i Wish

I Wish to make Cork return in February

Pictured: Anna McKenna, Scoil Mhuire, Wellington Rd; Rachel Martin, Midelton College; and Mary Leneghan, Christking; with Gillian Keating

9 December 2015

STEM awareness initiative I Wish will be making its return to Cork on 11 and 12 February 2016.

The initiative between Cork Chamber, it@cork, and Cork City Council is supported by DFI, Dell, Cork County Council, UCC and CIT and will be held at Cork City Hall in response to massive demand in 2015.

The event will cater for 2,000 young women from schools across Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford, including talks, demonstrations and interactive hubs where students can meet and engage women working in a variety of STEM roles.

“Now more than ever a career in STEM has the potential to open more doors to young women than ever before. Out of almost 118,000 people working in STEM in Ireland only a quarter are women. I Wish seeks to educate and excite the next generation of girls about the opportunities available to them by getting them to meet and interact with women in STEM disciplines that the girls may not even know exist, and in doing so lay of world of choices at their fingertips,” said Gillian Keating, partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors and one of three I Wish co-founders.

“There has been much talk about the gender imbalance in STEM fields, and we are all aware that the number of women taking up STEM courses at University level is falling or at best static. We believe that we can tackle this problem by making successful, fulfilled women in STEM more visible and accessible to young women making career decisions.”

Students will also hear from female leaders in Dell, PepsiCo, Google, Vodafone, Twitter and young female entrepreneurs about tech and science careers for women, as well as young women with careers in traditionally male-dominated areas such as engineering and maths.

Caroline O’Driscoll, partner at KPMG and it@cork vice chair, added: “What we really want to get across to the young women attending the event is the variety of STEM career opportunities available to them, whether they choose to start their own business, work in industry or engage in life changing research – for example one of our speakers is a scientist at the INFANT Research Centre in UCC, who has helped develop an algorithm to detect when a baby’s brain is having a seizure, which is the first of its kind in the world. Another speaker, a technology journalist – has helped develop an online and offline community for women to make new friends, expand their social circle and grow their professional network. GirlCrew now has more than 20,000 members in groups across four continents.

Plans are already quite progressed to expand the I Wish initiative nationally, with Galway planning to host an event next year.

TechCentral Reporters

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