‘Girls used to have dolls, now they have iPhones’
Pollyanna Woodward says technology has become fashionable
Tuesday 03 April 2012
Your background is in music and presenting – how did you get onto a technology show?
I’ve always been a technology fan. I thought my Game Boy was the most amazing thing ever as a kid. At 16 I got a mobile – a real brick – and I was obsessed. Since then I’ve loved having the latest phone. I also had a boyfriend who was into modifying cars, so I got fascinated by engines and stereos. Eventually I pestered the Gadget Show, which I’d always loved, saying that if they ever needed a new presenter, they had to screen test me. A few weeks later I was working for them.
Did your genuine enthusiasm get you the job ahead of other prospective presenters?
I think what swung it was the fact I throw myself into stuff. My screen test included racing round a dirt track on a Segway, and I fell off so many times! I’m quite practical too – I live on my own, so I can put up shelves.
Technology is all about enthusiasm for new things, and I’ve got that. It’s the most exciting field to work in because it’s constantly moving, changing and getting better.
Do we still need more women in technology?
Yes, but a huge amount of progress has been made.
Technology has always been male-dominated and seen as geeks on computers typing out zeroes and ones, but it’s changing. Apple played a huge part in making the subject more accessible, attractive and easy.
They changed perceptions. The glass ceiling is gone now I think, and I can only see the gender ratio equalling out further.
Are younger girls getting interested, though?
Definitely. I was helping a classroom of young girls doing a project called Apps for Good recently, which is all about inventing phone applications.
They were coming up with incredible ideas, and the fact that they are the future is very encouraging, because they’re miles ahead of where we were as kids. When I was younger, little girls had dolls and prams. Now, tiny children are engaging with technology and operating iPhones when they’re four.
Has the male geek stereotype been put to bed, too?
I think so. There are so many people who are creative and uber-cool working in technology now, and what they’re creating certainly is far from boring. It has turned a corner and become fashionable, and with things like apps, such a wide field is covered. I don’t think you see techy boys now and think: “Steer clear, he’s going to be dull.”
What are your favourite bits of technology?
I love music gadgets. I have the Zeppelin Air speaker system, which I love – although my neighbours probably hate it.
And I can’t live without my smart phone.
What is the next exciting field of technology, then?
Health. There are some great apps and gadgets that I think will become very popular soon. I recently helped out with a campaign for a diabetes app called iBGStar, which makes managing glucose levels very easy on a smart phone.
It’s been quite hard for kids to deal with managing their diabetes, and it’s not a very cool thing, is it? But this device is so easy, very slick and gives them the right information.
I’ve just got myself a Nike Fuelband, which monitors how active you’ve been each day, which is ingenious. You can set goals for yourself, and get more active. Hopefully there are a lot more developments to come in this field, and they’ll help a large number of people.
Polly and the rest of The Gadget Show cast will be at the Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham from the 11th to the 16th April.
Life & Style blogs
iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
From Topshop to Burberry, London Fashion Week spring/summer 2015: Distraction could not disguise a distinct lack of focus
Exclusive interview with Jourdan Dunn: Mother, one of the world's best-paid models and ambassador for sickle-cell disease
No new blood and no fresh ideas at Milan Fashion Week: How do you solve a problem like Milano?
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...