With just 25% of those working in Ireland’s STEM industries female, three women bucking the trend describe their experiences working in the sector.
Head of Wavespace, EY Ireland
Helena O’Dwyer, Associate Partner and Head of Wavespace, EY Ireland discusses her current role within STEM and how we must challenge stereotypes for the next generation.
“I create innovation and collaboration experiences with senior leaders to solve complex strategic challenges facing their organisation, such as deciding how technology such as AI, blockchain or RPA could be used to differentiate and accelerate their business.
“I tell my kids, both boys and girls, that stereotypes exist but we have to walk through them. A growth mindset is so important for our children to develop and they must know that they can be brilliant with practice, not necessarily starting with an innate skillset.
“I work in an often male-dominated industry and throughout my career, I have regularly been the only woman in the room. Having females involved in strategic and complex conversations gives wonderful perspective. Diversity of thinking is vital to all aspects of innovation.”
Head of Decision Sciences and Operational Research, EY Ireland
Helene Dingreville, Head of Decision Sciences and Operational Research, EY Ireland shares her experience on having a family and a career in STEM.
“I work in mathematical modelling to use data to support better decisions. For example, optimising staff rosters in line with contracts and constraints.
“There has never been an even balance of men and women in STEM. I’m a mum of four and have a challenging career. That hasn’t always been easy. In a previous job, people said I had chosen to have kids, so couldn’t have a career. I moved on and have both a rewarding career in STEM and a balanced family life.
“It’s almost a plus to be a woman in STEM, as you’re a rarity. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s easier than it was.
Girls should listen to their hearts, not to what people say. As a woman you can have a fulfilling and fascinating career and have kids. You don’t have to choose.
Director Technology Consulting, Financial Services, EY Ireland
Judith Lynch, Director Technology Consulting, Financial Services, EY Ireland tells her career story and how mentoring networks can help women to collaborate in the STEM sector.
“I did a finance degree and then a Master’s in Information Systems. My job now is to leverage technical solutions that deliver business transformation for financial services clients.
“It’s been a busy and fun career. It suits me because I like change, but I also like finding ways to make things fitter, faster and more efficient. Technology allows you to do that rapidly.
“I’m proud to be involved in a women’s mentoring network called Triple FS, which has been developed by EY, MetLife and BNY Mellon. This gives women the chance to network with — and leverage the experience of — senior leaders. It gives me a real sense of pride to see the development of our colleagues.
I’m optimistic that more women will enter STEM, partly because gender parity has really come to the fore. We need it to, because diversity of thought creates world-class teams.