Women leading the world in data protection

As the GDPR deadline approaches, business owners around the world are educating themselves and their teams to prepare for the legislation coming out of Europe.

On International Women’s Day, we take a look at some of the women whose efforts are underpinning this momentum towards a safer digital future, with pioneering work that’s helping to dismantle the glass ceiling in business.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner

In her role as Information Commissioner, Elizabeth is the beating heart of the GDPR’s application and enforcement in the UK. Prior to this position, she was Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada, and Assistant Privacy Commissioner for Canada.

She was honoured to accept the appointment of Visiting Professor in University College London’s department of Information Studies. The professorship will extend until 2022.

Elizabeth presided over the penalty of £400,000 that was issued to TalkTalk after the company’s culpability of a data breach following a cyber-attack in 2016.

Her current role sees her leverage her huge experience through partnerships with private and public bodies to maximise the data security of individuals in Britain. She is a key component in our overarching goal to instil a culture of privacy by design into our organisations.

Few, if any, will have a greater impact on the realisation of the GDPR than Elizabeth Denham, named the most influential person in data-driven business in the updated DataIQ 100 list. Her contribution to policy is pushing technological change across sectors including government, civil society and academia, shining a light for women in the very highest workplaces.

Yasmeen Ahmad, Lead Data Scientist, Teradata

Yasmeen is a leader in advanced analytics and data science in the UK and Ireland, a role which sees her use her talents and experience to generate revenue sources through data analytics consulting.

As a pioneer in big data and computer science, Yasmeen helps multinationals to define challenges and understand them in an analytical capacity. By enabling businesses to use data, she develops progressive approaches to analytics to enhance ROI. In parallel, she develops sales strategies and works with sales to teams to build agile delivery systems.

Yasmeen holds a PhD in Data Management, Mining and Visualisation, and was the first data scientist recruited into Teradata. Her internationally published papers and speaking appearances at global conferences give Yasmeen a high industry profile, and this helping to inspire and effect crucial change in equal measure.

Gillian Tomlinson, Chief Data Officer, RSA

Named one of the Top 20 Women in Data by The Female Lead in 2017, Gillian is a champion in data innovation with over 15 years’ experience at the top end of data leadership for businesses and initiatives around the world.

She is currently chief data officer of global insurer, RSA, and is responsible for data, business intelligence and analytics, driving the company’s digital transformation, customer experience and developing operational efficiency.

Gillian’s previous roles include vice president of Dun and Bradstreet for the EMEA REGION, head of change for Credit Risk Data at RBS UK, head of data quality at Lloyds Commercial Bank UK and chief data officer of Whitbread UK

Her remarkable achievements led her to be named Chief Data Officer of the Year in 2017 by CDOEurope IQPC. She was elected one of Britain’s Top 50 data leaders and influencers by Information Age in 2015.

The South African-born tech leader relishes the challenge of using analytics and digital innovation to get a handle on big data. Her experience and prowess within her chosen industry put her at the cutting edge of advanced business solutions, and make her a champion of for women in technology and business alike.


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