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Two Irish Women Amongst Sky’s New Cohort of Women in Technology Scholars

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Two Irish Women Amongst Sky’s New Cohort of Women in Technology Scholars

Two Irish Women Amongst Sky’s New Cohort of Women in Technology Scholars
July 01
10:24 2019

Sky has announced its second cohort of Women in Technology Scholars, awarding five talented women a total of £125,000 (€140,000) to accelerate a business idea which harnesses technology innovation. Amongst the winners are Irishwomen Mary Murphy (pictured extreme right), who hails from Mayo, and Rachel Clancy (pictured extreme left), originally from Limerick.

Mary, the youngest Sky Women in Tech Scholar, grew up on a farm with her four siblings. Mary and her family were continually running into problems on their own farm which resulted in her and her twin sister designing and manufacturing the Sheep Marking Gun.

Unlike the standard option available, the Sheep Marking Gun is a single-handed device, allowing the farmer to hold the sheep in one hand and mark it with the other.

As part of the scholarship, Mary plans to continue engineering agritech products, including a GPS tracker system for sheep to prevent them being stolen or attacked by predators.

Commenting on her award, Mary, said: ‘“Sky is making huge efforts to support women in technology and that encouraged me to apply. Our goal is to use technology to solve simple problems that farmers encounter and make their day-to-day lives easier.”

Rachel completed her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design in Limerick. Following a successful venture as an art director and after completing a master’s in Independent Game Design, Rachel developed a prototype of her game ‘Get Closer’ with her girlfriend Ida.

Get Closer is a text adventure game where players open dialogue with a forest creature who needs their help. The game teaches young children how to identify and cope with difficult emotions such as sadness and fear as a way to talk about bigger mental health issues.

Rachel hopes that the game will help to bridge the gap between education and mental health to improve support and resources. She also wants to be a role model to those with learning differences, and prove that having ADHD shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a career in tech and coding

Commenting on her award, Rachel, said: “People with ADHD tend to think that something involving logical thinking isn’t for them. I’m happy to be represented as a coder with a learning difference as I think there isn’t a lot of visibility for people like us. Sky is a tech company, I’m hoping to make the most out of the professionals that work there and get a better idea of how to optimise, build and distribute the game.”

Sky’s Group Chief Information Security Officer, Elaine Bucknor, said: “I was blown away with the ingenuity of the projects presented and the calibre of talent and creativity.  It’s widely acknowledged that attracting women into technology is a challenge, so we have a responsibility to bring about change. Boys are more than twice as likely to be encouraged to work in tech, so it’s little wonder that half the girls we spoke to had ruled out working in the industry by the time they reached 18-years-old.  Our Women in Technology Scholars programme enables us to nurture new talent and highlight inspiring role models to encourage others to follow.”

Sky’s Women in Technology Scholars will receive financial investment and have access to an expert network of mentors and leading industry executives to accelerate their innovation. Following the success of previous years, Sky has increased the number of scholars on the scheme from three to five, emphasising its position that female potential must be supported for the successful and inclusive future of the technology industry.

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