Garvagh Woman Rising Through The Ranks In Northern Ireland Tech Industry

  • To mark this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day, a UX Developer from Northern Ireland-based learning technology company Synergy Learning is sharing her story of rising through the ranks from enthusiastic placement student to UX Developer.

    International Women's Day is a global holiday celebrated annually, bringing attention to the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

    Garvagh-born Eimear Corrigan (25) joined remote-first Synergy Learning in 2018 as a placement student while studying Interactive Multimedia Design at Ulster University. She returned to the company following her graduation and has been with Synergy Learning ever since.

    Eimear graduated from Ulster University in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, which brought with it a lot of uncertainty. This unfortunately meant Eimear didn’t have the typical final year experience she had hoped for, and many opportunities were put on hold while the world was in lockdown. 

    Eimear said: “I would class graduating during the pandemic as one of my biggest achievements to date. It wasn’t easy and wasn’t how I had expected the last few months of my time at university to pan out, but it is what it is, and I made the most of it.

    “Jumping straight into my role at Synergy Learning helped to balance the lack of closure when completing my degree – I had a new challenge to face head on and my new chapter began.”

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    Eimear’s current role is a UX Developer, which allows her to work on developing learning platforms for organisations like the NHS, Save The Children & Ryanair. Eimear’s particular role ensures that the user experience on these platforms follows best practice and makes it as easy as possible for someone to use the software.

    When initially thinking ahead to the future as a teenager, Eimear imagined herself pursuing a career in art, however fell out of love after studying the subject in depth at school and decided to explore other opportunities.

    Speaking on what she enjoys about her role at Synergy Learning, Eimear said: “There are so many opportunities and so many exciting new challenges. No day is the same and that’s an element of the job I love!”

    International Women’s Day champions elevating and advancing gender equality in technology and celebrating the women forging innovation - women can often be underrepresented in STEM, and the annual celebration aims to highlight the large pool of talented professionals spread across these industries today.

    Speaking on facing barriers along the way due to being female, Eimear said: “Thankfully I haven’t experienced any gender inequality so far in my career. The teams I have worked with are all so welcoming, and whether I’m working remotely or at the company’s hub in Titanic Quarter, I always feel included and part of the bigger picture.

    “If you’re thinking of a role in tech but having doubts about being the best fit, all I can say is just go for it - don’t let the fear of stereotypes hold you back. Females before us shattered glass ceilings.”

    Eimear credits her family for her instilling in her the belief that she is capable of anything regardless of her gender. She said: “My biggest role models are my family, as typical as that may sound. I have always been encouraged to meet a challenge head on, and my family have always been right there behind me cheering my success.”

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    Outside work, Eimear has played camogie since she was a toddler and owes a lot of her professional drive and persistence to skills learned in early childhood through her hobbies. In addition to camogie, Eimear started playing volleyball last year, and was formerly a keen Irish dancer and competed for many years with the McNicholl School of Irish Dancing from age 5.

    Synergy Learning's Head of People, Performance & Culture Tory Kerley said: “At Synergy Learning, our people and our customers are at the core of everything we do, and we are pleased to nurture and work alongside many talented young professionals who bring a fresh perspective to their roles. Gender diversity within our organisation is currently 13% above industry average for female tech workers and we've been supporting females in STEM since we started in 2005.

    “Eimear joined us as a placement student five years ago and has been a hugely positive addition to 1Team. It's inspiring to see Eimear progressing in her career, most recently sharing her skills and experience as a mentor for our current interns, supporting their growth and helping foster the next generation of talent in tech.

    Source: Written from press release

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