A newly launched programme, Teen-Turn, is aiming to encourage further involvement of women in STEM sectors by exposing teenage girls to technology based roles.The new initiative provides a select group of teens with the opportunity to spend two weeks of their summer break interning at Irish based technology companies.
Teen-Turn will be working with DEIS to identify participants with academic promise who will benefit from the opportunity. They are particularly focused on including teens from traditionally disadvantaged communities, where third level education is uncommon.
Niambh Scullion, Teen-Turn Co-Founder, 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.”
With the help of the ‘Teen-Turnships’, young teenagers will witness women actively pursuing successful careers in the tech industry. The goal is that this experience will encourage participants to consider technology based third level courses, resolving not only the current skills shortage, but also the gender imbalance in the tech industry. The programme also hopes that these “Turnships” will bridge a gap between the corporate companies and the community.
Having commenced on August 2nd, five post-primary schools have placed students on projects at nine technology companies with each placement being assigned a female mentor.