The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Ireland recently presented five students with scholarships as part of its Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Award Programme at a ceremony held in University College Cork (UCC).
The acronym WiSTEM2D refers to Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design. The WiSTEM2D programme underlines J&J’s commitment to developing and implementing high-impact strategies to support female students undertaking STEM2D degree courses at UCC and in universities around the world.
Highlighting the importance of the WiSTEM2D programme for female students pursuing a career in one of the STEM2D disciplines, Alice Noel outlined the benefits of receiving the scholarship in 2019. “After receiving a bursary from J&J, I was able to significantly reduce the hours in my part time job which allowed me to focus more on college work. With the WISTEM2D programme I received a mentor who was able to offer invaluable advice and overall support throughout the year, both professionally and personally. I also spoke on a panel at a WiSTEM2D event which gave me the opportunity to meet with senior J&J executives and outline the impact of the programme on students.”
Following the success of the inaugural J&J programme at UCC in 2019, a further five students have been selected this year to receive scholarships, following a rigorous application process and one-to-one interviews. This year’s five winning students are:
1. Jenny Redmond, Chemical Sciences
2. Saoirse Trought, Mathematical Sciences
3. Ciara Hickey, Chemical Sciences
4. Katie Phelan, Biological & Chemical Sciences
5. Caoimhe Doyle, Mathematical Sciences
Four runners-up in the scholarship awards will be assigned a J&J mentor as part of this year’s programme. A further seven students have received a bursary award, and they will also be assigned a J&J mentor this year. The mentors will support the students in their studies, afford them the opportunity to visit J&J sites across the country, and help them to develop their STEM2D networks.
In a recent survey among UCC students, 76% agreed that women are under-represented in STEM2D fields. A keen focus for this year’s WiSTEM2D programme looks to address this by embracing the concept that an equal world is an enabled world. This is particularly true for young women pursuing a career in STEM2D. A further 85% of respondents agreed that mentorship is critically important to developing a career in STEM2D.
The WiSTEM2D programme is unique in terms of offering young women studying STEM2D courses the opportunity to engage with women working in those careers. First-hand experience of site tours, mentoring, project and career workshops enable students to visualise exactly what it is like to have a career in STEM2D.
Liz Dooley, Head of Biologics, Clinical Supply Chain at Janssen Sciences Ireland Unlimited Company, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, said, “At J&J, we fundamentally believe in the idea that an equal world is an enabled world. The WiSTEM2D programme, along with the WiSTEM society here in UCC, both play a significant role in enabling young women who have ambitions of a career in STEM2D to build a peer network which will support their development. As employers in the STEM2D industry, we are acutely aware of the under-representation of women in the sciences workforce. We understand that we have a responsibility to support these young women who will become future leaders, and we take great pride in our involvement with UCC in supporting the next generation of STEM2D students.”
Professor Sarah Culloty, Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Sciences, UCC, said, “At UCC, we strive to bridge the gap that exists between male and female representation within the STEM2D industry. With J&J’s help, we believe that we can help nurture the minds of the female leaders that will drive future advances in STEM2D.”
Liz Dooley, J&J, presented the students with their scholarships and bursaries at the ceremony. Also in attendance were the award winners’ family members, J&J mentors and UCC academic STEM2D staff.