ESO Belfast gathers pace on its journey to workplace gender balance

  • Ahead of International Women’s Day, ESO Belfast is reporting a 10 per cent increase in its female workforce from 2019 to 2022, with women now making up 27 per cent of the team.

    The US software company has been committed to achieving gender diversity at its Belfast operation since its arrival three years ago.

    Tech Nation, an organisation funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to accelerate the industry, reports that for every 100 people working in tech in the UK, just 26 are women. ESO Belfast is performing just ahead of this, with its trajectory since 2019 showing continued improvement.

    Carole Callender, Senior People Experience Manager at ESO Belfast, said that whilst the business is focused on attracting and retaining females, the wider industry needs to do more to engage with women. She said: “International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to address the gender gap in the tech industry. We need to continue to dismantle the assumption that technology is not a viable career option for women."

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    "Whilst the industry can collectively make an impact here by coming together to prioritise policies that attract women, more should be done earlier in the pipeline such as more STEM exposure at secondary school level. It’s important that women recognise the diversity range of skillsets needed within the tech industry – engineering, cybersecurity, IT, finance, marketing, recruitment.”

    Among the women working at ESO Belfast is Sarah McAleavey, Director of Cyber Defence. She said: “Coming to ESO has opened so many doors for me. I’ve had the opportunity to become more involved in the Cybersecurity industry here in Northern Ireland, and amalgamate my own passions around emergency care and digital transformation."

    "The culture at ESO is one of sharing and I love hearing about other people’s approaches, designs and challenges. It’s particularly inspiring to work with impressively sharp females. Northern Ireland is a mature and sophisticated contender in the global tech market and the skilled technologists based here are the lifeblood for its continued growth. There’s a genuine desire for gender dynamics to shift over the coming years, and ESO is certainly setting a leading example in that goal.”

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    ESO improves community health and safety in communities across North America. It harnesses data to identify insights and trends that emergency services such as paramedics use to deliver better care and provider well-being, and improve operational efficiency.

    Erin Johnson, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at ESO said: “Our decision to invest in Belfast was deliberate. We have access to a talented and highly skilled workforce, and geographically Northern Ireland supports our long-term vision to expand the availability of our products across Europe."

    "Our Belfast engineering hub has been a key part of ESO’s growth with our global customer numbers now in the thousands, making our business the largest software company providing data to emergency services. I extend my gratitude to our hard-working Belfast team, and to my fellow females I extend a reminder that although the industry has ways to go, our presence and contribution is felt, this International Women’s Day and beyond.”

    Source: Written from press release

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