J&J expand WiSTEM2D programme to NUI Galway

Jessica Dino, STEM alumni from UL; Amy O’Reilly; STEM alumni from UCC; Anna Rafferty, J&J WiSTEM2D; and Aoibhín Sheedy, WiSTEM2D Society NUI Galway
Jessica Dino, STEM alumni from UL; Amy O’Reilly; STEM alumni from UCC; Anna Rafferty, J&J WiSTEM2D; and Aoibhín Sheedy, WiSTEM2D Society NUI Galway

Initiative encourages women and girls to pursue careers in STEM

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5 October 2021 | 0

Johnson and Johnson has extended its Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing & Design (WiSTEM2D) undergraduate programme in partnership with NUI Galway.

Currently, there are approximately 117,800 people across Ireland who are working in jobs that require science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. However, the CSO reports that just 25% of these roles are performed by women with just 5% in leadership roles.

While there has been a general upswing in the number of students choosing STEM subjects on their CAO applications, uptake among females remains low. Figures from a 2019 UCD Study reveals that over 40% of males list a STEM course versus just 19% of females.

 

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The J&J WiSTEM2D programme was introduced in UL in 2016 and UCC in 2018 and has been instrumental in supporting over 290 female students through a range of initiatives including leadership training, mentoring, internships, site tours and CV/recruitment workshops.

Anna Rafferty, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D university lead and director of strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland, said: “As part of our effort to ignite the power of women, create healthier societies and improve human health, Johnson & Johnson is committed to building a diverse WiSTEM2D science community and develop the talent pipeline by nurturing and mentoring our future female STEM leaders.”

President of NUI Galway, Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to embed the WiSTEM2D programme for women students in the College of Science and Engineering. It will support and empower women pursuing their goal of safeguarding and making the world a better place through STEM to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In embracing all the talents in our society, it is a time of opportunity aligned with values of openness, sustainability and inclusivity guiding our students to realise their aspirations and impact positively for the public good on our society, our people and our planet.”

Jessica Dino is an aspiring astronaut, who participated in the WiSTEM2D programme in UL in 2018. “Being accepted into the WiSTEM2D programme at UL was a pivotal step in my STEM career,” she said. “I was very interested in hands-on work in a very technical and fast-paced environment and with the support of a Johnson & Johnson mentor, I received guidance on what careers I could go into that aligned with my goals and grow as an engineer.

“Upon completing my Electronic and Computer Engineering graduate degree, I was given the opportunity to interview for a graduate role and joined the company as an Automation Engineer at Johnson & Johnson Vision. During my free time, I am working on Citizen-Science projects backed by NASA, participate in analogue astronaut missions and one day, would love to fulfil my ambition to become an astronaut.”

Applications for the J&J WiSTEM2D university programmes are open for female STEM students entering their second, third or fourth year of studies 2021/2022 within NUI Galway, UL and UCC.

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