Firm appoints first female chief operating officer

Belfast-based tech company Automated Intelligence (AI) highlights the importance of female representation in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries as it appoints its first female Chief Operating Officer.

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 1:00 pm
Pauline Timoney
Pauline Timoney

Pauline Timoney, who joined the team in February 2011, was appointed to the role in March 2020. AI, which marks its 10th year in business this month, provides cloud-based data management solutions designed to give companies data insights and risk identification reporting.

Pauline has worked at AI over the past nine years and has seen the team grow as the demand for online tech solutions has increased. AI empowers organisations to take control of their data in order to become successful.

Pauline explained: “Data is vital to the success of any business. Data-driven organisations gain insights that create new opportunities across their business and drive business value. Data insights allow businesses to make smarter decisions and operate more effectively.”

In 2018, the number of women working in STEM roles accounted for only 22% of the entire UK workforce.

Pauline commented: “Women are still under-represented in the STEM industry and I think part of the reason can be attributed to a mixture of culture, stereotypes and confidence. From my experience, the main skills required to work in STEM are critical thinking, being analytical and problem-solving. Anyone can bring those key traits to a role, regardless of gender.

“The lack of female representation in STEM also means we have less female role models or mentors in comparison to our male counterparts. I was fortunate in that my first manager was, and still is, one of my strongest female role models who has inspired me throughout my career. At AI we have a strong culture of nurturing new talent with over 90% of our placement students being offered graduate positions. I hope that I can act as a mentor to the female graduates who join AI.”

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisations to move to remote working swiftly. This has given precedence to the tech industry to provide solutions to facilitate business continuity. Microsoft Teams now has over 44 million active users worldwide, which is an increase of 20 million people since January 2020. Pauline said of the situation: “We have been working with our customers to ensure they can securely access their data through online platforms such as Microsoft Teams.

“With appropriate remote working capabilities enabled, AI’s customers can implement a ‘business-as-usual’ approach at a time of exceptional economic uncertainty. This allows staff working from home to securely access business-critical information with security and business integrity intact.”

As the tech industry proves crucial in helping companies adapt to a new way of working, Pauline hopes more women will join the STEM industry: “There are great opportunities for those interested in a career in STEM and I would encourage any young female students who are reflecting on their career options to consider the wide variety of STEM courses available to them.”

AI aims to scale business operations in its 10th year with a strategic decision to focus its offering towards the financial services sector.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you