advice, future work experiences and continued support as well as to discuss their innovative entries with them. It is down to each winner how they want to work with their mentor. 

Our selection of mentors for TechGirl 2023 include: 

  • Miriam Murphy, CEO Europe, NTT Ltd
  • Jacqui Lipinski, CIO & Director of Digital and Technical Services, Royal College of Art
  • Deborah Haworth, Director of Information Security, Penguin Random House UK
  • Anna Barsby, Chief Product and Technology Officer, 888holdings
  • Marie Orpen, former CDO, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
  • Charlotte Baldwin, Global CIO, Costa Coffee
  • Christina Scott, CPTO, OVO Energy
  • Georgina Owens, CTO, William Hill International
  • Belinda Finch, CIO, Three
  • Joanna Drake, CIO, THG
  • Albi Van Zyl, Chief Sales Strategy and Operations Officer, NTT Ltd


How to enter


The process to enter TechGirl is a simple one. Entrants will need to submit an idea on 'how technology can be used to improve schools and education'. Creativity and innovative thinking is key at this stage. Participants should look to identify what the existing problem is in the current system and how their idea can resolve it.


These ideas can range from creating a digital language software for classrooms to developing prototype models of hearing aids tailor-made for teenagers (these are in-fact past winning ideas).


Once you’ve put your idea on paper, head onto the HotTopics website and click on the TechGirl page–towards the end you’ll find the form where you can submit your details and upload your idea. Video and audio files are optional and always welcome should you wish to convey your original idea in an imaginative way. If you are in need of more information, read through the rules at the bottom of the page.


TechGirl at The Studio


Ten entrants will be selected as the competition winners, who, once chosen, will join us and over 200 technology executives from around the world at Abbey Road Studios, London, for our main flagship event, The Studio.


At The Studio winners will be able to meet their mentors and discuss their ideas over lunch. They will also get the opportunity to connect with senior and executive members of the HotTopics community at the venue as well as enjoy a group interview on camera.


Before the TechGirl group interview, the winners will receive confidence training from a top TV Presenter on the day to build their skills, which can later be used to help kick start their career and will make a valuable addition to CVs and UCAS applications. 


Useful information for parents and teachers


Explore some of our resources and articles on technology and the many reasons why more girls should enter the technology industry. Our own Studio roundtable discussions explore topics ranging from diversity and the future of work to cloud-based data sovereignty challenges.


As mentioned in the rules, schools, colleges, libraries and individuals registering for the TechGirl Awards agree to allow HotTopics to reference the applicant’s name on the website and on other marketing material and to allow HotTopics to use any images for promotional purposes. For example, the five TechGirl 2022 winners were interviewed by the Evening Standard and featured in an article titled ‘Top female tech stars of the future crowned winners of new competition’. You can view the article here.


A summary of the rules


If you’re considering applying for TechGirl, have a look at a summary of the rules here, outlining exactly what you can expect, detailing everything you need to know. 

  • The deadline for TechGirl 2023 is 15th September 2023.
  • Entries can be submitted as written documents, videos or audio files. The word count should not exceed more than 2000 words. Video and audio files have a 10 minute limit.
  • Each application must be original and unique to this competition and must not previously have reached the final of any national or international competition.
  • Entries must be made by a British-based school, college, parent or guardian on behalf of the entrant, if the entrant is 17 years of age or under.


Don't miss the chance to be a part of this year's TechGirl competition! Enter now and fill in your details or share this opportunity with someone who deserves to be recognised. 

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