Over 2,000 female transition year students got a taste of what it is like to have a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at the I WISH conference in City Hall, Cork.
Taking place today yesterday and today, the I WISH event provides introductions to a number of engaging female role models working in a variety of STEM careers with companies such as Dell, Pfizer, TapStack, Technically Write IT, Google and Vodafone.
“There are not enough women entering into STEM careers. I WISH aims to highlight the exciting and rewarding careers in STEM and to increase female entrants to third level courses in STEM by 30% by 2020,” said Gillian Keating, partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors and I WISH co-founder.
I WISH is an award-winning partnership initiative between Cork Chamber, it@cork, and Cork City Council, supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Dell, Cork County Council, UCC and CIT.
The initiative was founded in 2014 by three Cork businesswomen – Gillian Keating, Caroline O’Driscoll and Ruth Buckley.
Speaking at the event Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence, said: “I am delighted to be here this morning at this very special event. It is vitally important to stimulate curiosity and educate young female students to the possibilities of a career in STEM. Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is developing at a pace and there are fantastic technologies emerging from our research institutes.”
Irish, European, World and Olympic boxing champion, Katie Taylor, was also on hand to meet and talk to students about her experience of being a woman in a male-dominated sport. She also took to the stage for a frank question and answer session with Barrie O’Connell, president of Cork Chamber and KPMG partner.