Senior Process Engineer at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland UC, Member of Engineers Ireland’s Thomond Region Committee
We have to avoid complacency in our drive to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM, and there are initiatives that can help.
In school, I always had an affinity for physics, applied maths and chemistry. As my Leaving Certificate and CAO deadline approached, further studies in chemical engineering seemed like a natural fit for me.
Promoting initiatives for women
I commenced my studies in chemical and biochemical engineering at the University of Limerick in 2015 with the support of academic scholarships from The Naughton Foundation and Stryker. In 2019, I graduated at the top of my engineering class for the academic year and attained the President’s Distinction Award.
I feel very fortunate to be a female engineer in an era where initiatives to address the lack of women in STEM have gained a lot of momentum and support in recent years, resulting in significant improvements in STEM-related fields.
Even though astounding progress has been made, it is important to never become complacent in our drive to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM.
Accessible STEM programmes for students
Efforts are continually being made to advance women in STEM and encourage more women to consider STEM careers.
There are several Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D) programmes accessible to students, helping to bridge the gap and highlight rewarding careers in STEM. Great strides have been made in the portion of students who now view STEM as a viable career option. More students are now realising that with passion and curiosity, it is possible to be successful in STEM.
Even though astounding progress has been made, it is important to never become complacent in our drive to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM. As a woman in engineering, and through my involvement in Engineers Ireland’s Thomond region committee and as a WiSTEM2D lead at my work site, I see it as my responsibility to serve as a role model for younger generations and to help inspire others to pursue their STEM passions.
Mentoring other women
We can continue to move the dial forward for women in STEM, by getting involved in outreach initiatives such as the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme or by mentoring in the workplace. Women working in STEM can provide a sense of community and inclusivity and demonstrate real examples of positive success in the workplace.
Hopefully, others working in STEM fields can work with their organisations to provide ongoing support for female students in their communities and provide inspiration and support so that they can actively consider a career in STEM.