Kainos' Ruth McGuinness Wins Prestigious Microsoft Power Women Award

Date posted
3 July 2024
Reading time
3 mins

We are proud to announce that Ruth McGuinness, Head of Data and AI at Kainos, has been honoured with the Microsoft Power Women Award 2024 in Ireland. This recognition highlights her exceptional contributions and dedication, setting a benchmark for excellence and inspiring us all.

The Microsoft Power Women Awards are part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to inspire, promote, and invest in a new generation of women tech talent. These awards spotlight some of the amazing women spearheading greater diversity and inclusion throughout the Microsoft Partner network.

Ruth McGuinness is a prominent leader in the field of AI, overseeing Kainos’ AI practice which has over 150 people. Her team generates millions of pounds annually through the delivery of AI technology programmes in both public and private sector organisations across Ireland, the UK, Europe, and North America. Ruth's focus includes developing AI tooling that is robust, explainable, and trustworthy, and advocating for ethical AI adoption.

Passionate about bridging the gap between academic research and industry, McGuinness is the primary industry partner of the AI Research Centre (AIRC) at Ulster University, supporting over 100 AI researchers in trusted AI applications. She also supports the development of more diverse AI talent as a curator of AI CON, Ireland’s largest annual AI conference, and is a strong advocate for the robust regulation of AI across public forums both local and international.

Accepting the award, McGuinness expressed her gratitude to Microsoft Ireland for the honour. “I’m very grateful to Microsoft Ireland for honouring me with this prestigious award. It is humbling to be included among such an incredible and inspiring cohort of powerhouse women in the Microsoft ecosystem across Western Europe.

“I also welcome the opportunity of accepting an award for my career during a period of extended maternity leave with my second child – it’s great to see how much progress has been made in terms of gender equity despite how much more we need to achieve!

“Women face a multitude of barriers when trying to have children and a career. While we know that only 26% of technology roles are held by women, further data shows that women often then depart those technology careers at this important stage in their lives due to inadequate parental leave benefits, expensive childcare systems, and a lack of access to good quality flexible working.

“The IT industry needs to continue to do more to not only attract but also to retain young women through ensuring job roles come with an inclusive culture, flexible working hours, flexible roles, equity, and fairness.

“I feel passionately about the mantra that ‘you can't be what you can’t see’ and believe that elevating diverse role models for women – such as through Microsoft’s Power Women Award – plays an incredibly important role in empowering others coming into the industry.”

Research from the Department of Finance and the Department of Enterprise indicates that women in the Republic are more likely to be affected by the adoption of AI in jobs due to the over-representation of men in roles and industries considered less likely to be impacted. This underscores the importance of increasing the representation of women in IT leadership, where they can influence and mitigate these impacts, ensuring a more inclusive and equitable technological future.

Ruth McGuinness will join the other 18 winners at the Microsoft Women’s Leadership Programme 2nd Edition, a customised programme developed by Professor Jennifer Petriglieri at the INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau, France.

Please join us in congratulating Ruth McGuinness on this outstanding achievement! Let’s celebrate her as a role model for the next generation of women tech talent – to spark conversations, shape success, and ignite inspiration.