University of Limerick
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Shooting for the stars: How a STEM initiative has evolved to address gender challenges in work and education

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-11-02, 14:11 authored by Marie TraversMarie Travers, Jenna Bromell, Katie CrowleyKatie Crowley, JAMES PATTENJAMES PATTEN, ITA RICHARDSONITA RICHARDSON

There are fewer women than men in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). To address this imbalance, numerous STEM intervention programmes have been implemented worldwide. These programmes are aimed at helping girls and women to reach their full potential in terms of school and work.Planning and implementing a STEM intervention programme is a complex process. There are many different stakeholders, and their needs can be varied and evolving. This paper discusses STEM interventions, and it presents our experience with a specific intervention, the University of Limerick-Lero/Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM 2 D (Women in STEM, Manufacturing and Design) programme. This programme has evolved based on the learnings identified in areas such as participant group dynamics, invited speaker engagement and presentation delivery, and teamwork-centered activities. Such learnings can be applied across a range of STEM fields, including software engineering. We believe that initiatives, such as WiSTEM 2 D, which support and promote gender equality in STEM 2 D fields, and specifically Computer Science (CS) education and industry, are of key importance. Our review of the programme has identified three primary lessons: (1) individuals did not benefit as strongly as those working in groups (2) online events allow for more speakers and greater transfer of knowledge and (3) working in teams provides the students with the opportunity to socialise with other women in a work environment.


Lero_Phase 2

Science Foundation Ireland

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2023 IEEE/ACM 4th Workshop on Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Software Engineering (GEICSE)


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Also affiliated with

  • LERO - The Irish Software Research Centre

Sustainable development goals

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

Department or School

  • Computer Science & Information Systems

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