Amy O’Reilly and Janice O Gorman discuss their experience of early-career support at Johnson & Johnson and why mentorship is important for young women in this sector.

Through its WiSTEM2D scholarship programme, Johnson & Johnson is looking to provide mentorship and support to women who are in the early stages of their careers in science, tech and engineering.

To learn more about the difference such programmes can make, we spoke to Amy O’Reilly, a University College Cork student who is currently taking part in the scholarship programme, and Janice O Gorman, who graduated from the programme and now works as a product release specialist at Johnson & Johnson.

Both women spoke about the importance of mentorship. Having visible mentors is especially important for women in STEM, O Gorman said, because of the leaky pipeline.

“Because fewer women work and study in STEM, the field can seem more exclusionary and male-dominated,” she said. “So there needs to be more strong and visible role models available and accessible to young girls and women.”

Mentors are also helpful when you’re taking your first steps into the industry. “I did pharmaceutical industrial chemistry, so I thought my career would always involve me being in a lab with the safety coat and goggles on,” O Gorman said, adding that the programme highlighted the diverse opportunities open to her.


Words by Lisa Ardill