International Women’s Day on March 8 offered companies an unmissable opportunity to talk about and celebrate gender diversity in the workplace.
Clinical diagnostic firm Beckman Coulter, based at Callaghan’s Mills in Co Clare, used the occasion to highlight a new partnership with a local secondary school – St Joseph’s.
Female scientists from the US-owned company joined forces with St Joseph’s Science and Maths Teacher Mairéad O’Brien to organise a visit by female students to the Beckman Coulter site.
The school and Beckman Coulter collaborated on an all-female mentoring programme called GiftED that encourages interest and careers in STEM subjects.
Women and girls were soon swapping their own stories about science and their own achievements – St Joseph’s was a finalist in this year’s BT Young Scientist event while Beckman Coulter makes world-leading medical products and boasts a gender balanced workplace, with a 54pc female to 46pc male ratio at the site.
StoryLab worked with Beckman Coulter to get the story out to local and national media, organising a photocall and ensuring that the company was in the #BalanceForBetter conversation around International Women’s Day.
The story, as well as the firm’s involvement in the Limerick For Engineering event at Shannon airport, landed in key local media including the Clare Champion and Clare Herald. A story and picture were also featured by the Irish Independent.
Teacher Mairéad O’Brien said the collaborative initiative with Beckman Coulter would allow students to experience first-hand what a career in the technology, maths and science sector holds.
“The GiftED programme is aimed at first and second-year students and it hopes to have a profound influence in encouraging more female students to opt for science-based subjects at senior cycle which in turn will hopefully lead them to opt for third-level courses in this field,” she said.
It’s definitely a win in our book for both school and business.