I Wish has announced that Dell EMC and VMware are the anchor sponsors of I Wish 2018, an initiative developed to encourage more young women to choose science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and courses so the world of STEM remains open to them for their future careers.

The series of events, which take place in Cork on January 25-26, and in Dublin on January 29-30, directly target students in Transition Year. This is the time when students make choices which will influence their future study options and, ultimately, their careers. At I Wish 2018, 5,000 girls will be engaged through talks, demonstrations and interactive hubs where students can meet and engage with inspiring women working in a variety of STEM roles.

Bob Savage, Managing Director and Vice President EMEA, Dell EMC Centre of Excellence said: “Dell EMC is committed to promoting and supporting gender diversity in the workplace – specifically in the technology sector. While we have a number of initiatives up and running which are having an impact, when you look at the statistics, it is clear that there is more to be done in order to address this problem. To have diversity – at all levels – within the business community, we need to have sufficient numbers of young people qualifying with the right skills. Right now, there are not enough girls choosing to study STEM subjects. This is a challenge for government, education and industry, and we have the potential to make a real difference if we all work together. This is Dell EMCs third year supporting I Wish and our team is looking forward to meeting the many students that will be attending over the four days in Cork and Dublin.”

Speakers from Dell EMC including Marie Moynihan, vice president of Global Talent Acquisition, and Aisling Keegan, vice president and commercial general manager for Dell EMC Ireland, will address I Wish, imparting lessons gained from their own experience in the technology sector. The wider Dell EMC Ireland team will be on hand at the events as volunteers, sharing information directly with attendees about their own roles which range from sales, services, operations, IT and manufacturing to finance and solutions development.

Speakers from VMware include Karen Egan, vice president, NSX Support and Diana Stefanova, managing director EMEA R&D Sites & Strategic Business Development at VMware, who will share insights on the breadth and depth of opportunities available to young women considering careers in STEM. Accompanied by the VMware team, they will be on hand throughout the conference to provide valuable information on how women from all educational backgrounds can contribute to Ireland’s growth as an international technology hub, and share their own experiences.

John Dolan, vice president of Global Technical Support at VMware, said: “We believe organisations must harness the power of human difference to build a community that is inclusive and collaborative, and through our diversity and inclusion initiatives, we have made great strides in making our own workforce more diverse. However, there is much still to be done to maximise the potential of young women, and equip them with the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s digital economy. VMware is committed to helping nurture and grow Ireland’s strong pool of technological talent, regardless of gender, and is proud to offer its continued support for I Wish to help young women pursue careers in STEM. We are excited to demonstrate to attendees that the technology sector has the power to shape our future, and look forward to showing young women how they can be part of that vision.”

“We need the support of industry to drive initiatives like I Wish to encourage more young girls in Ireland to consider STEM subject choices, courses and ultimately careers. Industry partners help us to really show girls what a career in STEM looks like. We are delighted that Dell EMC & VMware has supported I Wish for the last three years and continues to work with us in such a positive way to achieve our objective of reaching more than 12,000 young girls by 2018. ” said Caroline O’Driscoll, co-founder I Wish.

I Wish is just one of many initiatives that Dell EMC supports to promote greater diversity and inclusion in the technology sector. The company has a long track record of encouraging gender diversity in industry and has been one of the leaders globally at pioneering MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), Catalyst’s learning community for men committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace. Dell EMC has programmes that run internally to encourage and support female employees, delivers the IT is Not Just for Geeks initiative in primary schools, supports Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT), and since 2016, sponsors I Wish.

As well as supporting I Wish for the fourth consecutive year, VMware runs ‘power of difference’ communities to promote diversity and inclusion, and hosts regular activities dedicated to gender diversity and culture. Supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace also requires organisations to look at the untapped talent available within today’s economy. VMware works closely with Software Skillnet in Ireland to run a number of programmes which re-train jobseekers – including graduates and ex-IT professionals – with the skills required for a career in the tech sector. The Back 2 IT and Kickstart programmes are but two examples of a series of VMware-backed initiatives designed to help women and men from all walks of life pursue a career in STEM.

I Wish 2018, supported by Dell EMC and VMware, is an award-winning partnership between Science Foundation Ireland – Smart Futures, Cork City Council, Cork Chamber, [email protected], Cork County Council, Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, UCC, CIT, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, ARUP and many more. More information is available at www.iwish.ie.


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