The UL Ladies have, as usual, flown the extra mile and have organised a Futsal event for Transition Year Students in the fabulous UL Arena on Wednesday April 5, an event that has been generously sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
Opportunities in STEM2D, have never been better for everyone but women in particular are being encouraged to consider a hugely rewarding career in STEM2D. UL Ladies Soccer has been proud to promote this initiative by sporting the WiSTEM2D brand this year on all its playing and training gear.
Laura Fitzgerald, Chairperson of UL Ladies Soccer explains “As an Aeronautical Engineer and now Masters student, I believe passionately that more Women should pursue STEM2D courses and careers. This Futsal Fun day presents an ideal opportunity to get the WiSTEM2D message out to Transition Year girls about the subjects that they need to be doing for Leaving Cert. so that they take advantage of all the opportunities that are out there for them.
Our idea is that each school will be assigned their own coach who will be able to help improve their Futsal skills AND also answer any questions that might help more girls to avail of STEM opportunities. It is a happy co-incidence that this year many members of the UL Ladies’ squad are involved in either STEM studies or STEM teaching. We hope that by providing positive role models for the girls we can encourage more of them to choose the STEM2D path.”
Dr. Mary Shire, VP Research UL said “Understanding the barriers and misconceptions that females face in terms of STEM is complex. The student led research being carried out at UL through the WiSTEM2D programme is exploring these barriers and misconceptions and will provide us with a better understanding that can lead to changes in how we address these in a more holistic and evidence based way.”
Liz Dooley, Operations Director, Janssen Sciences Ireland highlighted the current challenges around women in STEM “As a company that is to the forefront in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Johnson & Johnson is very conscious of the fact that only one quarter of people currently working in STEM related careers in Ireland are women, while just 6% to 7% of all technical roles in Europe are filled by women. We are delighted to partner with UL Ladies Soccer as part of our ongoing initiatives to increase the number of women enrolling and graduating in STEM2D courses.”
UL Ladies Soccer’s embrace of the WiSTEM2D message has already seen them go from strength to strength this year. They have qualified for the All-Ireland League final to be played in Limerick on March 15 and have also qualified for the top 4 at the Intervarsity championship finals to be held in Cork on March 24 & 25. The generous support of Johnson & Johnson has also seen the UL Ladies travel to Oxford where they played two games against one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Aero Engineer Laura continued “WiSTEM2D and the support of Johnson & Johnson has helped us to fly high this season. Whether it’s up against the might of Oxford or in our quest for national League and Championship honours, for us the sky’s the limit!”