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Home » Women in STEM » Five simple ways you or your organisation can get involved in supporting women in STEM

Anna Rafferty

Director of Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland 

Identify where exactly you want to make a difference and get active

Awareness of the lack of representation of women in STEM is high, so spend your time on addressing the reasons for this. Be an actor, not an ally. 

Be inclusive in your outreach

We are so proud of the Re-Ignite programme. It has been very successful in helping us attract those who wish to return to the workplace after a career break. It is a paid ‘returnship’ initiative for those who have worked in STEM2D (science, technology, engineering, maths, manufacturing and design) and have been out of their field for two or more years. It builds confidence and has attracted outstanding talent and ambassadors to our doors.

Identify role models within your organisation

We shouldn’t always showcase role models who have excelled on the world stage, as this is unattainable for most. The everyday woman in STEM is often more impactful and relatable. At Johnson & Johnson we have a workforce of 5,000 across our 10 sites in Ireland. We have women working in STEM roles every day, we put them to the forefront to showcase that an exciting career in STEM is possible alongside fulfilling family and daily lives.

Our mission is support and inspire girls and women in their pursuit of STEM2D studies and careers.

Identify colleagues who are passionate about the topic in your organisation

We developed a flagship global WiSTEM2D initiative. Our mission is to support and inspire girls and women in their pursuit of STEM2D studies and careers globally. We have four pillars in the programme – youth, university, professional and partnerships. Ireland has been to the forefront in leading this programme.

Partner with others, don’t try and do it on your own

We have partnered with academic institutes NUI Galway, UCC and UL on our WiSTEM2D university pillar programme and the Youth Pillar partners with IWISH and organisation like Junior Achievement. A partnership approach improves the impact and reach of our programmes. 

To learn more about the WiSTEM2D programme visit

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