Ann O’Dea accepts ICS fellowship as champion for women in STEM

1 May 2015

Silicon Republic CEO Ann O’Dea, Minister Richard Bruton, TD, and CPL chief Anne Heraty have been recognised for their contributions to the ICT sector in Ireland.

O’Dea, Heraty and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation were awarded fellowships from the Irish Computer Society (ICS) to mark IT Professionals Day 2015, during the ongoing celebrations of Tech Week.

As co-founder and CEO of Silicon Republic, O’Dea has led the company’s campaign to champion women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) sectors. This has involved the establishment of the Women Invent campaign, which has been actively celebrating and promoting women in STEM since March 2013, and the launch of Inspirefest 2015.

With Inspirefest 2015, Silicon Republic will purposefully change the ratio of women-to-men typically seen at science and technology events, and the three-day international conference and fringe festival expects to welcome a 70pc female audience, reflecting the event’s line-up.

Ann O’Dea champions women in ICT

“Minister Bruton, Ann O’Dea and Anne Heraty have each made a unique contribution to Ireland’s ICT sector, a sector which is a significant driver in the country’s economic recovery,” said Jim Friars, CEO of the Irish Computer Society.

Citing figures that suggest Ireland needs more than 45,000 skilled new ICT professionals by 2018, Friars noted the importance of encouraging more women into these roles.

“Currently, only 20pc of computing students are female. We want girls to understand the range of opportunities open to them if they choose to study computing at third level,” he said.

“Ann O’Dea and Anne Heraty are fantastic champions for women in the industry, and we hope their example will encourage more girls to explore technology as a career.”

Heraty, who is both the founder and chief executive of CPL Resources, is recognised as the first female CEO of a publicly-quoted company on the Irish Stock Exchange and is also a strong advocate for science, maths and IT education in Ireland.

Minister Bruton, who presented the first ECDL certificates in Ireland almost 20 years ago, was awarded an ICS fellowship for his role as an Irish ICT industry champion, working to increase the number of jobs in the sector and the number of college places available for those who want to study computing.

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.


Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.