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Inspiring women to work in STEM

Gillian Keating, partner in Ronan Daly Jermyn’s Corporate and Commercial Group, is co founder and ambassador of the highly successful and award winning I WISH (Inspiring Women in Stem) conference. Set up in 2015, I WISH is an initiative to inspire young women to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). 

Currently, just 25% of the STEM workforce comprises of women, only 17% of first time entrants to ICT college courses in Ireland are women and just 24% in engineering. The first I WISHShowcase event in 2015 reached 1000 students in Cork over 1 day. The second Showcase Event in 2016 reached 2000 students in Cork over 2 days. 60% of the students that attended the 2015 and 2016 events changed their subject choices as a result of attending the I Wish events and 85% of teachers felt better equipped to advise their students on careers in Stem after I Wish. In 2017 IWish will reach 4,000 female students in Cork and Dublin and in this way help address the skills gap in STEM.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s event, Gillian commented “Earlier this year we surveyed 2,000 girls and 75% of them said that having a career that involved helping other people was important to them. What is interesting however is that these girls are not relating Physics and Chemistry in school to careers where they can do just that – only 16% of the girls intend to do physics. The world is facing incredible challenges in the next decade – over population, food shortages, urbanisation, ageing populations, climate change. We know that the answer to all of these problems lies in STEM. I Wish 2017 will explain to these girls how big the world’s problems are, we will put female role models centre stage to show them the real jobs in STEM that can help solve these problems and ultimately help people in a truly remarkable way.”

A former Cork Chamber President, Gillian joined Ronan Daly Jermyn as Partner in May 2015. Her practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring matters. She also represents a variety of private equity and venture funds. Gillian is an Adjunct Professor of Law in the College of Business and Law at University College Cork. She sits on the Board of Cork ETB, the Governing Body of UCC and Fota Wildlife Park, and is a member of the Audit Committees of Cork City Council and Chairs the Audit Committee of UCC.

I Wish takes place in Cork City Hall on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February and in the RDS Dublin on Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 February, 2017. The events are free to attend and promise to benefit young women with hands-on practical information, talks and demonstrations by women in STEM roles. www.iwish.ie

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