Bright Futures in Technology, run by Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT), brings together figures from the world of technology to share their experience with second and third level students, teachers, lecturers, parents and the public.
Opening the virtual event this evening, Minister Harris said, “I am delighted to launch today’s event, spotlighting important stories from such an important sector in meeting the needs of our evolving economy and contributing to an inclusive society. Unfortunately, our research shows the group that remains the most underrepresented in STEM is girls from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”
“But exclusion is not just an issue for women; we must also remember that there are many under-represented groups when it comes to careers in STEM – those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, people of colour, those with disabilities, migrants, and the LGBTQ+ community are all under-represented.”
The Minister added, “we need to work together to open the doors to all groups and insist that change happens. We need to ensure that all members of our society can contribute ideas – inclusive thinking means that we are far more likely to find good solutions to the challenges we face now and indeed the challenges we will need to address in the future.”
Existing programmes providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities in STEM careers include Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1.
Minister Harris added, “we still have a long way to go, though, with only around 15% of students enrolled in ICT programmes in Higher Education being female. We need lots of different role models to be visible and to show the next generation that they can also follow their dreams in science – that everyone is entitled to contribute ideas and provide solutions.”