26 February 2021
By Tom Collins
Upcoming STEM Event for Girls Attracts International Audience Including a Home School in Nairobi
Over 10,000 young female second-level students from across Ireland and from as far afield as Nairobi and the US have registered for I Wish, a free virtual event with world-class speakers to promote and foster a passion to pursue careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths).
I Wish is a social enterprise committed to showcasing the power of STEM and will be held online for the first time on March 4th. This has opened it up to a wider audience across Ireland and internationally with the highest registrations yet. Speakers this year include Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone, Marion Buchet, a French fighter pilot, Brenda Romero, an American Bafta-winning video game designer and developer among a host of other inspirational women working in STEM across some of the biggest businesses in Ireland and the world.
Caroline O’Driscoll, partner with Deloitte and Co-Founder of I Wish, explained how there has been a silver lining from the move to online for this year’s event.
“Our vision, is to ensure that every girl has an equal opportunity of choice in STEM. With many STEM school events postponed and school visits cancelled, we were determined to ensure that despite the challenges faced, this year’s event would be even bigger and better than previous years; that no girl will be left behind. Moving to a virtual event is a prime example of the power of STEM – technology has made the event possible and through it we can now reach a global audience and position Ireland as a leader in STEM education.”
Established in 2015, I Wish has since welcomed over 22,000 students to its showcase events in Dublin and Cork, addressing the barriers facing female secondary school students when it comes to considering a career in STEM. The impact of these barriers is concerningly evident in today’s female representation in STEM, with just 25% of this workforce in Ireland being female.
As part of this year’s theme, I Wish has been running a series of personal and inspirational letters –
‘An Open Letter to my 17-Year-Old Self’ from women working at a senior level in STEM across industries.
Jennifer Quinn, Engineering Director for PepsiCo Global Concentrate Solutions is among those who has contributed her encouraging advice and insights:
“I would tell myself – you’ll be an engineer and that will allow you to do everything you love doing – organising, problem solving, designing, building. Your work will impact many. You’ll travel all over the world. You’ll never stop learning and you’ll never be bored.”
Registration for I Wish 2021 remains open ahead of March 4th. To register your school or to learn more about this virtual STEM showcase, please visit www.iwish.ie