Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy is recognised as one of the most influential women in IT, both in the UK and worldwide. She was President of the ACM 2008-10, the first non-North American to serve in that role. ACM is the leading academic body dedicated to computing in the U.S. and worldwide. She was President of BCS 2003-4 and is the only person to have held both presidencies.

Wendy has spent most of her academic career at the University of Southampton, where she has been in the forefront of development of what has become known as web science. Her team invented the Microcosm hypermedia system – a forerunner of the World Wide Web.

She is well known for promoting the cause of women in technology, which she has been doing for 30 years. For the past two years she has chaired the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity in Engineering Programme, which brings together all the engineering institutions and has led, for example, to the BCS’s Unconscious Bias programme being taken up by other professional bodies.

The winner of Computer Weekly’s 2014 award for most influential woman in UK IT, Dame Wendy Hall has been entered into their Hall of Fame for her many achievements and commitment to furthering the cause of women in technology throughout her career.

In 1994, she was appointed as Southampton University’s first female professor of engineering. She served as head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2002 to 2007. In 2000, she was awarded a CBE in addition to becoming a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Along with Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt and Daniel Weitzner, she founded the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006. She was appointed DBE in 2009.

In 2015, she was invited to join the Global Commission on Internet Governance, an international effort to determine how to keep the internet free and open to all. She also launched the Institute of Web Science, a major research initiative to understand the effect the web has on society, culture and the economy. Hall sits on numerous committees and advises various government bodies.

She feels very strongly that solving the gender imbalance in the IT sector is not just an issue for women to sort out, but men too. In 1987 she co-authored, with Southampton University colleague Gillian Lovegrove, the seminal paper, Where have all the girls gone? seen by many as creating the modern movement for promoting women in IT.