UL launches programme encouraging women to pursue STEM courses

An educational programme to increase the number of females pursuing STEM2D careers was launched by The University of Limerick and Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson last week. 

The collaboration seeks to uncover and overcome the barriers that currently exist and facilitate programmes that will allow for greater female involvement in STEM2D (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design) careers. 

Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD officially launched the collaborative programme last Wednesday evening in UL alongside Liz Dooley, Project Lead WiStem2D.  

“It will have wider positive implications too, bringing more diverse research, ideas, experience and expertise to an area which has, for too long, been lacking these voices,” Stanton said.

UL was the only Irish university chosen to participate in the programme, and TD Stanton feels it “speaks volumes for UL’s reputation in working extremely closely with industry”.

Not only has UL the highest number of females in professorial roles in Ireland, it is also one of the first Irish universities to have achieved an Athena Swan award.

“By partnering with UL and offering a mentoring support programme , we can provide role models that will promote and encourage STEM on campus, specifically amongst female undergraduates and post graduates,” Dr. Leisha Daly, Janseen Country Director said.

Dr Mary Shire, VP of Research at UL said, “supporting greater female participation at undergraduate level in the STEM subjects is a vital part in promoting greater diversity at all academic and professional stages.”

Statistics show that one quarter of people working in STEM-related careers in Ireland are women, while just 6% of technical roles in Europe are filled by women.

The new programme will aim to grow these figures and encourage more undergraduate women to enrol in STEM courses at UL.

Katie Gallagher

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