Senior representatives from academia and business met in eir’s Head Office in Dublin today as part of a Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) event. The gathering explored how the sectors can work together to encourage the progression of women in STEM.
Speakers included representatives from eir, DCU, Ibec, WomanUp and ESB International. They were joined by Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., who called on leaders from both fields to take ownership of the issue and to work together to deliver meaningful change.
In his opening address, Managing Director of eir Business and host of today’s event, Bill Archer said, "We are all too familiar with how under represented women are in general in STEM and we are acutely aware of the impact of this issue. Identifying the obstacles and taking immediate and sustained action to tackle them is at the heart of why we are here today. We have to shift perceptions, eliminate hurdles and make those fundamental changes that need to be made in education, in business and across society in general."
Senior Labour Market Policy Executive at Ibec, Dr. Kara McGann added, "Losing women from STEM comes about as a result of the "perfect storm" - research sees them worn down by macho cultures, serious isolation and disengaged by the lack of career progression. To stop the flow of women from STEM requires changing the environment, creating a sense of belonging, tackling stereotypes and bias and setting women up for success. Failure to address this will only continue the STEM female brain drain."