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From our Depsters March 08, 2018

The Women of Dept Ireland


To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked our girl crew at Dept Ireland a few questions to get a woman’s perspective on their career and working in the tech industry. From role models to daily inspirations to challenges, the women of Dept share insights on what makes them love the tech realm.

Who has impacted most positively on you in your career and why?

Annika Rahman, Senior Designer

My parents – they always showed me that it is important to find the right balance between work and family life to be able to love and enjoy both.

Sinead Clandillon, Head of Content

My managers in Riverdance and Webfactory for letting me develop my own roles and Mairead Hession for introducing me to content strategy.

Rebecca Tracey, Content Strategist

Most people I’ve worked with have had a positive impact on me in some way or taught me something new. The person who initially impacted me most is likely the woman who hired me for my first full-time internship and made sure to mentor me in the field every day I spent there. I learned a huge amount in only a few short months thanks to her generosity with both time and knowledge.

Have there been any role models, either male or female, whose values or philosophy you apply in your own work or personal life?

Mairead Hession, Head of Project Management

It’s a cliché but I would say I am most influenced by my parents. I grew up the eldest daughter in a household of girls. My dad is an engineer, and my mum worked at home minding me and my sisters till we were finished school. They went to a lot of effort to ensure that no door was closed to us girls in our education.

At the time all STEM subjects were not available at honours level to girls in our local schools. They went to great lengths to find a school where my sisters and I could study Maths, Physics and Technical Drawing at honours level in the Leaving Cert. They instilled in us the understanding that there are no male and female specific careers choices, and that we should put ourselves forward for the careers we are interested in, even if there aren’t many other women there – yet.

Aine Kelly, Marketing Executive

For me, not really. I think people should live by their own sets of values rather than someone else’s. I think if you want to succeed you will, both in your work and personal life.

Marie Moran, Project Manager

Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) has a great quote “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. Meg Whitman’s (former CEO of eBay & HP) said, “Run to the fire, don’t hide from it” are great motivating quotes. The strong values of Malala Yousafzai are an inspiration to us all and with Mother’s Day around the corner, I have been always thought by my mother that I can do any task equal to any guy. Irish visually impaired marathon runner Sinead Kane shows that even in the face of adversity, the realisation of seemingly impossible dreams are possible.

Do you perceive the tech industry as a male-dominated world? If so how do you think we can rebalance that?

Mairead Hession, Head of Project Management

It’s not a question of perception – it is a male dominated industry. However in its favour, its a relatively new industry, so isn’t bogged down with tradition. The good thing is that it is always changing, and is open to change; it has to be to continue to innovate. I think that means that there are great opportunities for both women and men to pursue interesting careers on an equal basis.

It can be tiresome being the only woman in the room at a meeting, but I don’t think that means that what you have to say isn’t heard. Hopefully over time, the demographic will change naturally, as more younger women come into the workplace, once we can encourage them into tech careers that is!

Elaine Shinagawa, Developer

Yes. I think already there are some initiatives to encourage women in the tech industry. The world is changing and today there are more women in that industry than in the past, maybe if we just continue with those initiatives and more young women keeps joining, it will change eventually in the future.

Aine Kelly, Marketing Executive

Sort of, I mean there tends to be more male than female developers in most agencies, from my experience anyways. But, I don’t think that is something that requires rebalancing, I genuinely just think that’s just people with different interests choosing different career paths. Most women I know would have very little interest in the world of coding! Although I would imagine the balance will start to shift more and more, and kids are exposed to coding in schools from a younger age, it will be interesting to see how this changes the ratio.

What would you advise a young woman to help them launch their career in your field?

Mairead Hession, Head of Project Management

Have the confidence to step up and follow your interests, don’t be put off by the lack of other women in the room, that will come with time. Support and look out for the other women you work with. The last bit of advice is for everyone, it’s not gender specific! Do what you enjoy, and be the best you can at that!

Sinead Clandillon, Head of Content

Careers often don’t go in straight lines; take opportunities, make your own roles, be nice to people.

Elaine Shinagawa, Developer

Be self-confident and don’t listen to negative people, many are going to say that tech industry is for men. Only make sure you are doing your best and the results will come naturally, gender doesn’t define what you can and cannot do.

What makes your field of work exciting?

Sinead Clandillon, Head of Content

I love seeing the merging of technology and content and get excited about all the possibilities coming down the line. What I enjoy the most is working with talented people from a range of roles on creating strategies and solutions for clients.

Annika Rahman, Senior Designer

I am always dealing with different people and different subjects and still constantly learning along the way.

Rebecca, Content Strategist

It’s constantly changing and developing, every single day brings with it something new to learn and new approaches to both improve and challenge us.

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