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INTERVIEW: Dr Sue Black
DR SUE BLACK
Sue Black is a Senior Research Associate in the Software Systems Engineering group in the the Department of Computer Science at University College London and a Senior Consultant with Cornerstone Global Associates. Sue was delighted to win the PepsiCo Women's Inspiration Network award recently. She was invited to write an inspirational blogpost "If I can do it, so can you" as part of the award.
Sue was named Tech Hero by ITPRO magazine: "We look to Sir Tim, Sue Black and other tech leaders for inspiration". She was also awarded the BCS John Ivinson award 2009, and nominated for the Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 2009 and 2010: IT Twitter User of the Year
Since 1998 Sue has been campaigning for equality, and more support, for women in tech. She founded the online networks LondonBCSWomen in 1999 and BCSWomen in 2001, which now has over 1200 members.
Sue campaigned from 2008 to 2011 to save Bletchley Park which is now saved. Read her Saving Bletchley Park campaign blog for more details of what she did and all the major achievements along the way.
In 2011 Sue set up The goto Foundation a non profit organisation which aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public, generate public excitement in the creation of software, and help to build a tech savvy workforce. Read Sue's blog about starting The goto Foundation.
How important is it to have an understanding of computer science in the 21st Century?
"A lot of the time computer science is hidden,but it's all around us, it flies our planes, it runs our washing machines, there is software in our cars, it is just everywhere."
How is technology changing our lives?
"There are lots of disruptive changes happening and of course some of those may be negative and some are positive. We need to keep up with the change that is happening, because if we don't we lose the ability to control our lives. Everything is speeding up. Technology is advancing in ways in which we can use it to make the world a better place. But we need to understand it."
On your involvement with the campaign to save Blethcley Park
"The work done at Bletchley Park is said to have shortened WWII by two years, and 11m people were dying each year at the time. So potentially saving 22m lives. It was also the birthplace of the computer."
"I found out that more than 10,000 people used to work their and more than 5,000 of those were women. Being a great fan of women and computing , I was brought in and excited and wanted to raise the profile of the women that worked there."