THE March ‘Cork Persons of the Month’ are the three social entrepreneurs and prominent Cork businesswomen - Ruth Buckley, Gillian Keating, and Caroline O'Driscoll.
The trio had the vision to establish I Wish - Inspiring Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) - to encourage female secondary school students to pursue careers in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has been recognised.
Founded in 2014, I Wish is an initiative that combines the very best of industry, academia and the public sector, in order to inspire and encourage young female students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.
The businesswomen were motivated by the challenges being faced by multi-national and indigenous businesses in accessing a steady supply of STEM graduates in the Cork region.
From the very first I Wish event in 2015, the initiative has grown exponentially.
To date, more than 7,000 students have participated in the events in Cork and Dublin, while campus days have expanded the reach of the event further over the past three years.
Thanks to the support of Cork and Dublin based local authorities, together with a number of other sponsors, the award-winning I Wish initiative expanded to take in a national footprint in 2017 at the RDS, Dublin, ensuring that as many female students as possible are able to explore the exciting opportunities of a career in STEM.
Each I Wish event features a conference and interactive showcase exhibitions, all within a supportive, holistic environment. It combines talks and interaction with female role models and mentors, where industry experts engage directly with the students opening up a world of opportunities to them.
‘Cork Person of the Year’ Awards Organiser, Manus O’Callaghan, said: “I’m delighted to announce that Ruth, Gillian and Caroline have been acknowledged for their vision in setting up the I Wish initiative and their dedication to encouraging young female students to consider a career in a STEM. Despite having extremely demanding careers themselves, these three business leaders and social entrepreneurs are committed to shaping and nurturing the next generation of highly educated, highly motivated, young women.”
Ruth Buckley is Head of ICT & Business Services at Cork City Council, while Gillian Keating is a partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn, and Caroline O'Driscoll is a partner at KPMG.