University of Limerick
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Challenges and opportunities when deploying a gender STEM intervention during a pandemic

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-03-08, 15:45 authored by Marie TraversMarie Travers, Ita RichardsonIta Richardson, Linda Higgins

Women are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). There are many initiatives which have been implemented in efforts to change this imbalance, including in primary, secondary and third-level institutions. Some are supported by governments, for example, by Science Foundation Ireland in Ireland, by professional bodies, such as IEEE, and by companies. Initiatives are targeted at STEM in general, and at subsets of the discipline. In fact, there are many STEM intervention programmes worldwide from which we in software engineering can learn.

The logistics around planning and implementing a STEM intervention programme are many. This is compounded when a programme must quickly pivot and change how it is provided due to external factors. While this paper presents our experience on one STEM intervention, the University of Limerick-Lero/Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2 D (Women in STEM, Manufacturing and Design) programme, it also discusses and describes the challenges and the opportunities that became apparent when it had to completely change how it was deployed and implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Lero_Phase 2

Science Foundation Ireland

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GE@ICSE '22: Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Software Engineering May 2022 pp. 59–66


Association for Computing Machinery

Also affiliated with

  • LERO - The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software

Sustainable development goals

  • (5) Gender Equality
  • (4) Quality Education

Department or School

  • Computer Science & Information Systems

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