Inspiring Inclusion: A Conversation with Helen, Chief Technology Officer at eHealth

In celebration of International Women's Day, we had the privilege of sitting down with Helen, Chief Technology Officer at eHealth, for an insightful conversation about her journey in the tech world and the importance of inclusion.


Helen's journey into the world of technology wasn't a conventional one. Reflecting on her early days, she shared, "I'm from a time when technology wasn't as prevalent as it is today. Back in the '70s, when I finished school, computers were still a novelty." Despite the lack of technological prominence, Helen's passion for mathematics drove her towards a career in teaching, where her first major support job was in a convent supporting a 90 year old nun leaning how to use a BBC B Computer.  However, fate had other plans as she found herself drawn towards the emerging field of computer science.

With a love for mathematics guiding her path, Helen embarked on a journey that took her through various industries, from NCR, Nixdorf to British Gas, and eventually to a lengthy stint in the banking sector. However, it was her transition to the Health Service Executive (HSE) that truly ignited her sense of purpose. "There was something about the HSE that intrigued me," she recalled. "The opportunity to make a difference, to contribute in a meaningful way, that's what drew me in."

Throughout her career, Helen encountered her fair share of challenges, particularly as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry. "I never saw myself as a 'woman in technology'," she remarked. "Gender was never a defining factor for me. I've always believed in judging people based on their abilities, not their gender." Despite facing biases and unconscious exclusions, Helen remained steadfast in her resolve, advocating for inclusivity and equality in the workplace.

Reflecting on the most rewarding aspect of her work, Helen pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic response. "The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for everyone," she shared. "But witnessing the resilience and dedication of my team, navigating through personal and professional hardships, that was truly inspiring."

When asked about advice for aspiring technologists, Helen emphasized the diverse opportunities within the field. "Technology has evolved significantly over the years," she noted. "There's a role for everyone, whether you're drawn to the analytical side or prefer hands-on technical work. The key is to embrace opportunities for growth and exploration." 

As our conversation came to a close, Helen left us with a powerful reminder: "Be true to yourself. In a world that often demands conformity, authenticity is your greatest asset."

In conclusion, Helen's journey serves as a testament to the importance of inclusion and diversity in the tech industry. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us be inspired by Helen's story and continue to champion equality and representation in all aspects of our lives.