Dr Mahya Ostovar

Lecturer in Business Information Systems

J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, University of Galway

Social impact of digital technologies, Social movement, Future of work, Gender equality, Social justice

white clouds and blue skies
Dr Mahya Ostavar

Mahya's research focuses on the social aspect of information systems and digital technologies. She has investigated the role of social media in organising and social movements especially in campaigns fighting for gender equality and women's rights. Her recent research project is concerned with issues of social justice, equity, and precarity in future forms of work particularly in online labour platforms.

Her teaching is mostly around digital innovation and the use of emerging technologies in business. She strives to encourage students to think critically about the social impact and ethical implications of digital technologies.

Mahya's work contributes to these SDGs

SDG 1,5,8,10,16

Mahya serves as an associate editor in the editorial board of European Journal of Information Systems.

Mahya has been invited speaker and panelist in various seminars, webinars, and events around issues of equality, diversity and women's rights in different universities such as UCLA (US), Washington University (US), University of Bologna (Italy), and l'Université Laval (Canada).
She has also been interviewed especially about the women's rights and the recent Woman Life Freedom uprising in Iran by various international and Iranian news agencies such as LBC, Irish Times, RTE, France24, BBC Persian, and Iran International.

Target 5.1

Key Target 5.1 - End discrimination against women and girls

SDG 16


Implementing Digital Innovation module's objective is to explore the strategy and implementation of digital innovation in contemporary business organisations. Mahya engages students through various case studies and real-world examples of digital disruption and successful digital businesses.

Supporting Targets: 8.4 - Improve resource efficiency in consumption and production

The Future of Technology in Business and Society is designed in a way to to enable students become both consumers and producers of state-of-the-art research in the field of information systems. Students will be exposed to cutting edge research from the field, which they will critique and reflect upon. Through a series of seminars with international invited speakers discussing their newest research in the field, students have the opportunity to learn about the newest trends in research and practice in the field of IS.

Supporting Targets: 16.10 - Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms
8.4 - Improve resource efficiency in consumption and production


Mahya has been involved in Technact Research cluster on gender, sexualities, emergent communities and technocultural assemblages. Technact is an international interdisciplinary research cluster consists of scholars working on the intersection of gender and digital technologies based in University of Gothenburg in Sweden and funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Mahya is also a member of Afghan and Iranian Women's Coalition launched by IRI’s Women’s Democracy Network, IRI’s Middle East North Africa Division, and the Bush Center’s Women’s Advancement team in the US. The coalition is a six-month collaborative initiative for diverse women leaders within the Afghan and Iranian diaspora communities aiming to foster meaningful engagement and culminating in a collaborative policy brief regarding the situation of women in Afghanistan and Iran.

As evident in these activities, Mahya strives to be an interdisciplinary researcher that combines research and activism through impactful research and being engaged in academic and activist networks.

green leaf plant

Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash

Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash

Indirect impact SDG Targets

1.3 - Implement social protection systems

1.B - Create pro-poor and gender-sensitive policy frameworks

5.1 - End discrimination against women and girls

5.2 - End all violence against and exploitation of women and girls

5.B - Promote empowerment of women through technology

5.C - Adopt and strengthen policies and enforceable legislation for gender equality

8.3 - Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises

8.5 - Full employment and decent work with equal pay

8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments

10.1 - Reduce income inequalities

10.2 - Promote universal social, economic and political inclusion

10.3 - Ensure equal opportunities and end discrimination

10.4 - Adopt fiscal and social policies that promotes equality

16.6 - Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions

16.10 - Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms

16.B - Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies

SDG wheel


a city square with flowers and a clock tower in the background

Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Featured Publications



Stewart, M., Schultze, U. (2019). Producing solidarity in social media activism: The case of My Stealthy Freedom. Information and Organization,29(3) 


Stewart, M., Schultze, U. (2018). A Performative Identity Perspective of Cyberactivism: The Case of My Stealthy Freedom. ICIS 2017: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation,


Mousavi, R., Stewart, M. (2019). Amazon mechanical turk and the reconfiguration of relations of data production. 40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019,

SDG 8.5

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