Women Invent Meet-up: complete video highlights

6 Nov 20142 Shares

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Back (left to right): Sinead Kelly, Ann O'Dea and Liz Waters. Front (left to right): Sophie Healy-Thow, Julia Hartz, Ciara Judge and Émer Hickey at the Women Invent Meet-up in Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

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Silicon Republic’s Women Invent Meet-up in Dublin brought hundreds of women together with Silicon Valley leaders and young scientific innovators to highlight and celebrate the female presence in STEM.

The event was held as part of Silicon Republic’s Woment Invent Tomorrow campaign, which champions the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Women Invent Meet-up was an informal gathering in the headquarters of the NDRC in Dublin’s Digital Hub, and served as a follow-up to the summer’s Female Founders Forum and 100 Top Women in STEM celebration, as well as a precursor for the campaign’s plans for 2015.

Colm O'Neill, CEO, BT Ireland. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Colm O'Neill, CEO, BT Ireland. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Welcome address from BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill

The night started with BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill and a curious report from the Postmaster General to the treasury dated 1870. In it, the Postmaster General addressed the prospect of a gender-diverse workplace, stating, “The mixture of sexes involves no risk but is highly beneficial.” O’Neill then went on to note how things have changed since the 19th century but, also, how they have stayed the same.

Women Invent Meet-up: BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill

Ciara Judge, former BTYSTE winner. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Ciara Judge, former BTYSTE winner. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Q&A with Google Science Fair and BTYSTE winners Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey

Silicon Republic Rising Stars Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey are no strangers to the stage having won awards around the world for their biology project using bacteria as a crop-growth promoter. What started as a school project for the trio could yet become a commercial venture, but the team have released their study to the public domain as it could also be a solution to one of the world’s greatest problems: the global food crisis.

In conversation with Silicon Republic CEO and editor-at-large Ann O’Dea, the girls discussed their project and how they are fortunate not to have been held back by barriers because of their gender.

Part 1:

Women Invent Meet-up: BT Young Scientist winners Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey – Part 1 of 2

Part 2:

Women Invent Meet-up: BT Young Scientist winners Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey – Part 2 of 2

Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Keynote speech and Q&A with Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia

The night’s keynote address came from Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia, an organisation committed to engaging men and women in business together and investing in female-led companies. Vosmek asserted that firms need women because innovation needs women and cited a 60pc higher return on investment from companies with women on the executive team or board.

Women Invent Meet-up: Keynote from Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia – Part 1 of 2

In a Q&A with Vosmek, O’Dea posed questions about the gender gap, Gamergate and how it’s venture-capital culture, not women, that needs to change to foster diversity in STEM. This prompted a strong response from Vosmek, who called on business leaders to stop ‘fixing’, mentoring and supporting women and start investing in them.

Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Part 1:

Women Invent Meet-up: Q&A with Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia – Part 1 of 2

Part 2:

Women Invent Meet-up: Q&A with Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia – Part 2 of 2

Julia Hartz, president and co-founder, Eventbrite. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Julia Hartz, president and co-founder, Eventbrite. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Q&A with Julia Hartz, president and co-founder of Eventbrite

O’Dea was then joined on-stage by Eventbrite co-founder Julia Hartz, who was welcomed back after an inspiring keynote speech at the Female Founders Forum this summer. Further delving into her personal experience as a female founder, Hartz described how it took time for her to realise she was a role model and advised other female leaders to recognise their influence on those around them.

Part 1:

Women Invent Meet-up: Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite – Part 1 of 2

Part 2:

Women Invent Meet-up: Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite – Part 2 of 2

Sinead Kelly, Young Women into Technology co-ordinator, An Cosan. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Sinead Kelly, Young Women into Technology co-ordinator, An Cosan. Illustration by Eimear McNally/Think Visual

Closing comments from Sinead Kelly, education programme co-ordinator, An Cosán

The Women Invent Meet-up concluded with the personal journey of Sinead Kelly who, through An Cosán’s education programme, now has a BA in community development and leadership.

An Cosán is a Tallaght-based organisation supporting education among marginalised communities nationally. Now the initiative’s education programme co-ordinator, Kelly has received training from Dr Sue Black to bring tech skills into the mix. This has led to the development of the Young Women Into Technology programme, which is now enrolling women aged 18 to 35 for hands-on workshops on basic software, social media and coding.

Women Invent Meet-up: Sinead Kelly of An Cosán on women in tech

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com