What we do
Since 1990, WITS projects made a real difference to the number of women recruited, retained and returned to the STEM workforce.
WITS actively engages in promoting the positive value of STEM to society and in forming and disseminating policy, especially where STEM research and decisions have an impact on women. We do this by advocating for change, acting with our members and connecting people studying and working in STEM.
- Collaborating with other groups - WITS is a member of The National Women’s Council of Ireland and The Wheel, and works with groups like the Irish Computer Society and Engineers Ireland.
- Developing and responding to STEM and gender policy at local and national level, based on the WITS Action Manifesto. The 2019 AGM approved the WITS Women and Technology and Science Policy Calls 2020. It is the 2020 statement of our aims and our policy and is a means of achieving the mission and vision of WITS
- Campaigning for change with submissions to the National Symposium: Rising to the Challenge - Addressing Ireland's Gender Pay Gap and contributions to working groups like the Gender Equality in STEM group in the Department of Education and Skills.
- Sponsoring or supporting members, like Ruth Nugent ESB Networks and motor sport driver, and Caoimhe Rooney and the ISU Southern Hemisphere Programme
- Supporting student groups around Ireland
- Collaborating with like-minded groups - see the IDA's infographic on Ireland's ecosystem for diversity in STEM.
- Celebrating women in STEM with plaques for women scientists and publications.
- Publishing the annual WITS Women in STEM report from starting in 2014.
- Sharing opportunities for members to attend and speak at events like WorldCon Science Fiction Conference 2019
- In June 2013, WITS honoured the work of Northern Irish astro-physicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell with an event at the European Parliament office in Dublin (June, 2013) at which she was presented with an original art work inspired by her discovery of pulsars, by the Spanish artist/scientist, Margarita Cimadevila.
- WITS NI hosted a schools and public engagement event with the leading NASA JPL engineer, Nagin Cox in April 2013. While Dr Emma Teeling (University College Dublin) helped WITS celebrate International Women's Day (March 2013) with a STEM on Stage lecture on the bat genome.
- In 2011, WITS launched its Lifetime Achievement Awards, honouring Professor Dervilla Donnelly for her significant contribution to the area of technology and science.
- All WITS events are publicised through regular newsletter and social media updates. Members are also kept up to date on key STEM policies, funding opportunities and external events through WITSWORDS, the WITS newsletter.
- Sharing experiences with those starting out in STEM at 3rd level or early careers events.
- Sharing opportunities from corporate member Johnson & Johnson for returning to work at International Women in Engineering Day in Cork in June 2019
- Putting the 'A' from Arts into STE(A)M at Hedy! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr from Heather Massie in June 2018
- Hosting speakers like Dr Helen Sheridan, TCD School of Pharmacy, who spoke in 2015 on "From Caterpillars to Clinical trials - A personal and scientific journey".