Inspire Inclusion Interviews: Sharon Doyle
Alexa Bradbury

5 minutes

Inspire Inclusion Interviews: Sharon Doyle

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was born and grew up in Limerick City in Ireland. I am the youngest of 3 and education was a very important aspect of our childhood. I grew up taking drama and music classes, learning to act and play the piano. My mom was actually a piano teacher although she didn’t teach any of us, which says a lot about her understanding of how to get the most out of a student, I think!   

My dad, however, was an engineer, and science and computing were the subjects he urged me to focus on. Those subjects definitely gave me the foundation on which my career has been built. That said, both art and science are still important to me, and I thank both my parents for that broad range of interests. I’m a big believer that people don’t have to be either a science or an arts person, but that both tracks work to enhance the other. 
I am currently the Chief Product Officer at Deem. Deem is a corporate online booking tool and is wholly owned by Travelport where I previously was the Global Vice-President of Product. My job in product is to work with our customers externally, and alongside our commercial and technology teams internally, to create and build commercially successful world-class customer centric digital-first products. I like to think of myself as having a deep understanding of technology, the travel industry, how humans interact with technology, and how these come together to drive better user experiences.   
I have spent over 20 years in technology and product roles across different industries from travel through to finance, retail, and telecommunications. and have been lucky enough that these roles have taken me around the world including Ireland of course, but also the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, and Mexico. My husband has supported me in these moves as I drag him to different countries and his presence has made those moves easier to say yes to. Having him to help and back me up as we move and try to lay down some roots again makes the challenges you face when moving countries easier and certainly funnier when things go amiss.  
I am currently based in Guadalajara, Mexico, where I have been located since 2022 opening a new Product and Technology center of excellence for Travelport. I am a technologist by training having started my career as a coder and I hold a Bachelor of Computer Science, a Certificate of Higher Education in English Literature, and a master's in business administration. 

What is your proudest achievement? 

My proudest achievements are always linked to seeing a team I built, or lead deliver innovative new products. It’s the people I am proud of, and leading teams that strive for excellence but are also fun to work with and execute with precision is what brings me happiness 

The experience of moving to Mexico and opening a new office here has been a fantastic opportunity and adventure. While supported by others across Travelport, and indeed also by Guidant, I might add, building a new product and engineering team here is something that I am particularly proud of. Mexico is an energetic country and the people here are smart, kind, caring and fun. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but the good things in life are often not the easy ones 

This year the theme of IWD is #InspireInclusion. What does this mean to you? 

I love the theme this year. It is so wide and covers so much, and I’m looking forward to reading what other contributors think, but for me inclusion starts with education and inspiring girls to take their equal place in the world starts there 

In the tech world, ensuring girls, from an early age are encouraged and given the opportunity to take on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is critical. Without that it’s difficult to see how they break into this industry. Things are certainly changing but I remember my own degree where I think there were 5 females in a class of about 70 software engineers, you can see a big swing is needed 

That is certainly a ‘few’ years ago, but today, while women make up 48 per cent of the US workforce, they only represent 27 per cent of the 10.8 million Americans working in STEM; and the number is even smaller in the UK, where women make up only 24 per cent of the STEM workforce. I hope to inspire girls to know that the diversity and brainpower they bring to tech makes the industry better. 

If you could have dinner with one inspirational woman, who would it be and why? 

Maybe slightly predictable but I would like to have dinner with Ada Lovelace who was born in 1815She was a gifted mathematician and is considered to be the first computer programmer.  In an industry still weighted towards men, it’s particularly striking that the first programmer was a woman

She is known for her work on Charles Babbage's mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine but what I find most interesting is that she was the first to recognize that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, something that the rest of the group (all men) where only focused on. I like to think that the diversity she brought to that group created something bigger than they would have discovered without her

Also, Ada described her approach as "poetical science", again bringing art and science together, where she asked questions about the Analytical Engine and how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool. Imagine talking to Ada about where her ideas have led the world today 

What Ada showed through her education and practice is that diversity brings different ways of thinking. It is why diversity is so important for innovation. She was only 36 when she died.  

What is the most valuable piece of advice that you could give other women? 

Celebrate the diversity you bring, never stop learning, and remember your ideas are worth sharing so speak up. 

What do you think the biggest barrier is for women in Technology? 

Breaking unconscious bias at home and encourage STEM learning but also celebrating females for the diversity they bring. I want to educate girls but not by doing so in a way that diminishes their differences in thinking and feeling. 

Have you faced any barriers in your career, if so, how did you overcome them? 

I’ve been asked this question before and continue to think about it. I don’t think there have been any explicit barriers but there are still unconscious barriers, some of which I have created myself I’m sure, with probably the biggest being my own belief in myself and that I deserve where I have got to. There are also stereotypes of male/female that will continue to hold future generations back if we let them.  

How does Travelport promote inclusion in the workplace? 

At Travelport, we have identified our own benchmarks through an employee-led survey to identify the diverse backgrounds that make up our workforce. We are using these metrics to set our own realistic talent acquisition goals, to ensure they mirror the diverse talent within each geographic location.  

But even with diverse talent, it is important that companies – especially technology companies – allow all employees to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work and provide a truly inclusive environment 

Workforce insights in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter with the latest workforce management news, insights, analysis and more.


Suite 1403, Level 14
309 Kent Street
NSW 2000

United Kingdom

First Floor
Mulberry House
Parkland Square
750 Capability Green
Luton, LU1 3LU

United States

27777 Franklin Road
Suite 600
Michigan 48034

Part Of