To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Astley Media is shining a light on some of the fantastic women in tech across the South West.


Emily Hill is the CEO and co-founder of award-winning, Bristol-based tech company Ghyston, who develop highly functional software, websites, mobile apps, and complex ERP systems. Emily has a Masters in Mathematical Sciences and Applied Statistics from the University of Oxford as well as over 15 years experience in the software industry. She co-founded Ghyston in 2012 with Ric Hill and the company has gone on to win several regional accolades, including ‘Best Place to Work in Tech Award’ in 2019 and ‘The Happiest Workplace in Bristol’ in 2017.  


What inspired you to pursue a career in Tech?

I’ve always enjoyed maths and problem solving but it was the more creative side of technology that enticed me into my first software developer role. I was lucky to find a company with a fantastic culture that would train me from scratch as I had embarrassingly little knowledge of tech when I started out!


Have you faced any challenges while trying to establish yourself as a professional in a traditionally male dominant sector and how did you overcome this?

I’ve found the technology industry incredibly welcoming as a whole! Progressive thinking is essential for the tech industry to thrive and I think that’s reflected in the fact that we talk about diversity in tech A LOT. I feel really at home working amongst such an open-minded group of individuals.


What words of advice would you give to women looking to get into the Tech sector but are hesitant due to the lack of diversity?

A good starting point is to look out for those companies that seem to be trying to make a change. If you get to meet potential future colleagues, either through meetup groups or at interview, look for the similarities and things you have in common rather than focussing on the differences. There are lots of tech companies out there and there’s likely to be a culture where you will feel comfortable, so keep looking if you don’t find it straight away.


What is the best thing about working in Tech in the South West?

The tech scene in the South West is exciting and welcoming. It’s a great community of people that want to collaborate and learn from each other and at the same time is competitive enough to keep driving forward. It’s brilliant to see innovative companies coming out of the South West and achieving great things and I’m really proud that Ghyston is a part of it. The very best thing for me is that we have this amazing business community and also superb places to live and not-work in – it’s the perfect combination.


What advice would you give your younger self about the journey ahead in the Tech industry?

Don’t be scared; embrace every opportunity; appreciate the people.


Emily Hill