Met Éireann supports Women in Stem campaign

In recognition of Met Éireann championing gender balance and career progression, while challenging stereotypes around careers in STEM, we are delighted to support the nationwide Women in STEM campaign, which aims to showcase the diversity of careers in STEM by spotlighting female role models.

See below feature interviews with our own Sarah Gallagher and Claire Scannell taken from the from Women in STEM campaign published on and in Irish Independent supplement.


How women prove that gender is no barrier to a high-flying STEM career

Two senior female leaders from Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service, reveal how they kickstarted — and then progressed — their high-flying STEM careers.

Dr Sarah Gallagher and Dr Claire Scannell were both fascinated by science from a young age. It’s an interest that has led both of them down dynamic STEM career paths and into leadership roles with Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service.

Dr Gallagher remembers how astronomy captured her imagination when she was five. “Later, I developed an interest in weather and climate,” she says. “I realised I could take the maths and science I was learning at school and apply them to something real.”

Photo of Dr Sarah Gallagher

Dr Sarah Gallagher

STEM careers with global impact

After studying engineering at university, Dr Gallagher joined Met Éireann as an instruments engineer in 2006. A few years later, she decided to move into a scientific role and went back to university to study for a master’s in meteorology and a PhD in applied and computational mathematics.

She rejoined Met Éireann in 2014 and is now Head of Observations Division. “My job is an absolute privilege,” says Dr Gallagher. “Weather and climate have no borders, so I work with colleagues across the world to improve our weather and climate services. I’m passionate about that.”

Photo of Dr Claire Scannell

Dr Claire Scannell

Supporting women in their STEM careers

She’s also passionate about making sure that her female colleagues have exciting career opportunities. “As a leader and manager, I always promote training to nurture women’s talents,” she says. “I also encourage them to apply for different roles.”

Mentorship and solidarity are vital for women in the industry, insists Dr Scannell, Principal Meteorological Officer and Head of the TRANSLATE programme, which works to develop Ireland’s first set of standardised climate projections.

“Throughout my career, I’ve always been fortunate to have supportive managers who encouraged me to try new ideas and new areas of research,” she says. “They encouraged me to try challenging roles that I wasn’t sure I was ready for.” She also appreciates that Met Éireann is ultra-supportive of its staff’s work-life balance and offers a range of training and development opportunities.

Women role models are crucial

Both women are aware that they are role models to junior team members. “If you can see it, you can be it,” says Dr Gallagher.

Dr Scannell agrees. “Having female leaders helps to challenge stereotypes and demonstrates that there are no gender-based restrictions to achieving in science, technology, engineering or maths,” she says. “It’s also important that women see other women like themselves balancing similar work-life situations and excelling at what they do. That will fuel the next generation of women in STEM.”


Check out the feature interviews as part of the wider Women in STEM campaign on and in Irish Independent supplement.