Posted on 22 days ago by Laurentina Kennedy
Showcase aimed at boosting female participation in STEM
The ninth annual I Wish STEM Showcase will present more than 60 influential female role models and inspirational speakers over the course of the day
Around 3,000 female students will attend an event in Dublin today dedicated to attracting more women into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The ninth annual I Wish STEM Showcase will present more than 60 influential female role models and inspirational speakers over the course of the day.
Up to 15,000 female students are expected to attend the event virtually.
I Wish, an organisation that works to inspire teenage girls globally towards STEM careers, says its research points to positive change in the perspectives of female students but barriers remain.
According to the latest I Wish Report, 46% of students surveyed cited existing stereotypes in STEM as a reason for the fact that only one in four people working in STEM are women, more than half pointed to a lack of female role models in STEM.
Today's showcase will feature former President of Ireland Mary Robinson in an interview with Sarah Bryant, environmentalist and climate change activist.
"I'm a great fan of girl power, in fact I’ve seen it in action in the young girl climate activists all over Ireland, some of them I’ve come to know quite well and they are all giving a lot to leadership, so I really feel today is an important opportunity for you to realise your power," Mrs Robinson said.
There has been a steady increase in the number of female new entrants entering STEM undergraduate programmes at third level but female participation in physics and the physical sciences has gradually declined since 2014.
"Today is about giving girls access to inspiring female role models in STEM and showing the girls what it's like to work in STEM, and we do that in our exhibition zone," said Caroline O'Driscoll, co-founder of I Wish.
"We have some amazing exhibitions like 3D printing, cyber security and how to design an antigen test. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for girls to learn more about this fast growing area," Ms O'Driscoll said.
The winning team for the first I Wish Stripe Entrepreneurship Programme will be announced at today's showcase.
The initiative is designed to ignite creative thinking, give teenage girls the skills and confidence to develop their business ideas and lay the groundwork for more female-founded businesses.