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Exciting to see more women at GSE!

By Aileen Wynne, Women in STEM Chairperson
It started with a chat.  Four of us, conversing at a vendor stand reminiscing about earlier GSE conferences.  We were discussing our first experiences of the conference, how there used to be only one or two women most years, and how it often felt like you were the only woman in the room – because you were.

Somebody remarked on how far things had come and how amazing it was that we were four women chatting at the stand.  I pointed out that, not only that, but we were from four different organisations.  My company had sent four women in their delegation of five people.

Just then, we were joined by some friends and suddenly we were six women standing together talking at a booth at GSE from four different companies.  Wow, six of us….

“This needs to be recorded, we need to get a photograph,” said Resli Costabell.

“Let’s go and stand in front of the z16 for a background,” said Marna Walle.

“I see Michelle over there, let’s grab her as well,” said Una Cosgrave.

Someone suggested making it bigger, so I went around the room and suggested to the women I saw that they join us for a photograph. It was just a quick and handy spur of the moment thing. Three minutes later when I returned to the z16… Oh my goodness, the crowd…

Initially, there was this crowd of women standing in front of the z16, waiting for the photograph. (Marna was marshalling everybody and not allowing anyone to leave until I had returned.) Martin Packer was using Marna’s phone to take the photograph, but by the time I arrived back not only were there many women in front of the z16, but there was also a wall of men taking photos.

As the photos were taken and some of the women started to disperse, we heard a couple of voices came from the other side of the room. ‘What about us?’  We awaited the arrival of yet more women. Another set of photographs was taken, with some of the same bodies and some different. This is how we came to have the photographs of some – not all – but some of the eighty-four women who attended GSE-UK 2022.

Aileen Wynne is a Mainframe Systems Programmer at AIB and Women in STEM Chairperson for the GSE UK Conference

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