Lack of gender diversity is a critical issue for the Irish tech sector. Third level institutions are keenly aware of this, with an average of 10% female students on computing programmes in Ireland. Two academics within the sector - Dr. Susan McKeever (DIT) and Dr Catherine Mooney (UCD) determined that if the Third Levels institutions computing schools could work together as a group, there would be great opportunities from sharing best practice and driving higher impact initiatives across the sector. When contacted, the interest from the Third Levels was huge. On June 20th, the DIT School of Computing hosted the first meeting of this Third Level group at a workshop in DIT Kevin St - attended by representatives from 14 Schools of Computing/ Computer Science across the country. As explained by Dr. McKeever: "We need to get results in this area quickly. Girls are losing out on opportunities in this critical sector that our economy relies on. As well as sharing best practice, the Third Level computer science schools can have a bigger ambition to get a targeted national project going with industry involvement, right across the third level sector. We should aim high - to make Ireland a showcase for other countries on how to crack the gender problem" The workshop was very successful with huge motivation and interest shown from every Third Level attending. Dr. Deirdre Lillis, Head of the School of Computing at DIT explains: "The stark reality is that most of our information technology is being developed almost exclusively by men, a situation which has far-reaching consequences for diversity and inclusion across all aspects of society and the economy. This situation which will not change unless the gender imbalance on female participation in computer science programmes is addressed. I am delighted to see this inaugural meeting take place, which I am certain will provide much needed leadership in this area within Computer Science Faculties across Ireland". The next meet up of the new third level group is scheduled to take place in the first week of September.
Third levels attending the workshop included:
DIT Computing July 2018. For more information please contact Susan McKeever (email@example.com)