Two students from Cork will travel to the US after winning an intensive executive mentorship programme with the leadership of tech firm Park Place Technologies.
Emma Brennan, from CIT and Amy Dolan from UCC, who both graduate in 2021, were chosen from entrants across Ireland to win a 10-day placement with Park Place Technologies in Boston, Massachusetts and Cleveland, Ohio, where they will participate in training to develop their leadership skills.
The competition is in partnership with I Wish, the Cork-founded initiative designed to teach young women more about career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The competition was open to all college students who had previously attended an I Wish event.
Ms Dolan said: "The theory you learn at college is, of course, important, but this will give me the opportunity to experience first-hand what a career in STEM is really like."
Ms Brennan said: "I hope I will look back on this moment in the years to come as the catalyst for my career in STEM."
I Wish co-founder Caroline O'Driscoll said the partnership was a chance for the initiative "to support these girls as they enter STEM courses in college and onwards into the workplace".
Founded in 1991, Park Place Technologies provides maintenance for IT data centres.
It opened an EMEA operations centre in Cork last November, with 70 jobs to be created over two years. The firm's services are spread across 55,000 data centres in more than 141 countries.
"The lack of female participation in STEM means we are leaving 50% of our talent pool behind,” said Jennifer Deutsch, chief marketing officer at Park Place Technologies.
“The opportunity for women in Irish and global STEM careers is unlimited. As a leader in our field, we believe we have a responsibility to help address this imbalance and this is one of the key reasons why we set up this initiative in partnership with the IDA and I Wish.
“We are confident this initiative will foster STEM ambitions among Ireland’s young women.”