Smashing Ceilings from D2

BY Jemma WongJuly 4, 2019

Coral Movasseli, Girls in Tech, woman speaking in front of a screen at an event for women

After a short amount of time spent with Huckletree D2 member Coral Movasseli, I’m both spellbound and properly fired up. Advance warning: content may inspire you to press pause up your current dreams, move to Dublin and work for Coral… 

Coral’s the Managing Director of Girls in Tech Dublin, part of the global non-profit movement founded by Adriana Gascoigne in 2007 to empower girls and women who are passionate about technology to advance careers in STEM fields. 

In the UK, the stats are bleak. The hard truths circulating around London Tech Week last month are that 14.6% of senior UK tech leaders are women while 70.5% senior executive teams have no BAME members at all (*inclusive Boards report 2018). 

Coral started coding and computer gaming at a young age (brilliant), but didn’t pursue computer science at university because she was caught in the leaky timeline for women in tech (no role models, low volumes and limited career opportunities within sight) and she believed on a subconscious level that “ engineering was about boys in hardhats”. 

Good news for us and the world, Coral changed her narrative by transitioning from private equity into entrepreneurship and rediscovering her love for tech by co-founding a transportation app in Toronto before growing the Girls in Tech programme in Dublin. 

ON WORK WITH PURPOSE

“Unlike my first business which was a digital product concentrated on users and revenue, Girls in Tech is a community; an intangible with a tangible impact and an inherently human-led business. 

We’ve seen that the vulture-style capitalist way of the world is not working for everyone. If you start thinking from day one ‘how can I change the world and make things better?’, you can create something that’s sustainable AND profitable.

If car manufacturers had environmental consciousness from day one, they would have innovated faster, broken more rules, and found energy efficient outcomes that were profitable. 

Now we’re seeing so many companies that are playing the D&I card who are backpeddaling and looking for fast fixes. It’s not about putting your brand on a CSR issue. if you think about diversity from day one, you have no diversity problem.  

It’s simple. We’re not winning alone anymore. The ‘all-mine’ outlook is isolating everyone and fragmenting society.”

ON GOING FROM ZERO TO THE LARGEST NETWORK OF WOMEN IN TECH IN DUBLIN

When I first landed in Ireland, I knew one person. Building a network is a human game: it takes time to build trust, credibility and influence people. 

There will always be people who want to use you for something practical and short-lived. You’ve got to pick the right people to work with. Be consistent, resilient, don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, open yourself up and be ready for years of work, failures, learnings and grit. 

As Liz Gilbert said recently at a book launch: “the truth has legs, it always stands”. Whatever you’re trying to do, there needs to be truth. We’re not talking about acquiring fast customers. We’ve built the biggest network in tech for women entrepreneurs that will change access and perceptions for the next generation – that’s value that you can’t buy.

ON STAYING THE COURSE

It’s not over. Change doesn’t happen that quickly and I still feel the same way as I did on day one. It’s a conversation that we can’t stop having. The discourse needs to keep going so that it turns into policy, and so that the policy turns into future impact. 

The world’s facing so many economic issues and ambiguity, from job scarcity to shifting industries. We need women in tech to be a part of that future world solution.

ON THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

There’s not anyone that doesn’t get it, but that doesn’t mean the job’s done. Continuing growth of the Dublin network, amplifying the platform, building for flexibility and scaling across Ireland.

The Girls In Tech team are bringing back their mentorship programme Stepping Up on 11 July at Huckletree D2 – all genders are welcome.

If you’re up for a personalised mentorship programme to build relationships and learn from inspiring speakers (past mentors include Claire Bauden Vice President Product Design at Global Payments and V Brennan Senior Engineering Manager at Slack and Andrew Power Vice President for Equality and Diversity IADT), jump quick onto tickets

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AUTHOR

Jemma Wong

Marketing Director