It’s not everyone who could juggle the demands of remote working for NASA with being Miss Universe Ireland, but then, Fionnghuala O’Reilly is not your typical woman.
Fionnghuala, who hails from Swords in Dublin, is a datanaut and a regional director of NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge. Fionnghuala says she saw the Miss Universe Ireland competition as a way to further promote the causes she is passionate about, namely diversity in tech.
“I would like to see work environments that accurately reflect our communities. I would like to see businesses and organisations incorporating diversity and inclusion into their core values, especially at executive level.”
“Visibility and representation inspire more and more people to pursue opportunities that they subconsciously may have felt excluded from, and it is time that we confront these issues and move towards equity for everyone.”
As a minority woman in tech, I have experienced, like so many others, what it feels like to have to overcome challenges to be noticed as equally valuable.
As well as being a datanaut for NASA and Miss Universe Ireland, Fionnghuala is involved with a number of non-profit organisations and community programmes.
“I started the #empowermentthroughcoding initiative, which was officially recognised by the NASA Datanauts programme, to support and encourage women and girls to learn how to code.”
“I have worked with amazing organisations like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, the Equals Global Partnership (a United Nations founded organization), Women in Technology and Sciences Ireland, Girls in Tech, the Summer Math and Sciences Honours Academy and the Women in Tech Campaign as part of this initiative to bring programming to my community and communities internationally.”
As part of the Women in Tech Dublin event Fionnghuala will speak on the topic of ‘Moving the Conversation on from Gender Diversity’.
“My talk will focus on how important it is to create a hospitable environment for the modern day worker and the dangers of focusing diversity and inclusion policies and practices solely on one identity group in the work place.”
“As a minority woman in tech, I have experienced, like so many others, what it feels like to have to overcome challenges to be noticed as equally valuable.”
Fionnghuala added that she will be elaborating on her experiences in her upcoming presentation this week.
My goal is to do as much work as possible to shine a spotlight on the causes that are important to me and to create impactful change here at home.
Following the Women in Tech Dublin event Fionghuala has a packed schedule, beginning with a trip to London for Fashion Week.
“Then I am flying to New York to be named as a Global Ambassador for the No Suffer Society organisation to raise international awareness in support of animal rescues. I will then travel down to Washington D.C. to host NASA’s annual International Space Apps Challenge.”
Fionnghuala is also “in full planning mode” organising the Space Apps Challenge which she describes as “one of the largest international hackathons in the universe”, happening this October.
“My goal is to do as much work as possible to shine a spotlight on the causes that are important to me and to create impactful change here at home as well as represent Ireland abroad.”
Fionnghuala will speak on this topic and more at the Women in Tech Dublin conference taking place on September 12th & 13th in the National Convention Centre. To avail of a 15% discount use the code DAILYSLOG15