Published: Mon, 11 February 2019
MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has called for strengthened efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in science.
Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science today, the Kerry MEP outlined the importance of eliminating stereotypes that could prevent women seeking out careers in key growth sectors:
“In a survey of over 2,200 Transition Year students in Ireland, 59 per cent of girls said they did not know enough about STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Unfortunately, this is also reflected in global standards, where less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women and under one-third of all female students choose STEM-related fields in higher education.”
“This is something we really must address as it could lead to huge missed opportunities for Ireland. Women should be encouraged to pursue careers in these sectors where female voices and ideas are sorely lacking.”
“Even today, in 2019, women and girls are still excluded from participating fully in science. As a former teacher, I believe it is crucial that young girls are well informed of the vast learning opportunities and potential careers available for STEM students. These careers are still associated with men and this needs to change.”
“Diversity across all sectors promotes innovation and productivity. We have to prioritise support for young women to pursue careers in science, and ensure effective communication of the opportunities that are there for them. More women graduates in science enhances our workforce and encourages investment in Ireland”, he concluded.