The percentage of women working in technology is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts.
This statement should come as no surprise: it is well known that women are underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. In fact, research shows that a mere 17 % of ICT specialists in the EU are women.
Determining the cause of this gender gap is a difficult one, but many cite the lack of female mentors and a lack of hands-on experience in STEM subjects at an early age as contributing factors. We have a long way to go until we reach parity, however, there has been a rise in initiatives devoted to promoting and supporting women in tech.
We’re incredibly proud of our Digital Strategist Michelle Noonan for her recognition from the ‘Woman in Tech Awards’. The event is Ireland’s first annual celebration of women and diversity in the technology industry.
How did you get in to the technology sector?
I have always had a passion for technology and innovation working with leading technology companies such as O2 and Oracle in the past. My educational background was in Business & Marketing with continued learning in more advanced areas such as management, digital marketing, and revenue management and I haven’t stopped learning since!
Tell us a little more about your role at Avvio
I currently work as Digital Strategist for Avvio. I am responsible for devising challenging customer strategies and implementing said strategies via the E-commerce teams. Leading, training and mentoring individuals within these teams is a core function of my role in addition to attending the latest technology and Hospitality events as well as speaking publicly on behalf of Avvio.
The hospitality sector can be a challenging industry especially for hotels who are constantly competing against global OTA’s (online travel agents) such as Booking.com, Airbnb and Expedia etc. My role at Avvio, as Digital Strategy Lead, is to cause disruption within this sector by growing the hotel’s own direct channels.
Has it been more challenging for you to succeed in the tech sector as a woman?
I believe that while it has certainly been more challenging for me to get to where I am, such challenges have enabled me to become the person I am today. The technology industry has typically being a male-dominated environment with few female mentors. When I first began my career in digital marketing, I was one of two women in the team. It can be challenging at times for women within the industry. Such awards highlight the current gaps in the industry and amplify the need for a voice.
This year, our sites such as Adare Manor and Ice House Hotel have won some of most recognised awards in the industry. Both site builds were led by female colleagues at Avvio, which shows the evolving changes and opportunities for women in technology – particularly here at Avvio. Our customers winning awards such as Ice House Hotel being named the winner of the Best Hotel Website category at the recent Gold Medal awards, shows the impact we are making in the industry.
How do you recommend staying current in a constantly evolving industry?
I always keep up-to-date by joining forums and signing up for relevant newsletters and blogs. I love listening to inspirational women and leaders for the latest thought-provoking talks and hope to join them as a recognised speaker one day!
What does this nomination mean to you?
Being recognised as a woman in tech is incredible. I work in an industry that is predominantly led by males, so this has been a fantastic accomplishment for me, and I would hope that I can share this success with other women to show the recognition we are receiving.
The ‘Woman in Tech’ Awards takes place on November 22nd at RDS Concert Hall, Dublin. Keep your fingers crossed!