Martha Lane Fox
To mark International Women's Day, Michael Berkeley's guest is internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox. Her musical choices include Beethoven, Chopin, Verdi and Joplin.
To mark International Women's Day, Michael Berkeley's guest is Martha Lane Fox. At the age of only 25 she co-founded Lastminute.com, which floated at the peak of the dot-com bubble and was sold seven years later for £577m. Since then, Lane Fox was appointed, at 40, the youngest female member of the House of Lords (she's a cross-bencher) and the Chancellor of the Open University. She's also championed digital inclusivity and has recently founded Doteveryone. Voted one of the most powerful women in Britain by Woman's Hour, she has a mission to make the internet industry more open to other women - as she says:
'The "internet industry" is only 30 years old. Yet what is supposed to be a democratising force is built on a platform of profound gender imbalance. Women occupy just 17 per cent of tech jobs in the UK. The people building the internet, the services we all use, are overwhelmingly men. We have a national digital skills crisis. There are 600,000 vacancies in the sector, forecast to rise to 1m by 2020. If we do not understand why, and try to rectify it, we are missing out on half the talent pool.'
In Private Passions, Martha Lane Fox talks to Michael Berkeley about how and why, as the daughter of an Oxford don and gardening writer, she came to be a pioneer of the internet industry. She reveals her passion for karaoke. And she talks about the effect on her life of a car accident in Morocco. Music choices include Beethoven's Fidelio, Chopin's Nocturnes, Verdi's La Traviata, Scott Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland's 'Get Happy' - a personal anthem.