Johnson & Johnson expands WiSTEM2D programme to Munster Technological University

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) today announces the expansion of its WiSTEM2D programme in partnership with Munster Technological University (MTU).

WiSTEM2D stands for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design. The aim of the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D undergraduate programme is to inspire and support more women to pursue a career in STEM after university and increase female representation in the STEM2D workforce.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) courses are growing in popularity. The CSO has reported that Ireland has a much higher level of STEM graduates when compared with other EU nations, 35% for Ireland compared to an EU average of 19%.  However, there is still a disparity between the amount of CAO applications from males and females, with females recording fewer applications. According to the Higher Education Authority, 1 in 3 students on STEM courses in third level identify as female.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, and University of Galway in 2021, supporting more than 300 female students over the last 6 years.

“We are excited to be expanding our WiSTEM2D programme to Munster Technological University this year. Johnson & Johnson has a proud history in Cork, and we are firm believers in working with our educational partners to create a talent pipeline for the future,” said Anna Rafferty, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D University Lead and Director of Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland. “We recognise that we have a part to play in ensuring a fairer representation for women in STEM fields. This is why we have developed the WiSTEM2D programme, to build a diverse STEM community that reflects the great diverse aspects of society, by supporting and nurturing women studying in STEM”.

Professor Maggie Cusack, President of Munster Technological University, said: “We are delighted to further our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson through the introduction of the WiSTEM²D programme. At Munster Technological University, we are committed to nurturing inclusivity, diversity, and equality, and we wholly support efforts to increase the number of female undergraduates in STEM²D. We currently have several campaigns underway to promote female participation in our science and engineering courses. These serve as a beacon of change and encouragement to women to become involved in STEM academically and professionally.”

“Munster Technological University and Johnson & Johnson have a long-standing relationship through facilitating work placements, projects and scholarships, with many graduates going on to pursue rewarding careers at the company. We are delighted to launch this initiative, not just as a great opportunity for the recipients, but also to promote STEM²D to all female students considering a degree at Munster Technological University,” said Professor Cusack.

Katie O’Brien participated in the WiSTEM2D programme whilst studying in University College Cork. Speaking about the impact it has made on her career, Katie said: “Support and guidance is at the core of the programme. My mentor was able to give me an insight into the industry, offer advice as I explored my career options in STEM, and was always available to answer any questions that I had. The WiSTEM2D programme has had a major impact on the early stages of my career, and I couldn’t recommend it enough to any women in STEM-related courses.”

Applications for the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programmes are now open to female students of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design subjects entering their second, third or fourth year of studies 2022/2023 within Munster Technological University. Eligible students are asked to submit their application by Friday, 14th October 2022.

To learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2D programme, click here.