An interview with Mairead O’ Connor

Name: Mairead O’ Connor

Current Job: PhD Researcher

Scientific Discipline/Field: Information Systems

Country: Ireland

Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q,+, etc.): L

Twitter or other social media handle: @MaireadtOConnor

What does your job involve?

My job involves researching the area of time in software development teams. I interview, observe and work alongside software development teams who are creating the latest technologies in their field. These environments are high pressured, complex and unpredictable. I delve into the challenges these teams face and I recommend contemporary time management techniques to solve these problems. I present my research conclusions to industry, in journal articles and at conferences.

How did you get to this job (education etc.)?

Honours Bachelor of Business, MSc in Business Information Systems

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

Being LGBT has not affected my career decisions so far.

Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?

My colleagues are supportive and inclusive. Im very lucky with the group I work with.

Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated.)?

For STEM generally, I’d have to mention Grace Hopper. She was an American computer scientist and pioneer of computer programming. Thankfully, in recent years she has got a lot of recognition.

For LGBT and STEM specifically, I like Sally Ride’s story. She was the first American woman to go into space.

I like learning about the women of the Irish 1916 rising, Kathleen Lynn and Countess Markievicz are my favourites.

Emilene Pankhurst from the English suffragettes is also an interesting character.

Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her story is surrounded in a lot of mystery which I love to read about.

Although my next person is somewhat of Irish folklore, she is a well-known historical figure in 16th-century Irish history. Her name is Grace O’Malley and she was a legendary Irish pirate. Enough said!

I’m going to include one female I learned about recently, Virginia Hall. She was an American spy with the British Special Operations Executive during World War II. I have more to learn about her but her life was remarkable.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future would be to work my way to becoming a professor.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am also a Smart Futures Ambassador for Science Foundation Ireland. For this role, I visit events and schools around Ireland promoting Women in Tech.

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