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Inspirefest 2017 and women in technology

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As per the company diversity data reports 2015, only 21% women were in the tech roles in pinterest and apple, 19% in intel, 18% in Google and Linkedin, 13% and 16% in twitter and Facebook. However, for 2016 the numbers changed to 17% in pinterest, 28% in apple, 19% in intel, 24% in Google, 35% in Linkedin, 30% in Twitter and 27% in Facebook.

And the 2016 numbers for senior investment leadership in US VC industry demographic composition shows that only 7% women are in the VC roles. These numbers clearly show the role of women in tech and how much more need to be done to improve these numbers.

The Inspirefest-2017 conference, an international festival celebrating technology, science, design and arts kicked-off on Thursday with inspiring speeches from women in technology. The highlight was the speech by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar wherein he stressed upon the role of women in the field of science and technology.

“This event is something special. In contrast to most science and technology conferences, 75% of the speakers here are women, as are 65% of attendees. And that should be a usual thing. This diverse and inclusive participation in any event should not be something remarkable, but should be something normal. But it’s not and for that reason we can’t become complacent about driving change. Diversity makes a better and more productive science and technology sector, not only in Ireland but entire world,” said An Taoiseach.

 

“There’s much creativity and wonder to be found in the study of science. The problem is sometimes we close our eyes to imagination and wonder. Inspirefest shows us what can be achieved if we don’t limit ourselves in any way,” he added.

 

The other women speakers at the conference included Niamh Shaw, where she spoke about her journey from feeling lost, at a point in life, to exploring the pursuit of lifelong dreams, presenting her work in theatrical and other publicly engaged platforms. Shaw was recently voted one of Ireland’s top 10 science communicators.

 

Dr Sue Black OBE, founder of techmoms shared her experience. How the education and technology helped her to get her life back together after spending 6 months in female refuge with her kids. “I went to various tech conferences in my early career days and there were only lots of guys and very few women participants. I wanted to change that and do something for women in UK. I set up UK’s first online network in computing for women. In the beginning I was scared but I pushed myself. You got to change yourself to get where you want to be,” said Black.

 

Inspirefest is not only about science and technology. It’s about exploring the opportunities around us, learning something new and to disrupt ourselves to do something new.

 

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Neha Katoch

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