March 11, 2024

“Today, women have more opportunities to start businesses and take on leadership roles, even in traditionally male-dominated sectors”





By Oonagh Mc Nerney*

As a technology entrepreneur, it’s reassuring to witness  the significant societal shifts  that are giving women greater access to traditionally male-dominated sectors. This access extends not only to entrepreneurship, but also to leadership. 

In this context, I think it’s interesting to reflect on the challenges that come with the day-to-day responsibilities for those of us leading a project or business. 

Understanding our strengths is key.

There’s no doubt that impostor syndrome in the workplace continues to be present, especially among women. At times, we may feel that we are not doing enough or that we are not living up to expectations.  This insecurity can lead us to invest more time and effort into trying to perform at our best. In fact, a study conducted by the consulting firm KPMG in 2020 indicates that 3 out of 4 women experience this at some point in their careers.

In the technology field, typically represented by men, this intensifies. In my particular case, being at the forefront of a technology company with a background in business (as opposed to one in science or technology) has challenged me more than once. On the flip side, I’m also clear that my strength lies precisely in combining my business background with a vision for what technology can achieve, and my leadership from this perspective adds significant value. Of course, having a solid co-founder and a strong team is fundamental; one person alone is not a team.

And as part of a team, I believe that identifying and recognizing our strengths is crucial, especially when impostor syndrome looms.

Networking among women is powerful and inspiring.

Another factor that is extremely powerful for female entrepreneurs is the exchange of experiences with other women.

A few months ago, within the framework of the Desafía Program, I had the opportunity to take part in an Immersion Programme in San Francisco with a group of female leaders  from different Spanish tech startups and scale-ups.. It was a truly great experience for me. Not only did I get to discover innovative and inspiring projects  but I also found a support network with whom to share-with honesty and without prejudice- the challenges, successes, insecurities, and concerns  we face when leading companies and businesses.

It is also very motivating to see that there are currently greater opportunities for access to funding and economic support for projects led by women.

Diversity is not only enriching, it is necessary.

For me, a strong team is the fundamental pillar of a business. From my experience as a CEO, I can say that diversity in its broadest sense – gender, cultural, disciplines, ages, etc. – is enriching and necessary in work teams. In Workdeck, regarding gender diversity,  we are striving for a good balance in this regard; and this is important in areas such as engineering and software development.

I believe that diversity is a great asset for companies, as it is precisely diverse teams that can trigger the generation of disruptive and innovative ideas.

While there may still be a road ahead towards gender equality, we certainly have reached a point whereby females can access opportunities in areas that were previously unthinkable. For all of this, today I am grateful and I encourage all of us to continue working towards a future where there are more and more  women entrepreneurs, in technology or indeed in any areas that  women want to explore.

Co-founder and CEO of Workdeck and IRIS Technology Solutions.