Celebrating Belonging with IdeasLab in Druid Theatre on International Women’s Day:

University of Galway’s IdeasLab commemorated International Women’s Day with a captivating event at the Druid Theatre in the heart of Galway City. Themed “Belonging,” the gathering featured an inspiring array of speakers and panellists, highlighting the distinct journeys and experiences of women in Ireland while championing inclusivity and equality. Pictured: Emer O'Neill with participants of IdeasLab's CreateHER programme for female undergradute students.
Mar 11 2024 Posted: 11:46 GMT

On Friday, 8 March 2024, the University of Galway's IdeasLab celebrated International Women's Day with a special event in the heart of Galway City in the Druid Theatre. The event, themed "Belonging," brought together a diverse lineup of speakers and panellists to highlight the unique experiences and journeys of women in Ireland, as well as to promote inclusivity and equality.

Keynote speaker Emer O’Neill, a well-known presenter and advocate, led an engaging discussion with a panel of female students from IdeasLab's CreateHER programme. The panel delved into the multifaceted experiences of women in Ireland, inspiring thought-provoking conversations and reflections.

The event also featured the comedic stylings of Áine Gallagher, bringing laughter and light-heartedness to the occasion. Dr. Helen Maher, Vice President for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Galway shared her insights and perspectives on fostering inclusivity and equality in higher education and the important role we have in society for society.

The event marked the final celebration of the CreateHER programme, a pioneering initiative that empowers and supports female undergraduate students to explore and consider innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The programme achieves this through round table workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities, which has since its launch early in 2022, created a vibrant community of empowered and skilled future female leaders and innovators.

The participants involved in the CreateHER programme also have the unique opportunity to shadow and learn from influential female leaders in various industries, underscoring the programme's commitment to providing practical guidance and real-world experience from all sectors across our city and region.

The message is that by empowering and supporting each other as women from diverse backgrounds and experiences, these young women will build a network of support that will grow with them as they progress in life.  A belief that reaffirms the University of Galway's commitment to nurturing a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for all.

Jenny Mullery, Head of Engagement for IdeasLab said, “This is our 3rd iteration of CreateHer. Taking the feedback from the participants and contributors, the programme is growing and going from strength to strength. Providing undergraduates with the opportunity to connect with themselves, industry and the community is vital to give them the confidence to be the innovators and leaders in their chosen fields. 

Speaking of the event theme and the CreateHER programme, Emer O’Neill said, "Ní neart go cur le chéile, with unity comes strength and more than ever before we need to remind each other to be kind and share love and positivity".

CreateHER is funded by the Higher Education Authority 

Photo by Andrew Downes, Xposure.


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