Building on the Legacy of ITWales, we held the annual International Women’s Day Celebration event on Monday 8 March 2021.
We are proud to have hosted this year’s virtual event for International Women’s Day, welcoming over 100 participants to the celebration. The evening has become a regular feature on the Welsh social calendar, with guests usually travelling from all parts of the country to attend. Although this year looked slightly different, we made the most of the technology available to us and hosted a webinar.
This year was the 21st anniversary of the event which focuses on women in STEM. The theme was Choosing to Challenge: Gender Equality in STEM. Guest speakers included:
– Kirsty Williams MS, Welsh Government Education Minister
– Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK and Co-Chair of the Institute of Coding
– Gwen Parry-Jones OBE, CEO of Magnox Ltd
– Nia M Davies, Head of Education at BBC Cymru Wales
To start the evening, we heard from our very own Delivery Officers Nia, Rama, Lauren, Catherine, Teri and Laura who discussed their experiences as women in STEM and how they think we can challenge the status quo.
“If you want to change the world, get into Tech” – Dr Catherine Teehan, Technocamps
Kirsty Williams MS discussed the future of education in Wales and how we can build back better in a post-COVID Wales:
“We have made great strides to adjust gender equality in STEM… but we’ve still got an awful long way to go and a lot to do”
Jacqueline de Rojas’s talk highlighted achievements of women in STEM, how far gender equality has come and how far it has to go:
“If you think that diversity doesn’t matter or that it’s not your problem to solve, choose a career in technology, in computer science, in digital so that you can become part of the solution.”
Gwen Parry-Jones gave us a lesson in Nuclear Physics, stereotyping and the importance of gender equality:
“Diversity and inclusion is not an option, it is an absolute imperative.”
We finished the evening with an inspirational session from Nia M Davies, who discussed her career path and the challenge of creating engaging and informative content for Wales’s children during the lockdown:
“Making the best possible content for learners with the aim of transforming their lives is a responsibility I feel privileged to have.”
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Annually, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world including political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events.
This event was made possible thanks to funding from the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund.