Hannah McNamara

After finishing school at 18 I attended a Further Education College to study an HND in Computing and Systems Development.

I was one of 3 women in my class for the 2 year course. I found that Women in STEM subjects, especially LGBTQ+ women were underrepresented and I decided to run for the Students Union elections. I was elected as SU Secretary from 2012-2014. During campaigns against budget cuts, I got involved with NUS-USI, the student movement in Northern Ireland and in 2013 I was elected as Further Education Officer. I championed campaigns against budget cuts, to improve student mental health and welfare, for LGBTQ+ inclusion and women in STEM subjects. I held this role until 2015.

During my time in NUS-USI, I got involved in politics and joined the Green Party in Northern Ireland in 2013 and was elected as chair of my local constituency group aged 19. I held this role for 2 years. In 2014 I graduated from college and joined Queens University in Belfast to study BSc Hons in Computing and IT. I was out out during this time, although I campaigned strongly for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland in my roles within the students union and the Green Party.

In 2017, I was elected as Local Representative for my local constituency for the Greens and worked towards securing a Local Council seat in the 2019 elections. In 2018, I came out publicly as bisexual to highlight the erasure of bi+ people in society and especially politics. I was elected Chair of Queer Greens and we continued to campaign passionaltely for Marriage Equalty in NI, despite having no government to lobby at this time. I narrowly lost the council seat election by 70 votes after a notable battle against a former DUP councillor who left the party after he supported LGBTQ+ inclusion by voting for lighting a local town hall in rainbow colours during LGBT awareness week in NI.

Whilst studying and college and uni, aged 18 I joined the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and worked there part time for 5 years whilst studying. I first worked in the Emergency Control Room and finished in the Resource Centre after I graduated university in 2017.

After graduating I secured a graduate position at Citi and joined their Technology Academy. Shortly after joining Citi, I joined the Citi Pride Network in Belfast as a member of the steering committee. We spearheaded campaigns for marraige equality in NI within the corporate sector, working with Love Equality to create Businesses4LoveEquality. Citi were the lead signatory on a letter to the government supporting marriage equality. I am currently the Co-Chair of the network and it is now part of my day job to promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace.