It’s 16 years since Lou Cordwell set up Manchester-based digital agency magneticNorth.

However the news hasn’t filtered through to everyone…

“I turn up to a lot of meetings and people assume that I’m Lou’s PA and Lou’s got to be a man,” she told BusinessCloud at the International Festival for Business.

“I was talking to a woman the other day and she was the first female hire in her gaming company, which employs 250 people.

“The only way to change it is when children are six and seven so it’s normalised.”

Since founding magneticNorth, the entrepreneur has created an impressive collection of digital firsts and amassed an enviable client list that includes BBC, Google and the City of Manchester.

“16 years ago we had a business that was largely making websites,” she recalled.

“What we’re doing now is applicable at board level in every single sector within the city’s growth agenda.

“Although we’ve worked with the BBC for 14 years what we’re doing for the BBC is completely different from 14 years ago.

“My view is we have more substance than we have hype, which is possibly the opposite of some of the London narrative.”

The CTO of North-East tech unicorn Sage told BusinessCloud recently that northern regions tend to be modest about their tech offerings.

And British Gas has launched its own women in tech network to provide a community for its female employees to network and collaborate.