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Regina Moran is President of Engineers Ireland and over the past week she was busy visiting schools and colleges across Ireland to promote Engineers Week. A key focus for Regina as President is attracting more women into Technology and Engineering. Regina is the Fujitsu UK & Ireland nominated Gender Diversity Champion and is instrumental in driving the company’s diversity and inclusion programme.

Last week was a fantastic week for Engineering in Ireland with Engineers Ireland interacting with over 37,000 students, parents and teachers through a variety of fun and educational events. Each event promoted a full spectrum of opportunities available to students who choose a career in Engineering. I was delighted to visit to a number of all-girls schools because my belief is that women largely remain an untapped resource in the area of technology and engineering.

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Approximately 118,000 people in Ireland work in jobs relating to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, and yet according to the Irish Central Statistics Office the proportion of women employed in such roles stands at less than 25 per cent. For last year’s Engineering Perspectives Report, Engineers Ireland surveyed 2,064 of its members and found that the ratio of men to women in engineering is approximately 9:1. This showcases that women are significantly under represented across the engineering and ICT professions.  As a woman who has benefitted from an enriching and successful career in these sectors, I am committed to helping things change.

We consistently see reports of an ICT skills shortage across the UK and Ireland. New jobs are being created every day as engineering and science continue to evolve. The Irish Government have set a target to create and fill 44,500 jobs for ICT professionals by 2020. We can be sure that many of the jobs we will need in 20 years’ time have not yet been invented. Never before has it been more important to increase our efforts to inspire young people, in particular girls to take up careers in these crucial area if we are to pave the way for our future economic development.

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The Engineers Ireland STEPs Programme is fundamental to getting the message out to students, parents and teachers. Throughout my Presidency I am focussing a lot of my attention on engaging with young girls from a range of backgrounds to highlight the multitude of opportunities available from a career in ICT and Engineering. I use my own personal and very positive experiences to break traditional stereotypes. I also highlight that ICT and Engineering can offer an exciting, rewarding career for any woman.

I must also commend the Irish Government’s proactive approach in addressing the need to tackle the ICT Skills Shortage. I currently reside on the Government’s SMART Futures Advisory Board, enabling young people and adults to recognise the importance of STEM skills throughout their education pathways. The Government is committed to supporting the growth of Ireland’s bustling ICT industry and recognise the only way to do this is through investing in our young people.

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In Fujitsu UK and Ireland, I am proud to be part of a very diverse leadership team and it is an honour to act as Champion for the company’s Gender Diversity Programme. We are committed to ensuring that more women and people of diverse backgrounds develop fulfilling and successful careers at Fujitsu UK & Ireland.  Recently in my role as Diversity Champion for Fujitsu, I had the pleasure of meeting with some of Fujitsu’s Female Distinguished Engineers to discuss joint plans for Women in IT. Watch this space for more updates from Regina on Fujitsu’s Gender Diversity Programme.

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