I WISH is a Cork initiative to inspire, encourage and motivate young secondary school female students to pursue careers in STEM. The I WISH Conference is an annual event and is in its second year. The conference also features workshops, interactive exhibitions, daily keynotes and engaging talks by women who are at the top of their field in STEM. I WISH 2016 involved 2,000 students over a 2 day period in Cork City Hall on the 11th and 12th February. The ambition of the I WISH initiative is to increase female entrants to third-level courses in STEM by 30% by 2020.
The event is multi-sponsored with backers from across the Cork region, including Cork Chamber, IT@Cork, and Cork City Council, supported by Dell, Cork County Council, University College Cork (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). The initiative was co-founded in 2014 by three Cork business women – Ruth Buckley, head of ICT and business services at Cork City Council, Gillian Keating, a partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors and Caroline O’Driscoll, a partner KPMG and vice-chair of IT@Cork.