International Women’s Day has been and gone, but Silicon Republic’s Women Invent Tomorrow campaign has just begun. We spoke to visitors to Accenture Ireland’s International Women’s Day event in the RDS last Friday to find out how we can inspire more women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.
Women Invent Tomorrow is a year-long campaign that will see Silicon Republic shine a light on the role of women in STEM industries. The purpose of this campaign is not to segregate or pigeon-hole women in STEM, but to encourage a greater gender balance in these traditionally male-dominated areas.
Hilary O’Meara, technology lead for Accenture Ireland, was delighted with the positive atmosphere fostered at the RDS event, now in its ninth year, and emphasised the importance of taking action to ensure that women are fully represented in the technology industry.
One woman at the event who really inspired O’Meara – and many other attendees – was Arlene O’Neill, 2012 Rose of Tralee and a nanoscientist currently researching at Trinity College Dublin’s CRANN institute. As well as breaking down stereotypes, O’Neill also works to mentor and inspire young children to take on science.
And she’s clearly doing a good job of it as two BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Award winners approached her for an autograph just before our interview. We spoke to second-year students Anna Colwell and Daisy Barron from Sutton Park School in Dublin about what it was like to win the Junior Group Technology Award and what it is they like about science.
Finally, Brendan Cannon, who co-ordinates Intel’s Girls and Women Initiative for the EMEA region, told us of the various barriers to education facing women across the globe and the efforts being made by Intel to break them down, as well as the issues affecting the number of women in STEM in Ireland.
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s year-long campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths