October 21, 2016
Women at the centre of tech—Ireland Tech Week
By: Maria Varley

The growing need to empower women who are shaping their careers in technology is front and centre at The Dock. This is a theme that is close to my heart and I was delighted to recently take part in a Women in Tech Ireland panel discussion on this very topic. This was part of a Tech Week event hosted by African Women in Tech at DogPatch Labs. The panel discussion explored the key theme of women in tech leadership, with the objective of gaining insights and advice from women in tech roles.

Panel Members Panel members: Stha Banks – Digital Client Director at MediaVest, Maria Varley – Scrum Master from Accenture The Dock, Nicaise Ishimwe, Moderator and founder of the Irish Chapter of the Women in Tech for Africa, Pendo O’Donohoe – Senior Sales Manager in Google, and Claire McHugh – CEO and co-founder of Axonista

Advice for Women in Tech

The panel shared advice on what has helped get them into leadership roles in tech. I found that building relationships over the years has helped me take on leadership roles. These friends and allies at work see my potential, my work ethic and skills every day and help build my reputation and highlight my achievements. Others on the panel felt that hard work, reading books, blogging and having a clear mission have all been part of their paths. The importance of mentors for career progression was also a key focus of discussion and encouraging women to proactively seek out mentors. Another hot topic was salary negotiation as there is still a gender pay gap which needs to be addressed across the industries.

Thoughts for Tech in Africa

A strong theme running throughout the event was technology in Africa and how Africans can leverage technology to grow their economies and entrepreneurial spirit. The panel highlighted how strong role models and mentors are key to promote technology and careers in this landscape. Ireland, was mentioned as a country that Africa could learn from because of a predominant export economy. The Irish have a great history in story-telling and Africa too has an opportunity to find its story and tell it to the rest of the world.

Accenture Initiatives in Africa

Accenture demonstrates a commitment to developing technology skills across Africa and the globe through our Skills to Succeed Academy providing digital skills training programmes through online learning for those aged 16-24 years old. Accenture have created an offline version of the Academy enabling remote areas without internet connectivity to access the tool which has massive potential to be used across Africa in the future. Accenture also places a high value on the importance of mentoring, as seen through our work with the Cherie Blair Foundation, mentoring women in Rwanda.

Opportunities for Women in Tech at The Dock

The need to have more women in leadership roles was a major theme running through the discussion and each panellist gave insights into how they developed their confidence to take on more prominent positions within their organisations.
Believing in myself and taking every opportunity has opened so many doors. It’s lead to an unexpected change in my career path and I'm loving it.

We are committed to finding and supporting women to grow their careers in tech with us at The Dock. Interested? Visit

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