Belinda Parmar
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Entries by Belinda Parmar

Is Wearable Technology the Answer to Get More Girls in Tech?

(8) Comments | Posted 16 May 2013 | (16:35)

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There are certain things that are just "meant" to go together in life. Cheese & Pickle. Posh & Becks. Then there are those combinations that have never been, and are unlikely ever to be, considered a match made in heaven - the...

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Girls: Shout Loud if You Want to Get Ahead

(4) Comments | Posted 5 March 2013 | (23:00)

What is about that bloke on the opposite desk? You work just as hard as him. You're just as good at your job. Better even. But somehow he keeps getting noticed.

Why?

Because he's shouting about what he does.

In my...

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MWC: Where Are All the Women?

(8) Comments | Posted 22 February 2013 | (23:00)

The annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) is returning to Barcelona on 25th February. Anyone who's anyone in the mobile technology industry will be there sharing their thoughts on the evolution of mobile technology. But where are all the women?

Less than one in five UK...

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The PS4 Launch Neglected Female Gamers

(27) Comments | Posted 21 February 2013 | (23:00)

So Sony has struck the first blow in the battle to dominate the next-gen of gaming with last night's launch of the Playstation 4 that didn't actually launch the Playstation 4. As the industry raised its eyebrows at the lack of a price - or, indeed,...

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Mermaid, Videogames Writer, Role Model

(0) Comments | Posted 14 February 2013 | (13:27)

When Rhianna Pratchett was a little girl, she wanted to be a writer. Or a mermaid. Today she is an award-winning scriptwriter, story editor and - a term that she coined - a narrative paramedic for videogames. In a recent TEDx talk on the future of videogames writing, she explained why her job lets her write stories as well as vicariously live out her Ariel-esque fantasies - and those of being anything else she damn well likes, including a gun-toting archeologist. And Rhianna knows all about those - she is the woman behind the latest incarnation of Lara Croft who appears in the Tomb Raider reboot which is released next month.

After nearly 15 years in the games business, first as a journalist and then as a scriptwriter who created the narrative for the critically acclaimed Mirror's Edge as well as the very funny Overlord series, Rhianna has been asked one or twice (try about 700 times) about what it's like to be a woman who likes games - much the same as a man who likes games, but with a different physique - as well as what it's like as a woman working in the games industry.

"Anyone who writes about games will have been asked to do the "women and games" piece, and I always felt a bit uncomfortable with that because I never wanted it to be about anything other than my work," she explained to Lady Geek as she prepared for a Tomb Raider talk at BAFTA this week. Luckily for the future of the games business, her position has changed. "With the release of Tomb Raider and people being interested in talking about Lara, it seemed a good time to do it - to come out as a woman! Even though I don't think about myself as being A Woman In Games, I do know that other people think about it. I get emailed a lot by young girls who are really interested about getting into games or who are asking me about how I got started, what kind of courses they could take."

She's also passionate about making sure that younger generations of would-be games developers, designers, scriptwriters and artists are given role-models to look up to - one of the key ways to bridge the gap between girls and technology, as I've written about in the Little Miss Geek book. "I think it's essential. I don't think, particularly young girls, realise the opportunities that are out there. I think there's a perception of what you have to be to work in the games industry and then there's the reality which is a lot more diverse."

It's not news to acknowledge that the games business has something of a reputation when it comes to sexism. Booth babes and beach volleyball Sims anyone? Despite games being her great love as well as her bread and butter, Rhianna has proved willing to weigh into the gender issue in the games industry. Late last year, #1reasonwhy (there aren't more women in gaming) became a hot topic on twitter, with women - and men - taking to the site to talk about sexism in the business. With tweets such as

"Because I get mistaken for the receptionist or day-hire marketing at trade shows" and "The worst sexism is the "harmless" assumptions. I'm sick of being told art is the only appropriate career for a woman in games."
It made for depressing, if important reading. Then another hashtag appeared - #1reasontobe. Started by Rhianna, it was about celebrating the good things about the business. What was her thinking?

"I contributed a couple of examples of sexist treatment myself, but as I pinged the tweets, I suddenly thought, 'I'm not sure that this is helping, actually'. I've had some really exciting opportunities in my career and while it is important to shine a light into those dark corners in the industry, and it's important to show the battle, but it's also important to show what we're fighting for. I wanted other female developers to share what they loved about the industry because if there were any young girls on Twitter wanting to go into the business and they see the negatives, they might have thought that it was only like this. It's not - there are problems, but there's also really wonderful things about working in this industry and those need to be highlighted as well." She may not have Ariel's tail, but she's certainly got a voice that needs to be heard.

@belindaparmar is the author of Little Miss Geek which is out in paperback and kindle edition on Amazon. Follow Lady Geek on Twitter, Instagram and 'like' us on

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Forget Alicia Keys. BlackBerry Need a More Authentic Voice to Talk to Women

(0) Comments | Posted 31 January 2013 | (17:34)

Their market share has dropped from 20% three years ago to 3.4% in December. More than 90% of smartphones run on either Apple or Android software. You might say that everything is riding on the launch of their new operating system BB10, and flagship phone, the...

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Three Recent TV Ad Tropes That Women Are Sick Of

(6) Comments | Posted 30 January 2013 | (23:00)

The Harvard Business review found that marketing to women represents a bigger financial opportunity than India and China combined. Women are now involved in 80% of household purchasing decisions. And how many advertising directors are female? Only 3%.

This might be the reason that...

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The Incomplete Package

(1) Comments | Posted 19 December 2012 | (12:59)

Winter is upon us. The days are shorter, the nights longer and everything is a whole lot colder, so I have been looking for headphones that also doubled as earmuffs to keep my ears nice and toasty. So, it was a delightful surprise when on arrival to the

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Get Your Geek on This Christmas!

(0) Comments | Posted 14 December 2012 | (11:19)

It's that time of year. Frost is in the air and mince pies are in the oven. Bells are ringing. Tills are ringing louder. The big day is fast approaching and we're well aware that Santa's sleigh is practically full. But since we've been extra-specially nice this year, I'm sure...

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Should a Mobile Network Give You Something Back?

(3) Comments | Posted 19 November 2012 | (14:06)

How often do you speak with affection about your mobile network?

The choice of who gives us our minutes and data represents one the most important brand associations in our lives, yet for many people your network is like your gas company - they do a job for you,...

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Review: Halo 4

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2012 | (14:50)

The highly anticipated Halo 4 hit the market last week with an almighty crack and a boom - even if it didn't reach the lofty Halo 3 sales (over 11 million sold worldwide) it's still on top of all charts.

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...
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The Holidays Are Coming...

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2012 | (09:21)

We all know it, it's pretty darn hard to escape the fact that silly season is approaching. You only have to walk past the local pub to see the Christmas bookings board outside, several Facebook updates standardly at this time of year "OMG - it's eight weeks until...

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Review: Motorola RAZR i

(3) Comments | Posted 8 November 2012 | (16:55)

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We've just received Motorola's new smart-phone, the Razr from the lovely PR folks at JCPR. If the Razr name sounds familiar that's because it was the top-selling GSM phone about ten years ago. Motorola have revived the brand,...

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The Woman Behind The Master Chief: Meet Kiki Wolfkill, Executive Producer of Halo 4

(0) Comments | Posted 7 November 2012 | (17:12)

When we think of the games industry we still imagine a world that is populated entirely by men. Boys make games so boys buy games so boys make games. The girl gamer - and games designer - remains a lesser spotted beast.

But how true is this stereotype? Is the...

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Geek and Proud

(1) Comments | Posted 7 November 2012 | (14:26)

Glasses? Affirmative.
Obscure sci-fi references? Affirmative.
Sitting in the dark alone, playing World of Warcraft? Affirmative.

We all have our idea of who the traditional 'Geek' is, and for most of us, it's not a very flattering picture.

Even the dictionary currently defines it as...

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'Floral Kiss'... More like Awful Diss

(3) Comments | Posted 24 October 2012 | (11:41)

The 'bimbo' like the fictitious audience for this laptop is largely a male fantasy creation. Do the sort of Barbie-girls portrayed in soft-core pornography actually exist? Clearly the management of Fujitsu believe in this fantasy otherwise they would not have just announced Floral Kiss, the most preposterously stereotypically...

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Support Ada Lovelace Day

(0) Comments | Posted 15 October 2012 | (16:55)

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Lord Byron produced some incredible things during his lifetime: Don Juan; Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; She Walks In Beauty. But one of his least heralded accomplishments is arguably one of his greatest - he was the father of Ada...

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Are Men Just Better at Technology?

(0) Comments | Posted 12 October 2012 | (12:26)

Men and women are different.

We look different. We act different. We like different things. Men are from Mars. Little Girls are made of sugar and spice. We all know the drill.

With my new campaign Little Miss Geek I've been trying to narrow the gender gap in the...

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Three Myths That Are Wrecking Technology's Image With Women

(7) Comments | Posted 3 October 2012 | (10:15)

'I'd rather be a dustbin man than work in IT'.

These are the exact words of an 11-year-old girl. That's how she responded to my suggestion that she consider a career in technology. Ouch.

As part of the Little Miss Geek campaign, I've spent the past six...

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Samsung Galaxy SIII (Review)

(0) Comments | Posted 29 August 2012 | (11:31)

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Samsung's Galaxy SIII arrived at my desk amongst a crowd of adoration and admiration from the Lady Geeks, everyone wanted to touch it and look at it and marvel at its very existence. The phone arrived in a swish navy box that opened, like...

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