WITSWORDS October  2015
October 2015

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WITS Update

Welcome to WITSWORDS October 2015.

WITS Executive update
Julie Hogan will be acting as Secretary until the AGM in December, thank you Julie.
Triona O'Connell has resigned from the Executive as she is writing up her PhD. We thank Triona for her work over the last two years for WITS and wish her all the best for the completion of her PhD.

WITS Policy Sub-committee
WITS are establishing a policy sub-committee. If you are interested in joining it, please contact Maria Delaney at by 3 November 2015. The sub-committee will devise and implement a policy strategy with the aim of supporting and advocating for women in STEM. This will also include an annual report on women's participation in STEM. The sub-committee is open to all WITS members to join and will involve a small number of face-to-face meetings but most of the work will be completed online.  

Dates for your diary - WITS events October - December 2015

WITS Executive meeting  28 October 2015 6.30 pm
The WITS Executive meeting is on Wednesday 28 October.

3 November WITS25 Mary Mulvihill lecture
WITS first formal meeting was on 3 November 1990 with Mary Mulvihill as our Chair. The Mary Mulvihill lecture will take place on 3 November 2015 at The CHQ Building with Alicia Clements of Birr Castle as our speaker. Come along - please book your place here. This event is supported by Dogpatch Labs.

5 December WITS 2015 AGM at the Science Gallery.  We hope to meet lots of members on the day, please let us know you are coming here.

WITS Events
Thanks to everyone who attended the WITS Female Friendly Coding Workshop led by Vicky Twomey Lee with support from Lisa Cavern and Michael Twomey on Saturday 17 October at the National College of Ireland (NCI) and thank to NCI for supporting the event. It was a great workshop. Vicky's passion for female friendly workshops was evident throughout the day. She inspired us all to make our web pages - thank you Vicky. 

Our planned strategy workshop did not take place in September.

Web Summit Tickets  3-5 November

WITS received a number of Web Summit tickets. Attending are Mary Carroll, Julie Hogan and Laura Tobin, Brigid Crowley and  Lorna Ryan. Thanks to all who entered the member's draw. Look out for the WITS tweets during the summit + tweets from @choiceirregular, @growthpotential @whykay and we'll have some photos and a report in the next newsletter.


New National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation
The new national strategy is still awaited. We'll keep you posted.

Irish Research Council
A new board has been appointed to the Irish Research Council. WITS Executive member and Professor of Physics at TCD Eithne McCabe is one of the five women appointed to the Board, congratulations Eithne. 

The new SFI Science in Ireland Barometer Report  is worth a read, click here.

Dates for your diary
  • National Digital Week takes place in Skibbereen Co Cork is from 3-8 November, click on the link to see the variety of events.
  • AIB Datahack challenge for third level students takes place on 7 November 2015.  Registration is open until 29 October. All our student members have been emailed we hope you take part.
  • Science Week is from 8-15 November this year. 2015 marks 20 years of Science Week, our great celebration of STEM.

What's so exciting about Physics? This new booklet written by young female physicists for girls in the UK choosing their A levels may be very useful for girls in Transition Year thinking about their Leaving Cert subjects. Click on the link to find out more and download the booklet.

Gender news

European Institute for Gender Equality launches the Gender Equality Index for 2015. This shows marginal improvements in gender equality. 

Eithne McCabe was an invited speaker at the launch in Brussels last month of the GENERA Project, a new EU-funded project with a predominantly European focus encouraging research institutes and other physics organisations across the EU to develop gender equality plans. 

Dates for your diary
  • 28 October 2015. Digiwomen Be better at Facebook is on Wednesday next from 18:30 to 20:30 (GMT) Guinness Enterprise Centre Taylor's Lane Dublin 8 Ireland. Booking here   Cost €11.10.
  • 31 October - 2 November 2015. There is a three day Sprint Start Up event for women in Dublin from Saturday 31st Oct - Monday 2nd November. Enquiries to
  • 4 November 2015. Vmware CorK and the Vmwomen's Group are running 'It Starts with You' in Vmware with great speakers including Ciara Judge (Google 2014 Science Fair winner). The event is fully booked and we wish it all the best.
  • 10 November 2015. Transforming STEM Realities: Gender Equality conference at the University of Limerick. Information from Its Richardson Associate Professor at UL and WITS member is a co-organiser and speaking. Best wishes to all for what looks like a great conference. Please email Clare for more details.
  • 12 November 2015. Women Who Code launches in Dublin on 12 November 2015. Click on the link for more information.
  • Inspirefest2016 will take place from 30 June -2 July. Do plan to be there, last year was magnificent. #inspirefest2016.

Plan Ireland Ball
Members may like to support the Because I am a Girl Ball for Plan Ireland on Saturday 7 November 2015. More information here.

Members' news

Thanks to Sheila Porter for the latest Scifest news.

The International Day of the Girl on 10 October 2015 was celebrated by
a collaboration between Coding Grace, CoderDojoGirls@DCU and Girls Hack Ireland with DCU as hosts and support from for public and private bodies. Do read Vicky Twomey Lee's write up here.
We welcome news and profiles from members. If you have events, initiatives or just something you think of interest to WITS members please email WITS and we'll include it in the next newsletter.

Mary Mulvihill
WITS @ Remembering Mary Mulvihill 8 October 2015

Mary was remembered by colleagues, family and friends at a celebration event on 8 October at the Genetics Department, Trinity College Dublin. The event was organised by Ena Prosser former WITS chair and Marion Palmer spoke on behalf of WTIS. Thank you Ena.

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