Senior Manager, Advisory Consulting, PwC
Senior Associate, Advisory Consulting, PwC
Women are still under-represented in STEM. What is being done to help improve female representation in the industry?
The face of STEM is changing: after years of effort, a greater number of women are entering the industry, but preconceptions persist that this is not a career for females. Many firms are actively encouraging women to get into tech these days. One of them is PwC Ireland, which has established a Women in Tech network that is led by Alana Storan.
“The purpose of the network is to empower, educate and mentor women,” she says. “We want to provide support and encourage open discussion. Currently, only 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry are held by women and we want to show that the industry offers opportunities for people with a problem-solving mindset and a broader set of people skills beyond pure tech expertise.” Alana feels positive about the future. “There’s a lot more awareness now of having more women in tech” she says.
While PwC is supporting a number of initiatives to drive Diversity & Inclusion, they are also facilitating digitalisation disruption. “PwC has made a huge investment in technology upskilling, globally committing over US$3 billion over four years, and in Ireland aiming to be the leading digitally enabled professional services firm.”
Megan Maguire is a co-founder of the Women in Tech network. “When I was a teenager, I had the preconception that tech was a male dominated industry with little teamwork involved,” she says. “There were no female role models and I didn’t consider a career in tech. Since I left school, there are new subjects on the curriculum, including Engineering and Computer Science, which gives students a greater insight.”
Even so, Megan plucked up the courage to apply to PwC. “We had a number of companies come and speak to us. I envisaged working in a problem solving and technology focused career: I applied to the firm, was interviewed by a male and female panel and received an offer that week.”
Working in technology today involves working with others in teams solving problems and Megan feels she has been supported throughout her career. “In line with its values, supporting diversity across all disciplines is a key ambition for PwC. You are given a career coach to guide you through your career path. For International Women’s Day we ran a Women Who Lead Campaign. It turned out to be the most successful campaign to date for PwC Ireland, with over 500 nominations.”