Dublin, January 14th, 2020: CWIT has welcomed the findings of the winning project announced at last week’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, both aged 16, from Coláiste Choilm, Cork, scooped the top award at the 56th Exhibition for their project, titled A statistical investigation into the prevalence of gender stereotyping in 5-7 year olds and the development of an initiative to combat gender bias”
Head Judge of the Social and Behavioural Sciences Group category, Professor Joe Barry said about Cormac and Alan’s project, “Despite awareness of the lower percentage of females relative to males pursuing study and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), we still do not understand exactly why this is the case. Cormac and Alan’s findings are important as intervention typically focusses on girls, but the project recognises the need to focus on all children, boys and girls, from a young age, in order to combat the development of gender stereotyping.”
Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland, the organiser behind the Exhibition, and active CWIT members, commended the research saying, ‘Technology companies have long struggled to address the gender gap that exists in cultivating a balanced workforce and it is for this reason that we all work together under the umbrella of CWIT to address this issue.
What is evidenced in the programmes CWIT supports such as Digital Futures Teen Turn and the BT Young Scientist Exhibition; is that we need to educate young females at an early age to help them see that STEM is not just for boys and ensure that they are afforded the same encouragement and education for STEM subjects that their male counterparts get. This research shows that gender stereotyping is happening even at an earlier age and it is inspiring to see young people like Cormac and Alan addressing this. I’m something we all, as parents and employers have a responsibility to combat this issue.”
CWIT also had stand at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, which welcomed in the region of 50,000 visitors over three days. It was an opportunity to highlight CWIT’s key programmes to a captive audience, including the STEM teacher internship, Digital Futures, Teen Turn, Tech Starter and membership opportunities in CWIT. For further information on CWIT visit www.cwit.ie