DIT mentoring programme for female STEM students

By Gemma Creagh - Last update

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Ninety female students of Engineering and Computer Science in DIT will get the opportunity to be mentored by top women professionals from major multinational and Irish companies as part of the DIT ESTeEM Mentoring Programme.

DIT ESTeEM (Equality in Science and Technology by Engaged Engineering Mentoring) aims to attract and retain more women in STEM courses and careers.

Leslie Shoemaker, Programme Facilitator in the DIT College of Engineering and Built Environment started ESTeEM in 2017 to provide an extra layer of support for female Engineering students because there are so few women in that industry. “Due to its success, we are including students from Computer Science this year. Students who participated on the programme last year reported feeling more confident and having an increased understanding of their industry and the career opportunities available to them. They really valued meeting with other female students in their field. We hope the networks they build will help them thrive and succeed in college and beyond.”

STEM Students Responses

Aisling Lee, who participated on the programme last year and has since graduated from DIT, gave a glowing report, “I learned so much from my mentors and my peers. I got lots of interview tips and guidance in soft skills and engineering practices. It helped me get a job as a Business and Integration Architect at a leading company, Accenture, on graduation from DIT last year.”

Leanne Dicker, another DIT graduate who recently took up a position as a Design Engineer at Arup, says, “ESTeEM introduced me to female role models in engineering who offered fantastic guidance and support. I loved how it brought women engineers together to encourage the growth of gender balance in STEM subjects and in the workplace.”

Meda Sigeikina will give a talk at the first event on Monday 22 October on how your goals lead your life journey. Meda, a third-year student in DIT who participated on ESTeEM last year, is the recipient of the Schneider Electric scholarship, which aims to encourage female enrolment in engineering courses in DIT.
Over forty mentors will take part from across the five companies – Arup, ESB, MasterCard, SAP and Schneider Electric – all of whom completed a mentor training session this September led by Engineers Ireland.

About ESTeEM

This year, ESTeEM is also expanding to secondary schools. Building ESTeEM, a half-day workshop which will take place on November 7 in DIT, will bring professional women mentors from Arup together with transition and fifth year female students from DIT partner schools including Mount Carmel Secondary School, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount and Mercy Secondary School. The participating students will be invited to apply for a one-week work placement in Arup.


Edith Blennerhassett, Director at Arup, commented, “I’m looking forward to taking part in the ESTeEM programme again this year. This great initiative allows me to share my experiences and answer the students’ questions about what it is like to work in STEM. Sharing real world examples of some of the exciting work engineers do, as well as the impacts we can have, e.g. improving people’s living standards and reducing the impact of climate change, helps the students to imagine the kind of work they might become involved in once they complete their studies.”

Eszter Kortvelyesi, a BMS Project Engineer for Schneider Electric who is beginning her second year as a mentor on the ESTeEM Programme, says, “I had a fantastic experience on a mentoring programme at Schneider Electric, a company that values diversity and inclusion as integral to their culture and success. It reassured my own career path and it inspired me to get involved with ESTeEM. I’ll be continuing conversations with my mentees from last year, and meeting new talented young women who are joining the programme this year. I hope I can make a difference in their lives and guide them on their career paths by sharing my own experiences as a professional Engineer.”


Gemma Creagh

Holistic College Dublin Information Evening
WIT Open Days 2018


  1. Inboarding 09/06/2019 at 21:52

    Great to see soo many initiatives to bring equality in Science and Technology! Congratulations for the ESTeEM Programme


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