More Women Needed in STEM Professions

This Friday marks International Women’s Day and I have called for greater numbers of young girls to be encouraged to pursue STEM subjects and careers.

We are making progress in getting more women into STEM jobs, however, there remains a long way to go before we reach equal gender opportunities in these fields.

Last year Engineers Ireland revealed that only 12% of the engineering professionals were female. This is a significant gender gap in the work force; this puts Ireland behind most European nations including Bulgaria, Latvia and Cyprus who record participation in the 30% bracket. In the same year only 16% of engineering graduates were women from Irish universities.

We must foster a more open culture across many areas of the STEM sector. There persists an attitude of unequal opportunity based on gender; this is something that we must address before we can begin to see the numbers change in our favour.

This will not just benefit women, this will benefit the men in these sectors as well as every person born on this island. We are missing out on the chance to have a significant number of people involved in how we shape our country and our future. Each of us brings our own experiences and imagination to our respective roles, having gender dominated professions denies us the chance to see things from different perspectives.

 

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