Women in Technology and Science


  • 3 December 2018

A vibrant and lively WITS AGM took place on Saturday 1 December in DoSpace CoWorking, Dublin 2. WITS members gathered to review 2018 and elect a new Executive and plan for 2019.

WITS Chair Julie Hogan outlined a busy year for WITS.

  • The focus of the year was developing structures for growth. The modern, fresh, mobile-friendly website is a great achievement as is the STEM careers series on the website by WITS member Susan Treacy. HEDY! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr by Heather Massie was the highlight of the year and the STEMMinist Book Club run by Jane O’Hara enabled us to read interesting and challenging books by and about women in STEM. Retaining old and finding new corporate members was an important part of the work of the year. As always the commitment of WITS Executive and active members is valued and welcome.
  • On a practical level WITS has implemented the GDPR; cleaned up mailing lists and developed new data protection and privacy policies. The new website is easier to maintain and there is monthly communications plan to keep social media channels active. Structures for support of members and student societies are being developed. A role models campaign in progress as are plans for an ebook of Labcoats and Lace.
  • WITS has been invited and attended many events including the Accenture IWD event, International Simmons Leadership conference, the Women in Tech awards and Women at the Forefront of STEM in Ireland. The presentation of the Dr Sheila TInney RIA print to UCD to complement the plaque presented by National Committee for Commemorative Plaques in Science and Technology in August was a celebration of Irish women in STEM.
  • In terms of policy WITS was a stakeholder consulted by the Gender Task Force in Higher Education and was at the launch by the Minister of Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

The Chair's address informed the meeting which then read and adopted the Secretary's and Treasurer's report. There was lively discussion about events, finances, governance and policy.

The meeting adopted the motion:

That WITS welcomes the gender-specific posts in higher education as proposed by the Minister in the Gender Task Force in Higher Education report and looks forward to the implementation of the recommendations in the report.

Four amendments to the rules to reflect the student affiliate membership were approved by the meeting.

The 2019 Executive was elected with Julie Hogan Chairperson, Lara Cutlar Vice chairperson,Rebecca O’Neill Secretary and Marie Barrett as Treasurer. Ordinary members of the Executive elected were Sinéad Carroll, Lisa Cavern, Anne-Marie Flaherty, Magaly Mora, Laura Murphy, Marion Palmer, Sandra Riordan, Aoibhinn ní Shúilleabháin, Belinda Grehan, Susan Treacy and Nicola Sharkey.

Auditors and Trustees were elected for 2019. It was agreed that President Michael D Higgins will be congratulated on his re-election and requested to be WITS patron for his second term. He will be updated on WITS work.

The outgoing officers and Executive were thanked for their work in 2018. The meeting concluded with a review of the WITS Strategic Plan 2018-2020. The Secretary's report, the accounts and the AGM presentation will be available to members shortly.

WITS thanks DCC and DoSpace CoWorking for hosting the AGM.