Female leaders making waves in enterprise IT

15 Jul 2015

Enterprise IT has seen quite an evolution in the past decade, with more and more data processed through smaller, more intricate systems.

Cloud computing has brought about a whole swathe of major tech companies, dominating an area – big data – of significant growth.

With that comes a line of female leaders, shaping how businesses navigate a growing online world. Here are just a few:

Edel Creely – Group MD, Trilogy Technologies

Edel Creely

As managing director of Trilogy Technologies, Creely is as well positioned as you can get when it comes to the current cloud computing environment.

Now providing an IT service to businesses all over the world, Creely was previously appointed chair of the Executive Council of the Irish Software Association for a two-year period.

With more than 20 years of experience in IT, she was previously managing director of Datapac and is highly regarded across the industry. She has served on many industry groups, including the Microsoft and VMware Partner Councils.

Margaret Burgraff – Vice President at Intel

Margaret Burgraff

Burgraff is vice president in the software and services group and co-general manager of the Intel service division. She is responsible for Intel’s Cloud and Connected Services group, which is integral to Intel’s approach to the internet of things.

A recent speaker at Inspirefest 2015, Burgraff urged attendees to look way ahead when setting career goals, and to be bold about it. Her advice? Start with a 10-year plan, and then back up until you know what you have to do tomorrow.

“Whatever it is, dream the greatest dream for yourself, and have the guts to write it down,” she proclaimed. Sage advice.

Cathriona Hallahan – MD of Microsoft Ireland


There are few higher profile tech people in Ireland than Hallahan, who ascended to the managing director position at Microsoft Ireland after decades with the company.

Late last year she was the loudest voice throughout the genesis of the Microsoft data privacy battle and on her Twitter you can enjoy things like colourful strolls around Dublin’s city centre.

Jennifer Henley – Director of security operations at Facebook

Given the job title, it’s clear that Henley has a lot of responsibility to deal with at Facebook, where she runs a security operations team at the forefront of one of the world’s largest tech companies.

Formerly of PayPal, Henley recently discussed the difficulty of securing talent into security roles amid a global battle against growing online threats to data.

“My role focuses on coordinating key strategic priorities, and that includes rolling out the tools and technologies to make sure the right people are talking to each other and prioritising the right things,” she said.

“My job is about raising security awareness internally and externally. As a female in this space, I am also committed to increasing diversity in security and STEM in general.”

Megan Smith – US CTO

Megan Smith

Former VP at GoogleX – which helped create Google Glass and the company’s driverless car prototype – Smith is now chief technology officer for the United States, which is a title that does need a double-take.

She recently said how she cringes when educated adults openly discuss their lack of online skills, with a particular discomfort given if this is announced in front of children.

“That has to change,” she said. “We would never say that about reading.”

Tanya Duncan – MD of Interxion

Tanya Duncan

A student of mechanical and manufacturing engineering, Duncan joined Interxion back in 2001, reaching her managing director role in 2005.

A couple of years ago, Duncan told us that data centres were the unsung heroes and pivotal in terms of the IDA’s continued success in attracting the top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies to Ireland.

They’re not unsung anymore.

Late last year, for example, Duncan explained how her company agreed to host managed service provider Perseus Telecom’s new network infrastructure, opening up even more data avenues.

Niamh Townsend – GM of Dell Ireland

Niamh Townsend

Townsend joined Dell in 2010 in the role of technical sales manager for UK Small Medium Business, and in 2012 moved into the role of senior sales manager.

Most recently, Townsend held the role of leader of Dell’s enterprise solution team, where she was responsible for leading and motivating a team to grow Dell’s enterprise solution business in Ireland.

As general manager, she will be responsible for driving Dell’s business on the island of Ireland, delivering services, solutions and products to its clients in the public and private sector.

Regina Moran – Fujitsu’s CEO of UK & Ireland

Regina Moran

Before taking over as CEO of UK & Ireland a few weeks ago, Moran was CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and led the operation in this country successfully for six years.

A chartered electronics engineer, she has been with the company since 2004. Regina was also appointed president of Engineers Ireland in 2014.

“This is a fast-paced, continually evolving technological world with levels of connectivity beyond all comprehension,” she said.

“At the same time, we are seeing innovations such as the Internet of Things and smart cities being no longer pipe dreams but achievable, near-term goals.

All the above images are via Twitter, Connor McCabe Photography and Fennell Photography

Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic