Hi, I’m Emma Cowling,

I love solving problems, bringing together new ideas to create solutions and seeing those solutions make a real difference to peoples’ lives. This is what drew me to a career in tech.

But tech is a man’s world.

I’m a bit of a tomboy and I’ve always been able to connect with guys. So going into the male-dominated environment of tech wasn’t that daunting for me.

One day I had an insight that changed how I saw myself. While I loved being one of the lads, I realised I felt I wouldn’t be accepted if I showed my girly side. It took a while before I really saw what this meant.

I was suppressing my femininity.

I was trying to prove myself as someone I wasn’t, craving recognition from others to validate that I fitted in and getting none. I was working myself into the ground and burying my emotions…

I was feeling the pressure and pushing myself hard. I got close to break-down.

With help, I discovered that the person I needed recognition from was myself. As I started to believe in myself, and understand that I could cope with everything life threw at me, and as I took space to step back and see what was important, I started to turn up as me. I no longer needed to prove that I fit in.

I started achieving more by doing less – and life became more fun.

I became more playful and less outcome-driven. I began to connect with people in a different way. Leadership became more natural and flowing, less of a fight. Stuff just seemed to work and my career flourished in a new way.

I want to help others to be themselves.

I love developing people and have been coaching for more than 15 years. Recently I discovered an understanding which complimented my coaching and helps me explain these insights to others. First expressed by the philosopher Sydney Banks, this understanding underpins how I work with clients, focusing on self-belief, resilience and balance, all key elements of authentic leadership.

My mission – more women leaders in tech.

The tech industry needs more women. Women who are willing to question the system, change the processes, influence the next generation of tech products and become role models to inspire more women to join us.

Using my experiences and sharing this understanding, I can help you to be an authentic tech leader, and together we can change the world of tech into a more diverse and welcoming place.

If this resonates with you and you’d like to explore what this could mean for you, or you have a similar story to share, then please get in touch.

Qualifications and Experience

Having worked in tech and with technical people for more than 20 years, I know how important it is to have a coach who understands the tech world. 

Starting out as a mathematician and software engineer, I’ve held a range of leadership positions, as both a people manager and in business development. I’ve worked in large organisations and provided support to small businesses. 

Combine this with 15 years of coaching experience, and it gives me a good base for understanding your challenges. 


Owner and Coach, Emma Cowling Coaching (2009 – )

One to one coaching and facilitation with individuals and small businesses in parallel with other roles. Transitioned to full time in 2019. 

Manager, Digital Creativity Labs (2015 – 2019)

Setting up and running an £18 million industry-academia research centre in games and interactive media.

Business Development Manager, University of York (2012 – 2015)

Commercialisation of academic research by facilitating industry collaboration and creating spin-out companies from Computer Science and Electronics departments. Director positions on the board of 3 companies. 

Sensor Systems Technology Centre Manager, Roke (2007 – 2012)

Line management  and career development of 25-30 engineers to deliver strategy for delivering sensor technology across multiple markets. 

Vision Processing Group Manager, Roke (2004 – 2007) 

Line management, tech strategy and business development for 10 engineers developing the next generation of image processing products across multiple markets. 

Software Engineer, Roke (2001 – 2004) 

Developing mathematical models and software for acoustic and image processing products.  



BA and Masters in Maths, University of Cambridge (1997 – 2001)

Chartered Engineer, Institute of Engineering and Technology (2009- 2019) 


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, Quality Culture (2018)

Diploma in Small Business Coaching, The Coaching Academy (2013)

Diploma in Corporate and Executive Coaching, The Coaching Academy (2011)

NLP Practitioner,  The Coaching Academy (2010)

Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching, The Coaching Academy (2009)