The 7th meeting of the INGENIC network was held on the 8th of February 2021. Due to the government restrictions in place as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was held on Zoom. Representatives from TCD, IADT, UCD, TU Dublin City Centre, TU Dublin Tallaght, MU, CIT, LyIT, DkIT, WIT, GMIT, UCC, IT Tralee, IT Carlow and LIT were in attendance. Vivek Nallur from UCD and Robert O’Connor from WIT joined us for the first time and we welcome them to the network.
This meeting was largely concerned with the HEA Gender Equality Enhancement Fund 2020 and two projects in particular that successfully received funding. Anne Wright from IADT outlined the project plan for “INGENIC: the Collective Voice for Gender Equality in Computing”; she put out a call for assistance and will be in touch with the network for volunteers and feedback as the project progresses. Sarah Jane Delaney from TU Dublin told us about the “Techmate” project which secured funding to research, develop and evaluate a toolkit of best practice techniques and methods for recruiting and retaining female students on technology-focussed programmes.
Sarah Jane also outlined the workings of the EU COST Action on the EU Network for Gender Balance in Informatics, https://edmedia.rise.org.cy/eugain/, she is involved in and promoted the possibility of COST-funded “Short Term Scientific Missions”.
Catherine O’Connor, Education Consultant, https://www.catherineoconnor.ie/, then made a presentation on Addressing the Gender Divide in Computer Science. This was based on a presentation she made to the Third Level Computing Forum in January 2014 where she outlined the results of her research into the perceptions that girls have of a career in Computer Science. Generally it was felt that these perceptions were still in evidence but there may be some positive news to report based on recent research carried out by Brett Becker and Keith Quille regarding the Leaving Certificate Computer Science course. It was suggested that we invite Brett and Keith to update us on their findings at the next meeting.