Women in Tech 'one to watch': Ellen Moorehead

  • Ellen Moorehead is a trailblazer in both the tech and agriculture industries, working at Ubloquity, a startup company specializing in blockchain technology and as a farmer. She has also been tipped as someone who is going places, having won the "One to Watch" award at the Women in Tech awards last year. Ellen spoke to Team Sync about her experiences as a woman in both male-dominated industries and how she has used her unique perspective to overcome barriers.

    While some may think that women working on a farm is a challenge, it did not phase Ellen, who alongside her sister, now runs the family farm. Growing up in a family of four girls and one boy, her father never treated the girls any differently and from a very young age she was encouraged to believe there is no difference between male and female and she could do a job just as well as any other male peer or colleague. This helped her forge her belief and understanding that women have a role to play in every industry, not just the stereotypical female jobs.

    Inspired after hearing Hillary Clinton speak at the recent Women in Business International Voices of Leadership event, Ellen said, ‘’At the end of the day, we're all humans and when we talk about women having equal rights, we are really just asking for everybody to have the same rights. We just want a level playing field and to have the same opportunities as our male colleagues.”

    Understanding the clear message of equality that Hillary Clinton bestowed on the audience, Ellen explained that doing what makes you happy is key to success. “You have to do what you love, do what you're good at, do what the world needs and do what you get paid to do. Ultimately if you can find the sweet spot between all four of those things you will have success in your career.”

    Initially, Ellen didn't study agriculture and despite coming from a farming background, she still had doubts whether it was a viable career for a female. It was only two years after leaving school that Ellen realised it was what she really wanted to do and regretted not having the confidence to pursue her passion and follow her ambitions from the start. Ellen’s advice to younger women is to “…be curious, ask questions and talk to as many people as possible.”

    Being recognised for her determination to date on winning the “One to Watch" award at the Women in Tech awards last year, it is not hard to understand how she got the award. A first-class honours degree from Queen’s University, studied in agricultural technology at the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), currently studying a part-time Masters in agri food and rural enterprise, all while holding down a full-time job and being a farmer, no one could question Ellen’s ambition, determination and love for what she does.

    When we asked her about how she felt after winning the award, she said that, ‘‘Firstly, it probably took me a month or so to process that I had won an award within the tech industry to start with. It's not my main area that I'm qualified in and to win an award with such a high calibre of peers didn't sink in immediately. Then I thought I should have confidence in my ability because winning the award shows that I am doing something right.”

    Ellen Moorehead's story is an inspiring example of how women can thrive in male-dominated industries by embracing challenges, building strong networks, having confidence in yourself and pushing through barriers. Her insights serve as valuable advice for the next generation of women entering the technology sector in Northern Ireland and beyond. Additionally, her experiences can be a source of motivation for tech professionals of all backgrounds, as they navigate their own paths to success.

    This year’s Women in Tech Awards will be held in the Europa Hotel on 25th May. Click here for details. 

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