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Encouraging diversity in STEM

 

More than 5,000 female transition year students from 22 counties across Ireland experience what a career in STEM looks like through talks by inspirational female role models working in STEM, workshops and interactive exhibitions where companies engage with the students directly with experiments and demonstrations of what they actually do.

RDJ Partner, Gillian Keating is co-founder of the highly successful and award winning I WISH (Inspiring Women in Stem) conference. Now in its fourth year, I WISH is an initiative to inspire young women to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

In 2016 82% of graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction were male with over 79% male graduates in information, communication technologies. Research carried out for Science Foundation Ireland recently showed the vast majority of Irish adults, over 89%, now believe that getting an education in STEM- related subjects is important in offering wider career opportunities in the future. It is statistics like this that led Gillian Keating, Ruth Buckley and Caroline O’Driscoll to establish the I Wish initiative in 2015.

This January over 2,000 female students attended the 2018 I Wish STEM Showcase events in Cork over 2 days, with a further 3,000 students attending I Wish events in Dublin.

40% of the girls that attended I Wish in 2017 made changes to their subject or career choices as a result of attending and 95% of teachers indicated that I Wish is an important source of information about careers in STEM.

Gillian Keating is a partner in Ronan Daly Jermyn, where she leads the Corporate Commercial Practice and the Technology and Life Science sector groups. She has over 20 years’ experience advising multi-national and large indigenous companies and regulated entities on all areas of corporate and commercial law. Gillian is a member of the Governing Body of UCC and Fota Wildlife Park and is Chair of the Audit Committee at UCC and is a member of the Audit Committee of Cork City Council. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the BIS degree at UCC and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at UCC. Gillian is also a Past President of Cork Chamber of Commerce.

I Wish took place this year in Cork City Hall on the 25 and 26 January and in the RDS Dublin on the 29 and 30 January, 2018. 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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