A new programme, Teen-Turn, provides teen girls with the opportunity to spend 2 weeks during the summer in a technology career environment through work placements with Irish based technology companies.

Teen-Turn’s founders have extensive experience in encouraging young women into areas of STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths). Joanne Dolan is the former Site General Manager at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in DCU, where she also created and led Girls Hack Ireland, an initiative to encourage interest among girls to pursue STEM subjects through creative and interactive learning. Niambh Scullion is a Senior Busines Analyst at IBM and founder of Coderdojo Girls, a coding workshop for girls, part of the international Coderdojo movement.

By focusing on girls, the Teen-Turn founders hope to influence course decision-making processes and inform its young participants on education and career options.

As learning in the presence of female role models has been shown to impact girls’ self-image and confidence–encouraging them to see themselves in new ways and stimulate new interests– each teen will be matched with a female mentor, who is employed with the company, and the work will include participating in a real technology project.

The aim of the programme is to place teen girls into “Teen-Turnships” so that they can picture themselves in those kinds of careers and therefore make third level course choices accordingly.

More girls exploring and gaining an interest in technology will lead to more women earning technology qualifications, thus meeting a demand for skills that is currently outpacing supply. Teen-Turn will be working with DEIS and similar schools to identify participants with academic promise who will benefit from the opportunity but are from traditionally disadvantaged communities where third level education is uncommon.

Co-founder Niambh Scullion, explains:

“Access to internships and the tech industry does elude school going girls. In order for young girls to identify themselves with tech and visualise themselves working in the industry they need access to role models. We want to change this with Teen-Turn. Teen-Turn will give girls from areas where entry to third level education is low the opportunity to experience the positive influence of a work placement that can shape their third level choices.”

The programme is being launched Summer of 2016, with Teen-Turnships at top companies for whom workplace diversity and inclusion are important. Hays Specialist Recruitment Ireland will be supporting Teen-Turn in engaging with prospective organisations to participate in the Teen-Turn Programme.

Travel and lunch costs will be covered by the hosting company while the Teen-Turn team will provide teen participants and ensure work placements are compliant with all requirements of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996.

For more information visit teen-turn.com or head over to Twitter on this link.

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