March 18, 2021
When we realised that this year's International Women's Day theme was 'Choose to Challenge' gender bias and equality, we decided to take a look at the tech industry as a whole and research some of the gender inequalities that still exist today. We soon found out that women make up only 17% of the workforce in tech companies (Women Tech).
This International Women's Day we're proud to announce that we #ChoosetoChallenge gender diversity in the workplace with women making up an amazing 43% of our Irish workforce and 66% of our c-suite executive positions. At VML Technology, we will continue to challenge gender diversity, equality and inclusion creating more opportunities for women in the tech industry.
To celebrate, we want to introduce the female faces behind VML as well as their achievements and some of the women that inspire them on a daily basis:
Name: Helen Lennon
Job Title: CEO
A fact that people are surprised to find out about me: I began my career in the use and development of video technology across sport education, this research and experience led to the founding of VML. I have an M.Sc. from Ulster University and Post Graduate Business Development from DKIT both of whom were instrumental in fostering my entrepreneurial mindset.
Name: Amy Small
Job Title: Interaction Designer
A woman that inspires me everyday: My older sister Zoe. Her creativity and passion for life has always inspired me. She has her own small business in California.
A fact people are surprised to find out about me: I design wedding stationery / personalised gifts as a side business.
Name: Silvia Pititto
Job Title: Full Stack Product Engineer
My favourite quote from a woman: “Keep a good heart. That's the most important thing in life. It's not how much money you make or what you can acquire. The art of it is to keep a good heart.” - Joni Mitchell
A fact people are surprised to find out about me: I have a solo music project and recently released my debut EP on all music platforms.
Name: Monika Zygadlo
Job Title: UX Designer
A fact people are surprised to find out about me: I moved to Northern Ireland at the age of 12 with no knowledge of english and by the time I finished my GCSE’s I placed third out of my whole year.
The main reason I chose to work in tech: During my University years I realised there is no other industry I would rather be in because it allows for self improvement, problem solving and is always changing. Tech is never stale, and I always had a drive to keep learning new, exciting skills.
Name: Fiona McCord
Job Title: CFO
My favourite quote from a woman: “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want.” - Madonna
A book that changed the way I look at the world: "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz, it focused my mindset and I try to remind myself of this philosophy when stressed or under pressure: Be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions and always do your best.
Name: Niamh Tohill
Job Title: Head of Android
A book that changed the way I look at the world: “Why Women Don’t Ask.” This book showed me that it’s okay to challenge the norm. There are double standards in today's world but we can stand up and go against the grain!
A fact people are surprised to find out about me: I am a qualified nail technician and worked in a salon and spa part time while studying for my Masters in Electrical Engineering. I also run my own small art business!
Name: Gemma Crawford
Job Title: Test Engineer
My favourite quote from a woman: “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else”. - Judy Garland
The main reason I chose to work in tech: After an amazing placement year full of learning opportunities and development of a range of transferable skills, the mentorship of the team has motivated me throughout my final year of university to commence my career as a graduate in tech at VML Technology.
Name: Aynsley Longridge
Job Title: Interaction Designer
A woman that inspired me to pursue my career: My secondary school art teacher! As a teenager confused about life and the future she always believed in me and played a big role in where I am today!
A woman I wish I could have dinner with: Frida Kahlo! She is a symbol of feminist creativity and was also known for throwing beautiful Mexican dinner parties! I’d love to experience her rule breaking uniqueness towards life and talk about her art and political involvements!
Name: Roisin Watters
Job Title: Marketing Manager
My favourite quote from a woman: “My mom said to me, 'You know, sweetheart, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man. I said, 'Mom, I am a rich man.” - Cher
A woman who I admire that chooses to challenge: US Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria has stood up in the US congress and powerfully challenged gender discrimination. She also frequently explains the complex US political system and highlights ongoing issues via social media for younger voters. I'd love to see a politician like her in Stormont.