Bridging the Gender Divide: Johnson & Johnson Expand their WiSTEM2D Programme to NUI Galway

Pictured at the announcement of the expansion of its 2021/2022 WiSTEM2D programme in partnership with NUI Galway are l-r: Anushree Dwivedi at Cerenovus (J&J), Michael Gilvarry, General Manager at Cerenovus (J&J), Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, Anna Rafferty, J&J WiSTEM2D University Lead and Director of Strategy, J&J Campus Ireland and Aoibhín Sheedy, Biomedical Engineer and NUI Galway WiSTEM Founder and Auditor. Photo: Andrew Downes
Oct 04 2021 Posted: 09:00 IST

Bridging the Gender Divide: Johnson & Johnson Expand their WiSTEM2D Programme to NUI Galway

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) today are proud to announce the expansion of its 2021/2022 WiSTEM2D programme in partnership with NUI Galway.

WiSTEM2D stands for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design. Through the initiative J&J support and inspire girls and women in their pursuit of STEM2D studies and careers globally.

The aim of the WiSTEM2D Undergraduate programme is to inspire and support more women to pursue a career in STEM after university and increase female representation in the STEM2D workforce.

Currently, there are approximately 117,800 people across Ireland who are working in jobs that require STEM skills. However, the CSO reports that just 25% of these roles are performed by women with just 5% in leadership roles.

While there has been a general upswing in the number of students choosing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects on their CAO applications, uptake among females remains low. Figures from a 2019 UCD Study reveals that over 40% of males list a STEM course versus just 19% of females.

The J&J WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines.

The programme was first introduced in UL in 2016 and UCC in 2018 and has been instrumental in supporting over 290 female students through a range of initiatives including leadership training, mentoring, internships, site tours and CV/recruitment workshops.

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to embed the WiSTEM2D programme for women students in the College of Science and Engineering. It will support and empower women pursuing their goal of safeguarding and making the world a better place through STEM to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In embracing all the talents in our society, it is a time of opportunity aligned with values of openness, sustainability and inclusivity guiding our students to realise their aspirations and impact positively for the public good on our society, our people and our planet.”

“We’re delighted to be expanding our successful WiSTEM2D programme to NUI Galway this year, which will continue to fuel life sciences in the area, including J&J’s Cerenovus site in Galway,” said Anna Rafferty, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D University Lead and Director of Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland.

“At Johnson & Johnson, we recognise that women are greatly under-represented in the STEM workforce in Ireland.  As part of our effort to ignite the power of women, create healthier societies and improve human health, Johnson & Johnson is committed to building a diverse WiSTEM2D science community and develop the talent pipeline by nurturing and mentoring our future female STEM leaders.”

Jessica Dino is an aspiring astronaut, who participated in the WiSTEM2D programme in UL in 2018. “Being accepted into the WiSTEM2D programme at UL was a pivotal step in my STEM career. I was very interested in hands-on work in a very technical and fast-paced environment and with the support of a Johnson & Johnson mentor, I received guidance on what careers I could go into that aligned with my goals and grow as an engineer.

“Upon completing my Electronic and Computer Engineering graduate degree, I was given the opportunity to interview for a graduate role and joined the company as an Automation Engineer at Johnson & Johnson Vision. During my free time, I am working on Citizen-Science projects backed by NASA, participate in analogue astronaut missions and one day, would love to fulfil my ambition to become an astronaut.”

Applications for the J&J WiSTEM2D university programmes open today for female students of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design subjects entering their second, third or fourth year of studies 2021/2022 within NUI Galway, UL and UCC.

Eligible students are asked to submit their application forms through the NUI Galway, UL and UCC websites by Monday, 18 October 2021.

To learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2D programme, click here.


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