Professor Sue Black is Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, and Director of EDI in the Computer Science department at Durham University, UK. She leads the pioneering #TechUPWomen programme retraining women from underserved communities into technology careers. Sue is an internationally known, multi award-winning, technology evangelist, inspiring speaker and media figure who is well known for championing Women in Computing, promoting women in STEM and running the successful campaign to save Bletchley Park in 2011. Sue set up the UK’s first online network for women in computing BCSWomen in 1998 and in 2012 a social enterprise #techmums to help disadvantaged mums retrain.
Sue is well connected and networked in the tech world and regularly keynotes large corporate events, conferences and leadership events. She is also called upon to appear on radio and television to comment on technology issues, and recently fulfilled her lifelong dream of appearing on BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs”. In 2021 Sue co-created and hosts the “100 moments that rocked computer science!” to great acclaim. #100moments achieved a chart-topping 5th highest in the Apple technology podcast charts in 2021, series 2 is streaming now.
Awarded an OBE by King Charles for “Services to technology” in 2016, Sue has written many articles evangelizing about technology, over forty academic computer science papers, and is currently working on a coding book to be published by Penguin. Board Trustee for Comic Relief and Digital Ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education Sue has spent much of her career helping people and organisations to realise the amazing opportunities and potential that technology can bring from refugee mums on welfare through to the UK Prime Minister.
Recent awards and recognition
- Diversity Powerlist Top 100 2022
- Les Margarets – European Intrapreneur of the year 2022
- British Airways #BA100 – Top 100 Britons 2019
- Inducted into the British Interactive Media Awards Hall of Fame 2018
- University of London + Royal College of Art + University of Kent honorary DScs 2018
- Grace Hopper conference ABIE Social Impact award 2017
- Inspiring 50 – most inspiring women in European Technology 2016 + 2017
- OBE – presented by King Charles for Services to Technology 2016
Sir Anthony Finkelstein, President, City University London
Sue is a highly dynamic and creative academic with a broad vision for the subject of software engineering. I have been most impressed with both her organisational ability and her grasp of the key research issues in our subject. I have sought advice from Sue on a range of academic management issues and have gained substantially from her insights and understanding of the challenges of leadership.
Baroness Rennie Fritchie, House of Lords, UK
Dr Sue Black is always a riveting speaker, with informative content and a personal warmth which makes her a pleasure to listen to. She has a clarity and an ability to get to the heart of something and in simple language which makes her a rare person.
" We were thrilled and honoured to have Professor Sue Black present her truly inspirational talk “If I can do it, so can you” tonight as part of ILM’s 2020 Speaker Series. So many women and men were touched by Sues exceptional story. Positive feedback was overflowing, the best quote being “I can sleep better tonight from hearing Sue speak” - from a recent female graduate. Thanks so much Sue for touching the lives of many people. Keep being the authentic you as you continue to shine a light in this world." - Amy Backwell. Emerging Talent Specialist at Industrial Light & Magic January 16, 2020.
“If I can do it, so can you!” This was the opening line of Prof. Sue Black’s speech at the second annual Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in London on 4th September. She took us along on her incredible journey from a fascination with technology to saving Bletchley Park, becoming a catalyst for change for equal rights, paying it forward through #Techmums, and inspiring the next generation of computer scientists as a professor at Durham University. Sue had a profound impact on all of us through her contagious passion, optimism, and “prescription for success.” Professor Black is not only an extraordinary academic, technology evangelist, and social entrepreneur, but she is also a warm, open, and friendly human being who inspired and motivated our attendees not only on stage, but also off-stage--in one-on-one conversations and through personal advice. Thank you, Professor Black, on behalf of our entire staff and attendees. We look forward to working with you again in the future!" - Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO at Girls in Tech, Inc. November 7, 2019.