The unique programme provides teen girls summer work placements with top technology companies in order to tackle the deficit of women in technology careers as well as bridge the divide between the corporate and the community.

The “Teen-Turnships” commenced August 2nd, 2016 with five DEIS post-primary schools placing students on projects at nine technology companies. Each placement is assigned a female mentor. The work consists of actively participating in a technology project and vlogging about the experience.

Research indicates that many teenaged girls are unable to grasp what a job in STEM is like and this affects their choosing to study these subjects in school. By experiencing hands on, through a “Teen-Turnship”, what it is to contribute to the very technology they use, participants can better understand how they can be a part of technology development in the companies that are flourishing in their locality.

Lesley Keegan, School Completion Programme Coordinator at The Ballyfermot School Completion Programme, elaborates on the potential impact:

“The Teen-Turn Programme is providing very relevant and practical experience for our post junior cert girls at a very crucial time in their schooling, immediately after they sit their JC exams. It is enabling them to explore a world within their reach that they will bring back to school. Their involvement in Teen-Turn will help shape how they approach their leaving cert journey and beyond.

Teen Turn is a very valuable intervention that adds another layer to existing DEIS projects such as the School Completion Programme.”

Adding to this, Oisin Hurley, VP Engineering, Swrve offers:

“I’m delighted that Swrve is taking part in this excellent social program this year — so often young women are turned off technology careers, even by their peers and parents, and an opportunity to combat that and create a new generation of female role models for tech is absolutely an opportunity worth grasping. It’s a small step to bettering the industry as a whole.”

The matching of students from DEIS schools with technology companies located near their homes is a key component of Teen-Turn. In doing so, the programme positions itself to address—in addition to gender equality in the workplace—economic inclusion and corporate social responsibility in areas that are disadvantaged yet located alongside the premises of some of the world’s most successful companies. Teen-Turn Co-founder Joanne Dolan explains:

“These girls are the future of Ireland’s workforce–one which is requiring, in increasing numbers, employees with STEM skills. By engaging in real relationships with the neighbouring community, participating companies have an opportunity to contribute directly to the development of a local talent pool from which they can draw.”

The founding team behind Teen-Turn includes Dolan, a Start-up Consultant who created and led the Girls Hack Ireland initiative when a Site General Manager at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, and Niambh Scullion, a Senior Business Analyst at IBM and the founder of Coderdojo Girls.

For more information visit: https://teen-turn.com

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