Minister for Education, Mr. Richard Bruton TD, joined Microsoft as it announced that it will host an event examining the future of work and play. Part of Microsoft’s ‘Codess’ series of events, the gathering will facilitate skills sharing and networking for women in the IT sector. The event will take place in Dogpatch Labs, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1.

The Codess event will be addressed by Brenda Romero, an award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright scholar who entered the video game industry in 1981. This keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion with Brenda and her husband John Romero, also a games designer. Other panellists include David Coghlan, Managing Director and President, Havok and Emma Reid, Microsoft Cloud Solutions Architect. The discussion will be facilitated by Microsoft Ireland’s Diversity & Inclusion leader, Christine Barrett.

There will be Engineering representatives from the Microsoft European Development Centre including Fergal Burke, Partner Engineering Manager on hand to provide further background to attendees around roles in the technology sector.

The Codess series aims to inspire, connect and support women in technical roles to help them achieve their goals – both personal and professional. By creating an opportunity for women to share their own experiences and insights, others can benefit from the learnings of those in a similar field or those who have had similar experiences.

Minister Bruton was joined by recent graduates who work at Microsoft and girls in Primary School to launch the event.microsoft-codess-event-series-launch-1-copyPictured left to right is Toni Townes-Whitley, Public Sector Vice President at Microsoft; Minister for Education, Mr. Richard Bruton TD; Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland with young coders Alana and Daisy Costello. Pic:Naoise Culhane-no fee

“As a leader at one of the largest companies in the world, Toni Townes-Whitley is a great role model and mentor to many other women working in the sector. I welcome Microsoft’s announcement of its upcoming Codess event, which is geared at women who have begun professional careers in technology. It provides them with the opportunity for mentorship they need to advance, and with a forum where they can learn from other women in similar roles. The company is also working to actively encourage students to take up careers in the technology sector. Speaking to both audiences is crucial because the students of today will become the business leaders of tomorrow,”
said Minister Bruton.

Speaking today, Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said: “At Microsoft, we are focused on encouraging more and more young people to select a career in technology. In Ireland, the demand for engineering and technology courses increased this year among those entering third level, so there is much to be positive about. The message we want people to hear is that if you have the core technology skills – coding, programming, engineering – it opens a world of choice while also giving you skills that can genuinely have an impact on the world around you. Against a backdrop where, according to the CSO, women are filling less than 25% of STEM roles, promoting greater gender diversity in engineering will have a significant impact on the entire technology sector. Codess specifically works to support women who are already working, helping them to achieve their potential in their chosen field and overcome any barriers that they might encounter.”

This Codess event is free and open to the public; those looking to attend must register in advance. More information about Codess is available at Codess.net, @MicrosoftIrl and #CodessDUB.

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