Dell hosted a Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) event for the mid-west region at its Limerick campus. The Mid-West Chapter of CWIT is a collaborative initiative of women from Dell, Intel, Analog Devices and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in the region which aims to attract and retain women in roles in the technology sector.

The event, called ‘Pump up the Pipeline,’ focused on new ways to enthuse and encourage female students into the technology sector. Attendees heard about an exciting programme being led by the consortium in the region called GiftED, Girls Inspired for Technology.

Led by the CWIT chapter the objective of the programme is to promote, engage and influence female students on the career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through providing access to female role models from industry. Through the programme, each company agrees to mentor female students at a particular school over an eight week period. During these eight weeks the students get practical experience around what a career in the technology sector holds.

Hosting the event today and addressing the audience Fiona McCarthy, Executive Director, HR, Dell said: “As a parent and a person who works in the technology sector, I am passionate about finding new ways we can enthuse and engage students around a career in the technology sector. GiftED is a real example of the collaborative work going on in our region – we’ve been delighted to be involved in the initiative and enjoyed having the students visit the Dell facility over the past year.“

“This initiative has been a positive outcome of the CWIT community in the region. As an industry we need to take responsibility to ‘Pump up the Pipeline’. Today we’re calling on other companies to sign up and take on this eight week mentoring challenge and support CWIT’s ambition to encourage more females into the technology sector.”

In addition to Fiona attendees at today’s event also heard from Orlaith Carmody, Managing Director of Mediatraining.ie; Janice O’Connell, Head of Department of IT at Limerick Institute of Technology and Brian Ahern, General Manager Intel Shannon.

Speaking at the event Orlaith Carmody, Managing Director, Mediatraining.ie said: “I’m delighted to be part of today’s event. The CWIT community is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration. Having met some of the students who have benefitted from the GiftED program, it is clear it has had a positive impact on them. Initiatives like this are essential if we are to continue to encourage more female students to take up science and technology courses in third level courses. By having access to these industry giants students are able to make informed choices and see firsthand the opportunity a career in the technology sector could hold for them.”

For further information on ‘Connecting Women in Technology’ (CWIT) contact one of the founding organisations: Dell, Intel, Analog Devices and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.