Women in Technology and Science

Women in STEM Summit 30 March 2022

  • 16 April 2022

WITS was delighted to be an official partner of the 2022 Women in STEM Summit http://womeninstem.ie.

The inaugural Women in STEM summit was held at Croke Park in Dublin on 30th March. It was a mixture of keynotes and panel discussions from trailblazers leading the way across science, technology, engineering and mathematics, chaired by Sonya Lennon, Entrepreneur and Thought Leader for workplace equality.

The event kicked off with a Ministerial address delivered by Joseph Moore on behalf of Simon Harris, on Government plans and policies to empower women to study and pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This was followed by a keynote address by Deborah Threadgold, County General Manager at IBM on Finding your pathway in STEM. In particular, she focused on the importance of sponsorship. The remainder of the event was broken down into three sessions:

  1. Breaking the biases in education

Bríd Horan, Chancellor at DCU talked about ‘succeeding with STEM’ and in particular, her presentation focused on the importance of equal representation in children’s board-books at an early age. This was followed by a panel discussion with Shelia Porter (Founder and CEO of SciFest), Dr Deirdre Lillis (CONVENE and TUD Dublin), Dr Eilis McLoughlin (Associate Professor, DCU) and Lisa Cusack (First Officer at Aerlingus). A particular highlight was the following panel discussion on the Rising Stars of STEM where the audience heard from three young females in STEM on their experience – including Ruth Madden (UCC), Ao Sasame (UCD) and Sarah Kate Sweeney (UCC).

  1. Breaking the biases in industry

This session started with a panel discussion on ‘creating a gender-balanced workforce’ included Susan Treacy of WITS (CEO HealthTech Ireland), Gillian Harford (30% club), Rhonda Doyle and Dr Claudia Igbrude. Following this, Breda McCague (Co-founder of Lean-In Ireland and Transformational Specialist) gave a rousing presentation on ‘reprogramming the self-belief codes’. This session then concluded with a panel discussion on Talking Tech.

Left to right: Gillian Harford, Susan Treacy, Dr Claudia Igbrude, Sonya Lennon, Rhonda Doyle

  • Accelerating the progress in Education and Industry

The final session started with a moving spoken-word performance from FELISPEAKS. Following this, there was an excellent panel discussion on ‘It Takes a Village’ with WITS Chairperson Dr Andrea Johnson (VP Work Human), Linda Doyle (Provost TCD), Deirdre Glenn (Enterprise Ireland) and Clare Harney (HealthTech Ireland). Fiona Murphy then gave a magnificent presentation on ‘where cutting-edge technology meets bee-keeping’, before a further panel discussion on ‘She talks Geoscience, Engineering and Construction’ with Chair of Research Sub-committee Dr Jennifer Keenahan (Assistant Professor at UCD), Loraine Brady (BAM Ireland) and Andrea Carroll (DAA).

Left to right: Professor Linda Doyle, Clare Harney, Dr Andrea Johnson, Deirdre Glenn.

Left to right: Fiona Murphy, Dr Jennifer Keenahan, Loraine Brady, Andrea Carroll.

The event closed with a locknote address by Paddy Hayes, Chief Executive of ESB on why diversity in the workplace matters.

Thanks to Dr Jennifer Keenahan WITS for the report.

Updates before the summit.

Dr Andrea John WITS Chair and Vice President, Global Business Systems,Workhuman joins Susan Treacy WITS Executive member and CEO, HealthTech Ireland to speak at the Summit. Read about all the speakers here.

Dr Jennifer Keenahan WITS Executive member and UCD Civil Engineering to speak at the Summit.

Women In STEM summit - great to see such interesting speakers.

Speakers included educators, tech leaders, innovators and pioneers who will share their experiences, advice and insights on advancing and connecting women to empower them with the technology and skills necessary for a better future. Dr Andrea Johnson, VP, Work Human & Chairperson, Women in Technology & Science (WITS) will be joining the It takes a village panel discussion. Dr. Jennifer Keenahan will join the Spotlight on Engineering & Construction. Susan Treacy will join the Creating A Gender Balanced Workforce.

The Women in STEM Summit 2022 is a key event for all those championing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout their teams, organisations and industries. It will bring together the full range of stakeholders including policy makers, educators and business leaders leading the way across STEM. It provides a platform where they can constructively challenge current ways of thinking and offer new perspectives.

Women in Technology and Science members benefitted from a 2-for-1 discount on tickets by using code WITS2FOR1. Find out more here: womeninstem.ie.