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Accenture’s Women on Walls unveils portraits of inspirational female leaders in STEM


A collection of commissioned portraits of five inspirational females from the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) were unveiled at the virtual launch of Accenture’s Women on Walls at Dublin City University in celebration of International Women’s Day.

In collaboration with Accenture and Business to Arts, the portraits are in recognition of the ground-breaking work of Beatrice Alice Hicks, Katherine Johnson, Dr Marie Maynard Daly and Irish duo Kay McNulty and Dame Kathleen Lonsdale. All five are regarded as pioneers in STEM by making significant contributions in their specific discipline through outstanding research work, scientific breakthroughs and playing an instrumental role in bringing about cultural and social change.

Beatrice Alice Hicks was the First President of the Society of Women Engineers; Katherine Johnson was the first African-American woman to work as a NASA scientist; Dr Marie Maynard Daly was the first African-American woman in the US to earn a PhD in Chemistry; Donegal born Kay McNulty was one of the world’s first Computer Programmers while Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, who hailed from Newbridge, Co Kildare was the first female Professor of University College London (UCL).

This is the third chapter of Accenture’s Women on Walls, a campaign that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits that will create a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland. The campaign commenced in 2016 with the Royal Irish Academy, and a second chapter with RCSI was unveiled in 2019.

The DCU chapter was completed by five award-winning and renowned artists last year, and in the midst of COVID-19 which has impacted significantly on all sections of society, including the arts. DCU, renowned for its commitment to gender equality, is particularly pleased to support the initiative, to publicly commit to programming of the arts across the university and to pledge support to the arts sector as it charts its way through this global pandemic.

Commenting on the virtual unveil, President of DCU, Professor Daire Keogh said: “These stunning portraits are a tribute to female trailblazers, who pushed out the frontiers of their respective fields. By celebrating these pioneers, we remind our students, and female students in particular, that ‘there are no limits’. Thanks to the extraordinary creativity of our acclaimed artists, these five women will continue to inspire future generations at DCU.”

The commissioned portraits will be temporarily installed in the Stokes Building at DCU before eventually moving to the Future-Tech building, under construction at the university’s Glasnevin Campus. This flagship building will be at the forefront of DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science, computing and engineering disciplines.

For more information: dcu.ie/womenonwalls

Photo Caption: Pictured are the five portraits in the foyer of the Stokes Building at DCU, at the rear (l-r) Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, Beatrice Alice Hicks, Katherine Johnson, Dr Marie Maynard Daly and, front, the portrait of Kay McNulty. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

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