Women in STEM Summit 2023

7:30

Registration, Networking Arrival Break and Exhibition Viewing

8:50

WELCOME ADDRESS

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy

CEO, Business Post

9.00

OPENING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR

Sonya Lennon

Sonya Lennon

Speaker, Writer, Thought leader & Social entrepreneur

EMBRACING EQUITY TO INSPIRE THE FUTURE WOMEN OF STEM

9:10

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

“Girls like me don’t do them things”. How class and gender intersect to affect STEM participation

Women from working class communities are least likely to participate in STEM courses in school, they hardly ever take STEM courses in college- and are rarely seen in leadership positions in STEM industries.  Katriona will discuss the challenges facing these women and what we can do to ensure we have access to the skills these women bring to Industry.

Katriona speaks from her own experience and tells an inspiring story of survival and success; she fought against the odds moving from extreme poverty, a teenage pregnancy and homelessness, to becoming a PhD graduate, and an award-winning professor.

Dr. Katriona O'Sullivan

Dr. Katriona O'Sullivan

Digital Skills Lecturer, Maynooth University

9:25

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Strategies for Change: Advancing women in STEM

Underrepresentation of women in STEM and technology leadership stifles innovation and creativity. As a recognised advocate for inclusion and diversity, and most particularly, greater female representation in technology, Lorna will explore how end to end strategies and partnerships are critical to closing the gender pay gap.

Lorna Martyn

Lorna Martyn

Ireland Regional Chair & Senior Vice President Technology, Fidelity Investments

9:40

PANEL DISCUSSION

Empowering  women with the technology and skills necessary for a better future 

Initiatives to address the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations have gained momentum in recent years, resulting in significant improvements in some STEM-related fields. However while these are very welcome developments, there is still so much more that can be done. To advance the leadership of women, we need to depart from efforts to plug the “leaky pipeline” of women and girls leaving STEM, and challenge ourselves to rebuild the sector’s “scaffolding” – the narratives, systems, and institutional practices too often holding back women’s contributions and leadership across the field. The panel will discuss how government, policy makers, educators and businesses can collaborate to empower women with the technology and skills necessary for a better future. 

Professor Emer Smyth

Professor Emer Smyth

Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

Dr. Mary O’Riordan

Dr. Mary O’Riordan

Founder & CEO, HAPPE

Emer Currie

Emer Currie

Senator & Spokesperson for Employment Affairs, Work/Life Balance & Northern Ireland, Houses of the Oireachtas

10:20

IN CONVERSATION WITH….The Irish Defence Forces

STEM opportunities for everyone 

Three women blazing a trail in the army, navy and air corps talk to Sonya Lennon about their experiences working in the traditionally male-dominated world of the Defence Forces. 

Commandant Sharon McManus

Commandant Sharon McManus

Engineering Officer, Irish Army

Lieutenant Commander Elaine Moloney

Lieutenant Commander Elaine Moloney

Marine Engineering Officer, Irish Naval Service

Regimental Sergeant Major  Anne Kelly

Regimental Sergeant Major  Anne Kelly

Senior Aircraft Inspector, Irish Air Corps

BUILDING THE EDUCATIONAL BLOCKS FOR FUTURE SUCCESS

10:40

PANEL DISCUSSION

Preparing learners for the future 

Education is the foundation of success and the role of educational institutions from early childhood right through to third level is paramount in encouraging girls’ development of STEM-related skills. Promoting engagement in technology from a young age allows girls’ interests to develop free of societal bias and will encourage them to take an active interest in subjects that will lay the foundation for them to study STEM disciplines at higher levels. For educators, there is also now a greater need for STEM concepts to integrate with the arts (STEAM) – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media across the wider curriculum. Future-ready employees need to have multiple areas of expertise or at least appreciate how a range of skills fit together. 

 

  • What is the vision for the type of education system required to prepare learners for the future?  
  • What are the challenges and inequities for young women accessing STEM programmes?  
  • What capacity building measures are needed to support teachers?  
  • What access programmes are available for students?
Ciara O'Shea

Ciara O'Shea

EDI Officer, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT)

Professor Hamsa Venkat

Professor Hamsa Venkat

Naughton Family Chair in Early Years & Primary STEM Education, Dublin City University (DCU)

Dr. Arlene Gallagher

Dr. Arlene Gallagher

Founding Director, Trinity Walton Club

John McKennedy

John McKennedy

Principal, St Columcille’s Community School

11.20

CASE STUDY

Anyone can be a scientist! 

 Hear how this smart cities education programme is accelerating sustainable and inclusive smart city development through awareness, skills and confidence-building by using citizen science as a tool to challenge stereotypes and promote inclusion in STEM. The Academy of the Near Future programme empowers young people to use technology and sensors in their communities in order to tackle local environmental challenges.  

It aims to broaden participation in STEM, by reaching Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) schools and designing workshops that demonstrate ‘anyone can be a scientist’. 

Grace D'Arcy

Grace D'Arcy

Engagement Programme Manager, Smart Docklands, Dublin City Council

11:35

Networking Coffee Break & Exhibition Viewing

ADVANCING THE LEADERSHIP OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS

12:05

FEMALE FOUNDER SPOTLIGHT

Stumbling into STEM in my forties 

How I left a career I knew for 25 years to jump into the unknown and start a STEM related company. Little did I know just how male dominated it was, the gender bias I would face and the sheer resolve I would require to bring my vision to life. 

Sinéad Crowther

Sinéad Crowther

Founder & CEO, Soothing Solutions

12.20

CASE STUDY

Delivering a zero gender pay gap 

An Post is the first major employer in Ireland to report a zero gender pay gap for the second successive year. The company has undergone a major strategic and cultural transformation to build a workforce that reflects the communities it serves every day and one in which every colleague feels that they fully belong. 

David McRedmond

David McRedmond

CEO, An Post

12:35

PANEL DISCUSSION

Delivering the ambitions

Accessible role models and inclusive workplace environments are key factors that influence women’s career paths into STEM. Businesses can do a lot to encourage interest in STEM careers by offering scholarships, grants, IT equipment and practical knowledge through internships and mentorships for students.

The panel will discuss:

• How businesses and employers can embrace equity to inspire all future women of STEM including those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQI+ community, ethnic and religious groups as well as those from less well-off socio-economic backgrounds

• How companies can focus their attention on increasing the number of women hired; ensure that women have the same opportunities as men for promotion, especially to management levels; and reduce the number of women leaving STEM careers early

• The importance of visible female role models in industry

• How organisations can improve their performance by leveraging the power of a diverse work force

Jean O’Donnell

Jean O’Donnell

Board Member, Women in Technology & Science (WITS)

Rhonda Doyle

Rhonda Doyle

Senior Director Field Services Operations UK&I, Schneider Electric

Shay Walsh

Shay Walsh

Managing Director, BT Ireland (invited)

1:15

Dancing away from the crossroads – Irish Women in STEM  

The former Master of the National Maternity Hospital will be looking at how Irish women have excelled, trends in STEM with particular reference to medicine and exploring how we support women and girls  to choose STEM subjects and find great careers.

Dr Rhona Mahony

Dr Rhona Mahony

Consultant Obstetrician, National Maternity Hospital (NMH)

1:30

Networking Lunch Break & Exhibition Viewing

2.30 – 3.30 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

Thematic roundtables are interactive discussions in small working groups. Moderated by seasoned industry experts and practitioners, they will address a compelling STEM trend, issue, challenge, demonstration or an inspiring case study. This is your chance to join insightful discussions to share experiences and get new and actionable ideas from peers and experts. Below are some sample topics and challenges facing women in STEM.

Roundtable 1

Gender equality under construction

Sinead Rogan

Sinead Rogan

MEP Manager, National Children’s Hospital, BAM

Suzy Hackett

Suzy Hackett

Chartered Civil Engineer, National Children’s Hospital, BAM

Roundtable 2

Fostering a new pipeline of female STEM talent

Balancing gender participation in STEM requires a committed internal strategy and collaboration across the industry to broaden talent pipelines. This discussion, chaired by Sharon Walsh, Senior Vice President Technology, will explore challenges and opportunities to broaden female STEM participation and share some practical internal and external strategies.

Sharon Walsh

Sharon Walsh

Senior Vice President and Head of Asset Management Technology, Fidelity Investments

Roundtable 3

Can’t see it, can’t be it! The importance of visible female role models

Roundtable 4

Building your own personal brand

Roundtable 5

Women in STEM blazing a trail in clean renewable energy resources

3:30

WRAP UP PANEL & CLOSING REMARKS:

Sonya Lennon, Speaker, Writer, Thought leader & Social entrepreneur