Women in Technology and Science


  • 7 December 2019

Women in Technology and Science 2019 AGM

A vibrant and lively WITS AGM took place on Saturday 30 November at the Hilton Gardon Inn on Custom House Quay in Dublin. Over 30 WITS members gathered to review 2019 and elect a new Executive and plan for 2020.

WITS Chair Julie Hogan outlined another busy year for WITS. The focus of the year was resourcing the work of WITS. The chair outlined the key features of WITS - that it is a voluntary, national membership association that advocates, acts and connects women in STEM. It has members of all ages from third level students to retires, across all areas of STEM and across sectors both public and private and across industry and academia. Julie highlighted that day to day operations are running more efficiently to cope with increasing growth. The social media team working well and the events sub-committee is up and running. Structures for support of members and student societies are being defined and there is a role models' campaign team and a definite plan for 2020. There is always more to do – profile, policy, events. 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.

The Chair's address informed the meeting which then read and adopted the Secretary's and Treasurer's report. The report of the Events Sub-committee was presented by Magaly Mora. The policy sub-committee is currently in abeyance due to members’ availability. However given the NWCI encouragement to develop pre-budget submissions WITS developed a draft submission as a learning exercise in preparation for 2020 pre-budget planning. This is proposed for members’ adoption. There was lively discussion about events, finances, governance and policy.

The meeting adopted the motion:
That WITS adopts the WITS Women in Technology and Science Policy Calls 2020 as developed. It is the 2020 statement of our aims and our policy and is a means of achieving the mission and vision of WITS

Two amendments to the rules were approved by the meeting.

The 2020 Executive was elected with Julie Hogan Chairperson, Lara Cutlar Vice Chairperson, Rebecca O’Neill Secretary and Lisa Cavern as Treasurer. Ordinary members of the Executive elected were Marie Barrett, Sinéad Carroll, Anne-Marie Flaherty, Andrea Johnson, Catherine Mooney, Magaly Mora, Anna Murnaghan, Laura Murphy, Nicola Sharkey, Sanya Sharma, Ann Sylvester and Susan Treacy

Auditors and Trustees were elected for 2020. 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 2019 Women in STEM report was presented by Laura Murphy. It's now on the WITS website.

The outgoing officers and Executive were thanked for their work in 2019. WITS supporteres in 2019 were also thanked. There was a review of the WITS Strategic Plan 2018-2020.

The meeting concluded with an overview of plans for 2020. These include

  • A focus more on events and individual members
  • Develop the events sub-committee
  • Resource the policy sub-committee
  • Build on the Cork and Galway groups to develop local sub-committees
  • Pilot a WITS Chapter in TCD
  • Launch the ebook of Labcoats and Lace in early January near Nollaig na mBan (6 January)
  • Fund the role models campaign.

WITS is thirty years old in 2020. The chair outlined some of the changes for women in STEM since 1900. The plan is to build up to anniversary through 2020 on social media and through the newsletter. A 30th anniversary event and celebrations is proposed for Saturday November 7th 2020. WITS would like to reconnect with past members – please get in touch with info@witsireland.com.

The Secretary's report, the AGM presentation and the Events sub-committee report will be circulated to members later in December.

WITS thanks Hilton Garden Inn for hosting the AGM.