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I Wish Partnership

Providing young women with future employment opportunities by encouraging them to choose STEM careers

As part of our WorldClass ambition, we became the platinum top-tier sponsor of I Wish, a volunteer led community committed to showcasing the power of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to teenage girls globally, that was co-founded by our own inspirational tax partner, Caroline O’Driscoll. As platinum sponsor, we run a variety of activities with I Wish to encourage young women to consider STEM careers. 

Deloitte, I Wish Mentoring Programme

- 180 days to Make a Difference

Research carried out by I Wish found that 77% of girls lack confidence in their ability in STEM subjects and 78% of girls see lack of STEM subject choices in their school as a barrier to a career in STEM;  and "65% said that access to STEM mentoring programmes would improve their confidence and help them pursue a career in STEM".

Furthermore, according to the 2021 Higher Education Authority (HEA) report, dropout rates for some computing and engineering third level courses were between 60% and 80%.

With that in mind, in October 2021, we launched our first “180 days to make a difference” mentoring programme, to support students in University College Cork, University of Limerick, and TU Dublin to remain in their courses and inspire them to pursue a STEM career. 

Designed in collaboration with I Wish, the mentoring programme aims to connect today’s women in STEM with tomorrow’s future leaders. We paired Deloitte volunteers with I Wish alumni who are now studying STEM university courses.  

Over six months, the programme mentors met monthly with the mentees to provide guidance on their university journey and discuss the key challenges and opportunities facing the students. Mentors also discuss future career paths with the mentees, offering them a new perspective on their future. 

In addition, mentees gained access to an exclusive network of peers, allowing them to share experiences and learn from others on the programme. They also benefited from workshops delivered by Deloitte experts on areas such as CV and cover letters, business chemistry as well as the opportunity to hear from senior STEM leaders who provided career inspiration. 

The first programme involved 13 pairs of mentors and mentees and feedback from both has been fantastic.

“A big thank you to Deloitte for a hugely helpful and interesting 180 days…I’m so grateful to have been part of this terrific initiative from Deloitte and I Wish, thank you to everyone involved! All of you have played a part in my future, which begins today, having just finished my final semester in my #STEM degree of Maths and Computing Science…. Now I get to put that CV building into action!”

- Mentoring programme participant 

“Earlier this year I took part in the I Wish Deloitte mentorship. I am very thankful for this opportunity … It really helped me as I lacked confidence in my future as a woman in science. I have also learned about what a great company Deloitte is and hope to work there one day. Thank you again for all your hard work in promoting women in STEM.”

- Mentoring programme participant 

Showcase Event

In February 2022, I Wish hosted its eighth annual showcase event, with Deloitte providing sponsorship and content support. 

The virtual format allowed students from across the world tune in, making it the most viewed event in the organisation’s history with 17,036 viewers across 28 countries, including schools from every county in the Republic of Ireland. 

The jam-packed day featured over 70 inspirational female STEM leaders including our very own line up of Deloitte STEM heroes: Róisín Ní Chúlacháin who discussed her unconventional route into STEM; and Deloitte mentors, Julieanne Fleming, Tara Reilly and Lisa O’Grady who were joined by their mentees to discuss the importance of having access to female role models.

Through our collaboration with Team Ireland, Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey team member and world cup silver medallist Nicci Daly joined as a guest to discuss her own journey through mechanical engineering and establishing a Formula Female all-female racing team. Nicci spoke passionately about how STEM subjects can ultimately lay a path for turning a passion into a career.

TY Week

In March 2022 Deloitte facilitated an I Wish Transition Year programme for the second time for students from the I Wish network interested in learning more about Deloitte’s business and the STEM careers available with the firm. Spaces were limited to 50 female participants with 28% assigned to DEIS schools. The aim of the weeklong virtual programme was to progress gender equality in the STEM space and was anchored by our five core values: lead the way, serve with integrity, take care of each other, foster inclusion, and collaborate for measurable impact.

I thought it was a great experience and was very well organized. It was the best online programme I have done, very efficient. The facilitator was a great host and there was great knowledge shared.

- TY programme participant  

With women playing a fundamental role in the guardianship of our society, their participation is crucial in developing the solutions and technologies that will help to shape the society of the future. Without a balance of voices and perspectives across the board and indeed, at the most senior levels of discussion, what kind of future are we building? Are we developing a future that meets the needs of all the inhabitants of our planet, or fewer than half of them? This, to me, is at the heart of why it is so important to encourage greater female participation in STEM

- Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland

Key Contacts

Claire Dunne

Head of Social Impact