Tuesday 25 June 2019

'Only when we value difference can innovation truly flourish' - Microsoft to support Ireland’s first Hopper Local event

Cathriona Hallahan
Cathriona Hallahan
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The importance of women holding positions of leadership and influence in tech is being highlighted at a one-day event in Dublin.

Microsoft will be hosting the inaugural Hopper Local at its new Leopardstown campus to support the inclusion of women in the sector.

Ireland's tech leaders from giants including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, and SAP will be in attendance.

The Hopper Local is designed after the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), the world's largest gathering of women technologists.

Panels addressing diversity in the sector, with a focus on software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, AI, and inclusive design will feature at the conference.

Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft, and global advocate for women in tech, Peggy Johnson will give the keynote address.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director at Microsoft Ireland said that the first Hopper Local here celebrates women who are blazing a trail in Ireland’s ICT sector.

"The variety of voices at the event speaks to the importance of seeking out perspectives that are different from our own. For only when we value difference can innovation truly flourish," she said.

Meanwhile, more than 6,000 transition year girls have attended 'I Wish' events in Cork and Dublin to promote Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers.

'I Wish' co-founder Caroline O'Driscoll said Ireland has made major strides in encouraging women to enter the greater science field, but more remains to be done.

"Employment within the general Stem field here in Ireland is around 25pc for women," she said.

"A survey has indicated that 60pc (of students) change their subject choices after attending here."

The first Grace Hopper Local Dublin is being supported locally by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stripe, Science Foundation Ireland, and SAP.

It will take place on February 27 in One Microsoft Place, Leopardstown.

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