WITSWORDS July, August 2016
July, August 2016

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WITS Update

Welcome to WITSWORDS July, August 2016. 

WITS update
Please take the short WITS events survey here. This will help us plan future events.

Our WITS social event in UCD on 15 June was great fun. Members enjoyed meeting and catching up and there was a short WITS update from our chair Marion Palmer. Thank you all for coming and thanks to Lara Cutlar WITS Executive member for organising the event.

WITS was at the Women's Executive Network Ireland's Most Powerful Women Top 25 awards on 16 June in Dublin. Thank you to the ESB for the invitation. Marguerite Sayers ESB received one of the HBSC Corporate Executive awards, Louise Phelan of PayPal was one of the Davy Business Leader awards and Susan McKenna-Lawlor was honoured as a Trailblazers at the event. Congratulations to you all.

The HEA launched its review of gender equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions on 27 June and WITS attended the launch as one of the stakeholders in the consultation.

Do listen to
WITS Vice-Chair Mary Carroll's Women in Leadership podcast on Finding Your Voice and Using Your WITS. It's an overview of her career experiences, the role of unconscious bias and WITS. Thanks Mary - a great listen. 

WITS Executive Update
The Executive met on 6 July and meets next in September. The WITS Policy Sub-committee continues its work. WITS has taken part in the national UN
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) survey and attended the civil society consultation on 19 July at the Department of Justice and Equality.

The next newsletter will be at the end of August, early September.


Dates for your diary - WITS events August 2016

WITS Galway Coding workshop 23 August 2016 18:00
Vicky Twomey Lee will run a coding workshop in Galway. More information and booking on WITS website shortly.

Events planned for the rest of the year:
  • 29 September WITS pizza party for students UCD, booking opens early September.
  • 12 October Talk Dr Julie Phukan on Alzheimer's Research, The Charles Institute, UCD.
  • 20 October Workshop Career Planning for STEM Sinead Cullen venue tbc.
  • 4 November. The Mary Mulvihill Lecture, Louise Phelan PayPal, Science Gallery 6 pm. 
  • December - the WITS AGM.
Information and booking will be on the WITS website.


InspireFest2016 30 June-1 July
Congratulations to Ann O'Dea and the team for Inspirefest2016 for a wonderful event. We hope that you enjoyed it if you were there and if not that you managed to follow #inspirefest on Twitter. It was great to see so many WITS members there. A big thank you to Ann O'Dea for the WITS student tickets, all enjoyed the event. Our photo shows Béibhinn Ní Dhonnchadha and Maeve Upton two WITS student members attending Inspirefest.

Some thoughts from Inspirefest2016: We loved Kelly Hoey's three rules for building a network for yourself - build on your own expertise, build a network before you need it and build your bank account. Elena Rossiini's film on the Lottie Stargazer doll is here, do watch it. The Outbox Incubator panel struck a chord with many of us, 'access to that kind of support would have changed things profoundly for the better for me at that age' was one member's response. Do read some of the blog posts from from Mags Amond and Amanda Webb and Kate Dempsey's haikus capture the event in verse.
Final words from Eimear:
What struck me whilst attending this event was the commitment and compelling conviction to create and achieve of all the people present, not just the speakers.

Other news
AIB DataHack November 2016
The annual AIB DataHack, open to all 3rd level students of STEM and related subjects will be held in November this year. With a focus on creative problem-solving, the DataHack consists of two competitions: a Datathon Challenge and a Hackathon Challenge. This is an opportunity to showcase your technical skills, test new research ideas and meet potential collaborators in a friendly and fun environment. The DataHack has a total prize fund of 8,000 Euro, plus spot prizes, refreshments and very cool goodie bags on the day! Check out for more information on the event, how to sign up and to access programming tutorials from our team.

TEDx Wexford
The very first TEDxWexford will take place on 23rd September in the Wexford Arts Centre. The theme for this years event is 'Tomorrow Imagined' and the call for speakers is now open! If you have an idea worth spreading send us a short 1 min video to with details of your idea and past speaking experiences you might have.

Gender and innovation in STEM Yfactor survey 2016
WITS is supporting this international Yfactor survey, do take it before the end of July and we'll get the results for WITS. Look at the 2015 report and the call for action focused on key actions to enable women to step up in STEM.

Irish Research Council and SFI Science Rising
#lLoveIrishResearch Enjoy reading Aoibhinn O'Sullivan's blog post on her maths education research here. Over at SFI Science Rising read about Laura Tobin WITS Exec and her research on the SFI Lifestyle research page and women in STEM careers.


Gender News

HEA Review of Gender Equality in Higher Education.
This major report has recommendations for higher education institutions, the HEA and research funding agencies. It is being reviewed by WITS Policy sub-committee. Watch out for future updates in WITSWORDS.

007Ideas Boot Camp 12, 13 September Guinness Enterprise Centre Dublin8.

Have you an idea you'd like to explore? Would you like to take part in a start-up boot camp? 007Ideas are running 2 day enterprise boot camp and are looking for young women to take part. There will be a full programme of speakers both women and men and you'll develop and pitch your idea to a panel. For more information contact Orlagh McGee by email or phone 01 415 1205.

News and Items of Interest
Dates for your diary
  • 12-13 September Start-up Boot Camp 007 Ideas Guinness Enterprise Centre, Dublin 8.

Members' News

Coding Grace latest newsletter.
Thanks to Coding Grace and Vicky Twomey Lee for the latest newsletter with a great round up of coding workshops and events, particularly female friendly events. There's a full calendar for July and August.

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 before 28 August 2016 and we'll include it in the next newsletter.
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