Representatives from some of the country's largest technology brands met today at Google HQ for the annual Connecting Women in Technology CEO Forum. 

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the progress that CWiT has made in attracting, retaining and promoting women in the technology sector and to address the gender gap that exists within this community

Over the past 12 months, in addition to their own diversity and inclusion programmes, CWiT member companies have undertaken a range of activities to specifically tackle some of the issues that member companies are facing in recruiting skilled females to their organisations.

One such issue is the number of women who begin a STEM related course at third level, such as engineering, but drop out prior to completing their studies or end up not pursuing a career in their chosen subject. One recent study has found that 40% of female engineering graduates never continue on to pursue careers in that field and there are similar figures in relation to other STEM related courses. This prompted CWiT to launch Tech Starter earlier this year; an initiative which involves working with Irish universities to encourage and motivate students in technology related courses to continue with their studies and career path into STEM related professions.

CWIT spokesperson and strategy lead Eimear Michaels said the energy and engagement in today’s session validates the commitment that exists amongst members to attract, retain and promote more women in the technology sector to the benefit of businesses and society.

CWIT was founded by Dell EMC, Microsoft and Accenture in 2011 to bring together technology companies with the vision of "connecting and supporting the development of women in the technology industry, now and for the future". Since then, CWIT has grown to 19 member companies, including BT Ireland, Dropbox, Eir, Ericsson, EY, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Linkedin, New Relic, Twitter, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Xilinx.