An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD received his first lesson in code from a 10-year-old girl and, in his opening address on the second day of Inspirefest, he noted the importance of encouraging interest in STEM among young women.

“Fostering a growing passion for science and encouraging young people, especially young women, to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths is essential to future success,” he said.

“In terms of Ireland’s next generation, we’re taking a targeted approach to making sure we have the right skills and the right gender balance in these areas, and I’m pleased to see that the numbers of girls taking STEM subjects at second and third level are growing.”

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