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Attracting women and girls to STEM careers

In line with our WorldClass ambition to reach 300,000 people by 2030 we supported and led several initiatives focused on women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) throughout 2022 and 2023.

Studies show that although girls are equally interested in science-related careers as boys at a young age, they tend to deviate from STEM topics as they grow up. Research also suggests that girls benefit when they can exchange with other girls and inspiring role models to develop their interest in STEM and to boost their confidence.

STEM subjects are a vital part of the future of work, and gender balance is essential in this field of study and in early careers. A 2022 study by the Department of Education found, out of almost 120,000 people working in STEM in Ireland, just a quarter are women. Last year, through our charity partnerships and our professionals’ expertise, we led and supported some unique initiatives aimed at inspiring girls in STEM.

One of the highlights of the year was our continued platinum partnership with I Wish, a community focused on inspiring, encouraging and motivating young girls to choose STEM subjects and careers.   

Our mentoring programme – 180 Days to Make Difference – pairs Deloitte volunteers with I Wish alumni studying STEM university courses. This mentoring provides support and guidance to female students as they navigate through their third level journey. The feedback from all involved has been hugely positive. Mentors and mentees even took part in the I Wish showcase this year to share their experiences.  

"I really enjoyed being a mentor as part of the I Wish programme, as it was a great opportunity to be able to help someone who was in a similar position as I was a few years back - in college and unsure of their future career. "

Deloitte Mentor

This was the first in-person showcase event since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 3,000 secondary school students visited the RDS to hear from keynote speakers and get insights into STEM in action. Our Tax, Consulting and Risk Advisory teams had interactive displays showing how STEM expertise can lead to all kinds of careers. A further 11,000 students joined the live stream of this event. During the event, teachers were encouraged to apply for spaces on our dedicated I Wish TY (Transition Year) programme. From huge demand, we were able to facilitate 50 students on a special TY programme focused on professional skills and further insights into STEM at work. 

In addition to this well-established partnership, our Dublin offices hosted the 2022 ESTEAM event (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).  Deloitte Ireland and Vlajo conducted a project to enhance women and girls’ digital and entrepreneurial skills, on behalf the European Commission and the European Innovation Council and SMEs Agency (EISMEA). A series of events (“ESTEAM Fests”) were held throughout the EU with online communities to boost women and girls’ skills. 

We marked International Day of the Girl in 2022, with the Future Female Innovators competition. 120 women aged 18 to 23 from across Europe came together virtually to solve real business challenges through the power of design thinking.  With input from our client partners, Meta and Irish Life, as well as global colleagues, the girls experienced a unique experiential learning opportunity. They practiced design thinking, applied it to a business challenge and discovered more about Deloitte.  

Through our WorldClass focus we are making an impact that matters for girls throughout the year. By supporting more women and girls to study STEM subjects, and pursue STEM careers, that impact can last throughout their professional lives.

Key contacts

Sinead Gogan

Chief Human Resources Officer