Five young women standing in a row at Thomond Park stadium holding art pieces.
From left: Emma Bannigan, University of Galway; Ynnalei Lingat, University of Limerick; Natalia Melnicka, Trinity College Dublin; Megan Chan, University College Cork and Megan Hough, Munster Technological University at Thomond Park. Image: Conor McCabe

62 women awarded WiSTEM2D scholarships by Johnson & Johnson

14 Nov 2023

This year’s WiSTEM2D recipients gathered at an event held in Limerick where Johnson & Johnson first began the careers scholarship in 2015.

More than 60 women students from five colleges across the country have been awarded scholarships by Johnson & Johnson as part of the medical multinational’s dedicated scholarship programme designed to encourage women into STEM careers.

This is the eighth year of the programme, which is called WiSTEM2D because of its focus on women studying science, technology, engineering, maths, design and manufacturing.

Each of the 62 scholarship recipients will get a student award, industry mentorship, leadership training, career workshops, Johnson & Johnson site visits and the chance to participate in WiSTEM2D events aimed at bolstering their future STEM careers.

The awardees gathered at a celebratory event held in Limerick’s Thomond Park Stadium. The gathering is the first time WiSTEM2D recipients have come together in person. They took part in a series of workshops and discussions.

Stephanie Mabrouk, plant leader at Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Synthes, told the awardees that she has been able to travel the world in leadership roles thanks to the support and mentorship she received from her employer.

“I have benefitted from the wonderful opportunities Johnson & Johnson offers to women in STEM. When I first joined this company, I was a young, aspiring engineer, and thanks to the support and mentorship that has been provided along the way, I have had the opportunity to travel the world in leadership roles.”

Anna Rafferty, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D university lead and director of strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland, said that the gathering of this year’s recipients in Limerick represented a full-circle moment.

“Our Irish WiSTEM2D journey started in Limerick in 2016, and it is wonderful to be here again eight years on, to see how this programme has grown,” she said. “This is now a truly national initiative, impacting the early careers of women and STEM in all corners of the country.”

In 2021, Johnson & Johnson extended WiSTEM2D beyond the universities of Limerick and Cork to University of Galway students. The following year, the programme was expanded to Munster Technological University.

Rafferty previously spoke to about her work to support women in the STEM sector in Ireland and the importance of being an actor and a doer as opposed to an ally and a talker.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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