As companies work hard to stay competitive and provide exceptional experiences to their clients, the need for skilled staff in business support and customer service keeps growing. In this article, we'll look at the important skills businesses are looking for.1. Great CommunicationWhether you're talking or writing, it's vital to be clear. Nowadays, good communication also means being good with digital tools. Employers want people who can talk professionally with colleagues, clients, and customers, making sure everyone gets the right information.Top Tip for interviews: Prepare examples that highlight your proficiency in clear and effective communication. Share instances where you successfully conveyed complex information to non-technical stakeholders. 2. Problem Solving AcumenIn the world of business, problems come up all the time. The ability to think on your feet and adapt to unforeseen circumstances showcases your commitment to delivering results.Top Tip for Interviews: Prepare specific anecdotes showcasing your problem-solving skills. Describe situations where you identified a challenge, analysed options, and implemented a successful solution. 3. Technological ProficiencyFamiliarity with various software, tools, and platforms can significantly enhance your employability. Things like customer relationship systems, project management tools, and data analysis software are just a few examples of technologies that are becoming increasingly integral to business operations. Embracing technology shows you're ready to work in a modern business.Top Tip for your C.V: List the software, applications, and tools you are proficient in on your C.V. Make sure to also include any certifications or trainings related to these technologies on your LinkedIn profile. 4. Adaptability and FlexibilityThe Irish business landscape is always changing, which is why being flexible is so important. Companies want people who can handle change, learn fast, and switch things up when they need to. Being open to new challenges and being willing to upskill can set you apart in a competitive job market.Top tip for your C.V.: On your CV, talk about times when you changed and helped your team or company grow. For interviews, give examples of when you tried new things or took on jobs that weren't easy for you. Show your ability to thrive in dynamic environments. 5. Speaking Other LanguagesIreland’s strategic position in the European Union has led to an influx of international businesses and customers. If you know languages like Spanish, French, or German, this can be a significant advantage. It means you can talk to more people and understand more clients Multilingualism showcases your cultural awareness and ability to engage with a diverse audience.Top Tip for your C.V: Include a section that highlights your language proficiencies and any experiences where you effectively used them in a professional setting. 6. Being Kind and Focused on CustomersFor jobs where you help customers, being kind is important. If you know what customers want and care about their problems, they'll like your company more. Companies value candidates who prioritize customer-centricity, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and long-term success.Top Tip for Interviews: Share stories of how your empathy positively influenced customer interactions, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and/or conflict resolution.7. Time Management and OrganisationKnowing how to use your time well and organise things can make you get more done. From arranging meetings to handling administrative responsibilities, these skills demonstrate your capability to juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines consistently.Top Tip for interviews: Provide examples of how your strong time management skills helped you meet tight deadlines or manage multiple projects simultaneously. As the business world in Ireland keeps changing, the demand for proficient business support and customer service professionals remains steady. Cultivating these in-demand skills not only increases your employability but also positions you as an asset to your employer. Whether you're already experienced or just starting out, getting good at these skills can help you find great jobs and help Irish businesses grow, even when they're competing with companies from all around the world. At Sigmar, we're committed to connecting top talent with businesses seeking excellence in business support and customer service. Get in touch to explore how we can help you thrive in these exciting fields. Email your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out current jobs here
Receiving news that you didn't secure a college place through the CAO can be disappointing and even overwhelming. However, it's essential to remember that setbacks are a natural part of life's journey. Instead of dwelling on the disappointment, consider this as an opportunity to explore alternative paths and make the most out of the situation. In this guide, we'll provide valuable insights and actionable steps to help CAO students in Ireland navigate the uncertainty and turn this setback into a steppingstone towards a bright future.1. Stay Positive and Manage Emotions:Disappointment is natural, but it's crucial not to let it consume you. Give yourself permission to feel the emotions, but also work on maintaining a positive attitude. Engage in activities that make you happy, talk to friends and family for support, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments. A positive mindset will help you approach the next steps with determination.2. Consider Alternative Educational Paths:Not getting into your desired college doesn't mean the end of your educational journey. Look into alternative educational paths, such as enrolling in a different college or university, pursuing online courses, or considering vocational training. Many successful individuals have taken unconventional routes and still achieved their goals.3. Seek Guidance and Support:Don't hesitate to seek guidance from mentors, teachers, career counsellors, or recruitment agencies. They can provide insights into potential opportunities that align with your interests and skills. 4. Reflect and Re-evaluate: Take this time to reflect on your academic and career goals. Is your chosen path truly aligned with your passions and ambitions? Use this setback as an opportunity to re-evaluate your aspirations and make any necessary adjustments to your plans.5. Upskill and Enhance Your Profile:Consider using this time to enhance your skill set. Take online courses, pursue certifications, or engage in relevant projects that will bolster your resume. This proactive approach not only adds value to your profile but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.6. Develop a Plan B:It's always a good idea to have a backup plan. Research industries and roles that are in demand and have a promising future. This might involve exploring emerging fields like technology, healthcare, or sustainable energy. Having a well-thought-out Plan B can help you feel more secure in your career prospects.7. Embrace Resilience:Resilience is a valuable trait that can help you navigate setbacks and emerge stronger. Remember that setbacks are temporary, and your ability to overcome challenges will define your success. Embrace the journey, learn from your experiences, and use them to fuel your determination.Not receiving a college place from the CAO might feel like a setback, but it's important to view it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. By understanding your options, staying positive, seeking guidance, and exploring alternative paths, you can turn this moment of disappointment into a steppingstone toward a fulfilling and successful future. Remember, your journey is unique, and the setbacks you encounter can shape you into a stronger, more resilient individual.
As the results of the Leaving Cert exams are announced, a new chapter begins for many young individuals. The choices made now can significantly impact their future careers. With the rapidly evolving job market, it's essential to be aware of the in-demand areas that promise exciting opportunities and growth potential. In this article, we'll explore the top industries and fields that are expected to be in high demand in the coming years.1. Technology and IT:In our digital age, technology continues to reshape the world, creating a surging demand for skilled professionals in IT and related fields. From software development and artificial intelligence to cybersecurity and data science, technology-driven roles offer a promising future. To maximize opportunities, consider pursuing courses and certifications that align with the latest tech trends.Average Salary Example: A software developer in Ireland can earn an average salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000 per year, depending on experience and specialization. As of August 2023, Glassdoor states that the average salary for a software developer in Ireland with 2-4 years of experience was €63,006.2. Healthcare and Medical Sciences:The healthcare sector remains a cornerstone of society, and advancements in medical sciences are continuously improving patient care. From medical practitioners and nurses to biotechnologists and medical researchers, the healthcare industry offers diverse roles that are both fulfilling and financially rewarding. Pursuing a career in this sector ensures job stability and a chance to make a positive impact on people's lives.Average Salary Example: Registered nurses in Ireland earn an average annual salary of around €32,000 to €45,000, with opportunities for specialization leading to higher earning potential.3. Renewable Energy and Environmental Sciences:The global push for sustainability has driven the growth of the renewable energy and environmental sectors. As concerns about climate change intensify, professionals in fields such as renewable energy engineering, environmental consultancy, and sustainable urban planning are becoming increasingly vital. These roles contribute to a greener future while offering lucrative career paths.Average Salary Example: Renewable energy engineers in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €35,000 to €55,000, depending on experience and the specific area of expertise.4. E-Commerce and Digital Marketing:The rise of online shopping and digital platforms has transformed the way businesses operate. As a result, e-commerce and digital marketing experts are in high demand. Brands are constantly seeking individuals who can navigate the digital landscape, manage online stores, and create effective marketing campaigns. A solid understanding of e-commerce trends and digital tools is key to excelling in this field.Average Salary Example: Digital marketing managers in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000, based on their level of expertise and the scale of the projects they manage.5. Finance and Fintech:The financial industry continues to evolve with the integration of technology, giving rise to the booming field of fintech (financial technology). Whether it's mobile banking apps, cryptocurrency, or robo-advisors, fintech is reshaping traditional financial services. Pursuing a career in finance or fintech opens doors to roles such as financial analysts, investment advisors, and blockchain developers.Average Salary Example: Financial analysts in Ireland can earn an average annual salary ranging from €40,000 to €60,000, with the potential for higher earnings based on experience and specialization.As Leaving Cert graduates embark on their journey into the professional world, it's crucial to be aware of the industries and fields that offer the best prospects. The future job market is dynamic and ever evolving, driven by technological advancements and societal shifts. By considering the in-demand areas mentioned above and equipping themselves with the necessary skills and qualifications, young individuals can position themselves for success and a rewarding career path.Remember, staying updated with industry trends, continuously learning, and adapting to changes will be key factors in thriving in the competitive job market of the future. Whether it's embracing technology, contributing to sustainability efforts, or shaping the digital landscape, the opportunities are vast for those who are prepared to seize them. Good luck to all Leaving Cert graduates on their exciting journey ahead!
Navigating the journey from graduation to establishing yourself as a seasoned professional can be both exhilarating and challenging. As a graduate, you're entering a dynamic world of opportunities, and a well-defined career path can set you on the right track. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the essential steps to map out your career trajectory. Whether you're a recent graduate or a soon-to-be one, our expert advice will help you transition seamlessly from academia to the professional realm.Self-Assessment and Goal SettingThe first step on your career journey is understanding yourself. What are your strengths, skills, and passions. Take time to reflect on your interests and values, and how they align with potential career paths. At this stage, setting clear and achievable goals is crucial. These goals will act as milestones to help you measure your progress as you advance in your career.Identifying Your Ideal Industry and RoleWith your goals in mind, research various industries and job roles that align with your aspirations. Explore job descriptions, company cultures, and growth prospects. Think about the kind of work environment you thrive in and whether a corporate, creative, or entrepreneurial setting suits you best. Remember to consider industries that are not only appealing but also have promising future prospects.Building a Strong Professional NetworkNetworking is a cornerstone of career advancement. Engage in industry-related events, seminars, and conferences to connect with professionals who can provide insights and mentorship. Social media platforms like LinkedIn can be invaluable for creating a digital professional network. Interact, share relevant content, and reach out to professionals in your desired field to initiate conversations.Acquiring Additional Skills and EducationWhile your academic qualifications provide a foundation, continuous learning is essential in the today’s rapidly evolving job market. Identify skill gaps in your chosen industry and seek opportunities to upskill. This might involve enrolling in workshops, gaining certifications, or engaging in online courses. Demonstrating a commitment to ongoing education showcases your adaptability and determination to excel.Gaining Practical ExperienceSecuring internships, placements, or even temporary entry-level positions can provide valuable hands-on experience. Practical exposure allows you to apply theoretical knowledge, learn from industry experts, and refine your skillset. Many employers value candidates who possess a combination of academic knowledge and real-world application.Crafting an Outstanding CV and Cover LetterYour CV and cover letter are your first impressions on potential employers. Tailor these documents to showcase your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. Highlight projects, internships, and volunteer work that align with the job you're applying for. Incorporate keywords relevant to your desired role to enhance your CVs search engine visibility.Navigating the Interview ProcessMastering the art of interviews is a vital skill. Research common interview questions and practice your responses. Use methods such as the SOAR model (Situation, Obstacle, Action, Result) to structure your answers and provide concrete examples of your abilities. Additionally, prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer to demonstrate your interest and understanding of the company.Embracing Career Growth and AdaptabilityOnce you've secured a job, your journey is far from over. Embrace opportunities for growth within your company and industry. Seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors to continuously improve your skills. Stay informed about industry trends and adapt to changes, positioning yourself as an indispensable asset to your employer.Transitioning from a graduate to a seasoned professional is a rewarding journey that requires careful planning and dedication. By setting clear goals, honing your skills, networking effectively, and maintaining a growth mindset, you can confidently navigate the path to success. Remember that your journey is unique, and each step contributes to your personal and professional growth. At Sigmar, we're here to support you on your journey to a fulfilling and prosperous career.Contact us today to explore opportunities that align with your career aspirations. Our team of experts is dedicated to guiding you every step of the way.
In today's competitive job market, acing an accounting interview requires more than just a strong resume. Employers are looking for candidates who not only possess the necessary technical skills but also demonstrate adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and a proactive approach to challenges. To help you stand out in your next accounting interview, we've compiled a comprehensive guide on showcasing your expertise and nailing those tough questions.1. Showcase Your Software ProficiencyIn today's digital age, proficiency in accounting software is non-negotiable. Familiarise yourself with popular software suites such as QuickBooks, Xero, or SAP. Highlight your ability to navigate these tools effectively, emphasising your experience in managing financial data, generating reports, and streamlining processes. Be ready to provide examples of how you've used these tools to enhance efficiency and accuracy in your previous roles. By showcasing your software proficiency, you demonstrate your adaptability and readiness to leverage technology for better accounting practices. Such skills are invaluable in ensuring accurate and efficient financial management, making you a valuable asset to any organisation.2. Analyse Financial StatementsBefore the interview, thoroughly review the company's financial statements. Demonstrate your understanding of their financial position and discuss how your skills can contribute to their growth. Demonstrating your ability to dive into complex financial statements and extract meaningful insights is crucial. Practice interpreting balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. During the interview, discuss instances where you've identified trends, anomalies, or potential areas for improvement based on your analysis of financial data. Your capacity to understand the story behind the numbers will show your potential employers that you're more than just a numbers cruncher; you're a strategic thinker who can provide valuable insights for decision-making. Effective financial analysis is at the core of informed business decisions, and your skills in this area are indispensable for driving organisational growth.3. Sector and Client Turnover KnowledgeResearch the industry or sector your prospective employer operates in, as well as their clients. Understand the challenges and opportunities specific to that sector. Having a grasp of industry trends and regulations will demonstrate your commitment to providing tailored solutions and will also showcase your willingness to go the extra mile to meet the needs of your clients. By displaying your industry knowledge, you show that you're not just applying generic accounting principles, but you're tailoring your approach to the unique demands of the sector. This knowledge positions you as a proactive partner who can provide targeted financial guidance.4. Highlight Project InvolvementAccounting roles often involve working on various projects, such as audits, mergers, or system implementations. Highlight your experience with these types of projects and your contributions to their success. Discuss your role in coordinating teams, managing timelines, and ensuring that projects are completed within budget. Sharing specific examples will demonstrate your project management skills and ability to work collaboratively. By emphasising your project involvement, you indicate that you're a proactive team player who can handle multifaceted tasks. This skillset is essential for ensuring the seamless execution of projects that have financial implications.5. System Implementation ExpertiseWith businesses increasingly relying on sophisticated accounting systems, your expertise in system implementation can set you apart. Highlight your involvement in migrating accounting processes to new software, integrating systems, or improving existing platforms. Explain how you've helped teams navigate transitions, minimise disruptions, and maximise the benefits of new technologies. By showcasing your system implementation expertise, you exhibit your forward-thinking approach and your role in keeping your organisation technologically up to date. In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, your ability to effectively implement and integrate accounting systems is a significant asset.6. Process Improvement ExperienceEfficiency is the backbone of successful accounting. Share instances where you've identified inefficiencies in accounting processes and implemented improvements. Whether it's streamlining invoice approval workflows or enhancing payroll procedures, your ability to optimise processes will showcase your commitment to continuous improvement and resource optimisation. By discussing your process improvement experience, you convey your proactive nature and your dedication to enhancing operational effectiveness. This attribute resonates with employers seeking candidates who can contribute to long-term efficiency gains.7. Addressing Challenges in the Accounting FieldThe accounting landscape is not without its challenges. Show that you're not only aware of these challenges but also equipped to tackle them head-on. Discuss how you've dealt with issues like regulatory changes, data security concerns, or complex tax situations. Demonstrating your ability to handle adversity with poise and problem-solving skills will inspire confidence in your potential employers. By addressing challenges, you demonstrate your resilience and your capacity to thrive even in dynamic and demanding environments. Your readiness to navigate challenges positions you as a reliable professional who can adapt to evolving financial scenarios.8. Minimising Human ErrorWhile human error is inevitable to some extent, interviewers are interested in candidates who actively take steps to mitigate it. Discuss your attention to detail, your double-checking processes, and your commitment to thorough reviews before finalising financial documents. Highlighting your strategies for minimising errors will reassure interviewers that you prioritise accuracy in your work, ensuring that the integrity of financial information is upheld. In a field where precision is paramount, your dedication to minimising human error underscores your commitment to maintaining the highest standards of accuracy.ConclusionSecuring success in an accountancy interview goes beyond showcasing your technical skills. It involves a comprehensive understanding of the industry, a willingness to take on challenges, and the ability to communicate effectively about your experiences and accomplishments. By following these eight top tips, you'll be well-prepared. Remember, preparation is the key to confidence, and confidence is what will set you apart and lead you towards landing your dream accountancy role. So, step into that interview room armed with knowledge and self-assurance, ready to make a lasting impression that highlights your potential as a valuable asset to any organisation.
With a focus on promoting equality and fairness in the workplace, the European Union has passed the Pay Transparency Directive, which aims to increase the transparency around salaries and existing pay gaps. The directive has significant implications for employers and job seekers alike. Here, we explore the upcoming changes and their potential effects on the employment landscape in Europe.Pay Transparency: Lessons from Finland and the United StatesFinland, known for its unique tradition of ‘National Jealousy Day’, publishes the taxable income of all its citizens on November 1st each year. This annual event is described as an “orgy of financial voyeurism”, which highlights the country’s commitment to transparency. Interestingly, the EU Pay Transparency Directive aligns with Finland’s approach by advocating for greater openness regarding income information.While Finland have been early advocates of pay transparency, the United States has also taken significant strides in this area. Since 2018, various states in the US, including Massachusetts, have implemented equal pay acts that prohibit companies from asking prospective employees about their current salaries. This approach has resulted in companies focusing on offering fair compensation for the role being advertised rather than relying on a candidate’s previous earnings.The Impact of Pay TransparencyOne of the key outcomes of pay transparency is the potential to address pay inequalities. By providing clear salary information, companies can attract more qualified candidates and promote greater equity in compensation. Studies have shown that job advertisements with salary details receive between 20-30% more quality applications, leading to improved hiring outcomes. The EU Pay Transparency Directive requires organisations with more than 250 workers to disclose pay information as part of the recruitment process. This means that candidates will no longer be asked about their current pay to determine job offers. Moreover, employers must provide workers with information on the criteria used to determine pay and pay progression. These measures aim to establish more objective standards for compensation and reduce the influence of previous salaries on job offers. Mike McDonagh, COO of Sigmar Recruitment comments, 'What it's actually done, or what it seems to have done with organisations is that they're now starting to pay people for the role that they're going for, rather than paying people for the role that they had.”Learning from the United States, where pay transparency laws are already in place in several states, organizations may be required to disclose pay bands for different roles and levels. This allows for greater clarity and transparency regarding what individuals should expect in terms of compensation for specific roles, skills, and experience. While the extent of public disclosure remains uncertain, the U.S experience suggests that companies may need to share pay bands or salary ranges, offering a clearer understanding of remuneration across organizations and roles.Benefits and ChallengesThe Pay Transparency Directive brings both benefits and challenges. Greater transparency can lead to increased trust among employees, as they have a better understanding of their worth and how it compares to others in similar roles. It can also contribute to narrowing the gender pay gap and addressing pay disparities for individuals from minority groups.However, challenges may arise. Some organisations may resist sharing detailed pay information due to concerns about internal discrepancies or potential negative reactions from current employees. Companies must find a balance between transparency and maintaining competitiveness. It will be crucial to implement pay transparency in a manner that encourages fairness while considering the unique dynamics and needs of each organisation.What’s Next?As the EU Transparency Directive takes place, the employment landscape in Europe will undergo significant changes. The move towards increased pay transparency aligns with global efforts to address pay inequalities and foster more equitable workplaces. By providing candidates with greater salary clarity, organisations can attract qualified talent, enhance retention rates, and promote fairness in competition.While challenges and concerns may arise during the implementation process, transparency can ultimately lead to a stronger, more inclusive work environment. As organizations can adapt to these new regulations, they must prioritise effective communication, skill acquisition, and employee well-being. By embracing pay transparency and its potential benefits, Europe takes a significant step forward building a more equitable and progressive workforce.
In today’s competitive job market, standing out from the pack is essential when it comes to securing your dream job. While having a strong resume and relevant experience is crucial, it is equally just as important to excel in the interview process. As one of the leading recruitment agencies in Ireland, we understand the importance of interview skills and how they can make or break your chances of landing your dream job. Here we will highlight five essential interview skills that will help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of job success.1. ResearchOne of the most crucial interview skills is thorough preparation. Research the company you’re applying to, their values, goals and recent awards or achievements. A quick online search will help you with this. Browse their website for an ‘about us’ page which often provides valuable insights. Familiarize yourself with the job you’re applying to and identify key skills and qualifications they are seeking. Prepare thoughtful answers to common interview questions and practice them to gain confidence. Additionally, anticipate any potential questions which are related to your previous experiences and have specific examples ready to showcase your skills and achievements.2. Non-verbal communicationNon-verbal cues can greatly impact the impression you make during an interview. Pay attention to your body language, maintain good eye contact, sit up straight and project confidence. A firm handshake, smiling and portraying a positive demeanour will go a long way in establishing a good rapport with the interviewer. Your non-verbal communication should convey your interest in the role and your ability to work well with others.Aside from being mindful of your own body language, take notice of the interviewers’ non-verbal cues also. These subtle signals can reveal crucial insights, such as priorities for the role and the essential skills they seek. Observe their active listening, facial expressions, and body language to gather valuable information beyond verbal communication.3. Highlighting Transferable SkillsIn today’s dynamic job market, employers value transferable skills - qualities that can be applied to various roles and industries. During the interview, focus on highlighting your transferable skills that align with the job requirements. Even if you lack direct job experience, demonstrate how your abilities, such as problem solving, adaptability, leadership, or teamwork, can be valuable assets to the organization. Showcasing these skills will set you apart as a candidate who can quickly contribute to the team’s success. 4. Showcasing Your AccomplishmentsA common mistake candidates make is focusing solely on their responsibilities rather than their achievements. Employers want to know how you’ve made a positive impact in your previous organisations. Prepare specific examples of projects you’ve successfully completed; challenges you’ve overcome or any initiative’s that you’ve led. Quantify your achievements where possible, such as mentioning cost savings or percentage improvements. Demonstrating your track record of success will make you a memorable candidate.5. ConfidenceA key skill that will bring together all your other interview abilities is speaking confidently. It’s important to instil confidence in the hiring manager by the way you communicate.Interviews can be nerve-wracking, and the pressure can make it difficult to appear confident. Remember that your objective is to sound calm yet curious during an interview. Speaking at a moderate pace helps convey calmness, and showcasing your enthusiasm and curiosity through research and follow-up questions can make a positive impression. If nervousness causes you to speak too quickly, practice speaking slower than usual to achieve a balanced pace on the day of the interview. Ultimately, practice is the key to improving this skill. Schedule a mock interview with your recruiter or alternatively ask a friend or family member to pose sample questions. Dedicate yourself to practicing as much as possible and in no time it will come naturally.Mastering interview skills are essential for standing out from the competition and securing your dream job. By focusing on thorough research and preparation, highlighting your transferable skills, highlighting your accomplishments, and remaining confident, you can make a lasting impression on hiring managers. Good luck!
Today is International Women in Engineering Day – a global initiative to raise awareness about the accomplishments, contributions, and challenges women face in engineering. Almost 44% of Ireland's 287,500 scientists and engineers were female in 2021 according to Eurostat. This is a little above the EU average of 41%. Despite this, female engineers are still severely underrepresented in Ireland. According to the latest figures from the Higher Education Authority from 2022, only 23% of the engineering graduates in Ireland were female. Why are More Women Needed in Engineering?With the growing demand for engineers in Ireland, and globally, by tapping into a broader talent pool and attracting more women to engineering, it helps bridge the skills gap and ensures a sustainable pipeline of engineering professionals for the future.Increasing the representation of women in engineering promotes diversity and inclusion in the field. Engineering, like any other profession, benefits from having a wide range of perspectives, ideas, and experiences. Encouraging more women into the field will help to create a more balanced and inclusive work environment.Engineering is a field that requires creative problem solving and innovation. Including more women in engineering brings fresh perspectives and approaches to tackling complex challenges. Diverse teams are more likely to develop innovative solutions and make better decisions by considering a wide range of viewpoints.Main Barriers for Aspiring Female EngineersGender stereotypes and societal expectations often associate STEM fields with masculinity, while the lack of female representation may hinder girls’ aspirations. An unsupportive educational environment can further discourage girls from pursuing STEM. This is backed up by a CWIT study which revealed that 59% of secondary school girls still do not know enough about STEM and 22% of them believe that STEM subjects in school match ‘male careers’. This is why it is so important to encourage young girls in Ireland to embrace subjects like Maths, Science and Engineering during their school years. Providing access to STEM programmes and initiatives at an early stage of their education can play a vital role in fostering their interest in these fields. In Ireland there is still a need to challenge this prevailing stereotype that engineering is primarily a male dominated profession. Traditional gender stereotypes and biases can discourage women from pursuing careers in this field. Society’s perception of engineering as a male dominated sector can create a sense of exclusion and make it more challenging for aspiring female engineers to feel supported or encouraged.The underrepresentation of women in engineering, both in academia and the industry can be demotivating for potential female engineers. Engineers’ Ireland estimates that just 12% of Irish engineers are female and there has been no increase in this figure since 2019 (CSO, 2019). The lack of visible female role models can make it harder for women to envision themselves succeeding in the field.Unconscious bias in the recruitment and promotion processes can also limit the opportunities available to women interested in pursuing a career in engineering. Biased hiring or the perception that women may just not fit into the existing engineering culture can hinder their progression in the sector. Encouraging and Supporting Women in EngineeringIn 2021, Engineers Ireland launched a Women in Engineering Group to help address the industry’s gender gap. At the time, the group chair, Georgina Molloy, stated that its mission was to support women who were already in the sector and to encourage young girls to consider a career in engineering. By building a network of support, it will hopefully prevent women from leaving the profession for other more gender-balanced industries, along with enticing girls to choose to study engineering.The STEPS programme is a scheme funded by the Department of Education to promote engineering to children who may someday consider it for a future career. During STEPS Engineering week, engineering lessons will be taught in primary and secondary schools throughout Ireland. The main aim of this scheme is for those working in engineering careers to become a role model for kids who may have the right skillset to pursue engineering but may not realise the various employment opportunities the field can provide.International Women in Engineering Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the significant contribution women in the engineering sector make around the world. This day provides an opportunity to reflect on what more must be done to develop clearer pathways for women into the engineering industry. Breaking down barriers and encouraging young girls to enter and remain in the engineering sector is crucial. More must be done between engineering organisations, professional bodies and within the education sector to support the female talent within the industry.Advice for Aspiring Female EngineersPursue a passion: Choose a field of engineering that truly interests you. Follow your passion and focus on developing your skills and knowledge in this area.Education is crucial in engineering. Ensure you have a solid foundation by pursuing relevant courses, degrees, and certifications. Take advantages of opportunities for internships, placements, or apprenticeships to gain practical hands-on experience. Engineering is a rapidly evolving field, embrace continuous learning by staying updated with latest trends, technologies, and research. Consider pursuing advanced degrees or certificates to enhance your expertise.Seek mentorship and networking: There may be fewer female engineers out there but there are still some truly inspiring ones. Connect with other professionals in the field. Seek mentorship from experienced engineers who can guide you and provide valuable insights. Attend industry events, join engineering organisations, and participate in networking opportunities.Be confident and assertive: Believe in your abilities and skills as an engineer. Express your ideas, ask questions, and contribute to discussions. Cultivate self-confidence and assertiveness as these qualities will help you succeed in a male-dominated industry.Break barriers and challenge stereotypes: Be aware of the existing gender biases and stereotypes in engineering but don’t let them discourage or limit you. Challenge these barriers, prove your capabilities and be a role model for future generations of female engineers.Opportunities in Engineering and Manufacturing:Commissioning EngineerLeixlip€40,000-55,000Quality EngineerGalwayNegotiableQuality Team LeadCork€45,000-60,000As a female engineer in Ireland your journey may have its unique challenges but with determination, perseverance, and a supportive network, you can achieve your goals and make a significant impact in the engineering industry.Contact our Engineering and Manufacturing team at email@example.com or on 01 4744 600.
Fostering friendships in the workplace can significantly enhance employee engagement. Creating a positive and supportive environment where individuals feel valued, understood, and motivated; will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. The Impact of "Work-Besties" on Employee EngagementThe notion that having friends at work can positively influence employee engagement may seem intuitive, but the magnitude of its impact is truly remarkable. Research from Harvard Business Review suggests that employees who are happy at work and have at least one close friend there are up to seven times more engaged in their job. This statistic highlights the profound influence that work relationships can have on an individual's motivation and commitment to their work.When employees develop genuine connections with their colleagues, they experience a greater sense of camaraderie, trust, and mutual support. These friendships create a positive work environment, where individuals feel valued, understood, and appreciated. As a result, employees become more invested in their work, exhibiting higher levels of enthusiasm, dedication, and overall job satisfaction. The Business Benefits of "Work-Besties"Beyond the personal advantages that work friends bring to employees, organisations stand to benefit significantly from cultivating these relationships. Engaged employees are not only happier in their roles but also 23% more profitable and 18% more productive than their disengaged counterparts. These numbers make a compelling case for companies to actively encourage social connections within their teams.By fostering an environment that encourages meaningful relationships, organisations tap into the powerful synergy that arises from engaged teams. When employees feel connected to their peers, they are more likely to collaborate, communicate openly, and share knowledge, leading to increased innovation and problem-solving capabilities. Moreover, work-besties act as a support system during challenging times, providing emotional support, encouragement, and motivation, which ultimately contributes to higher resilience and job performance.The Pandemic's Toll on Work RelationshipsThe Covid-19 pandemic and hybrid working have had a profound impact on work relationships. With many employees working remotely or in a hybrid fashion, the traditional avenues for building work relationships have been disrupted. The lack of face-to-face interaction and the physical separation of teams have made it harder for employees to connect and build relationships. The hybrid working model has also brought new dynamics to work relationships, with teams having to navigate a mix of in-person and virtual interactions. Ultimately, the pandemic and hybrid working have highlighted the importance of intentional efforts to foster connections and build meaningful work relationships, whether in-person or virtually.Building Engaged Teams: The Key IngredientsCreating a workplace culture that fosters connection and belonging requires deliberate effort and a genuine commitment from both employees and employers. Here are some key ingredients to consider:Encouraging social interactions: Organisations can organize team-building activities, social events, or provide communal spaces where employees can interact informally. These initiatives create opportunities for employees to get to know each other on a personal level and build meaningful connections. Promoting a collaborative environment: Foster a culture that emphasises collaboration and teamwork. Encourage cross-functional projects, promote open communication, and recognize and reward collective achievements. This approach not only strengthens relationships but also enhances overall team performance.Investing in employee well-being: Recognise the importance of work-life balance and create policies that support employee well-being. Encouraging breaks, offering flexible schedules, and providing access to wellness programs can help foster a positive work environment and strengthen relationships among team members.Lead by example: Managers and leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone for workplace relationships. By prioritising and demonstrating the value of interpersonal connections, they can inspire employees to cultivate meaningful bonds with their colleagues. By creating an environment that nurtures connection and belonging, organisations can harness the power of engaged teams, unlocking their full potential and reaping the rewards of a thriving workforce.