The tech internship programme, Teen-Turn, aims to inspire teenage girls from disadvantaged backgrounds into tech education and careers.
Teen-Turn is seeking fifty female role models in tech roles to mentor internship students this summer. More details here.
By connecting schools with local businesses, the initiative encourages women into tech careers and informs post-Junior Certificate students choosing their Leaving Certificate subjects about education and career opportunities in tech. Teen-Turn also works to dismantle harmful gender stereotypes in tech.
“The only thing we learned about computers in school was how to use Word. Most of the jobs that we need to fill in this country are in roles students can’t understand because they never get to learn about them. Through my own work experiences, I was able to learn about a world of careers in tech that my friends didn’t even know existed. My work experience definitely had a huge influence on my CAO choices,” says Catrina Carrigan, Teen-Turn advisor, DCU Computer Applications student and Intel Women in Technology scholarship recipient.
Among the schools that participated in last year’s initiative was Kylemore College, Ballyfermot. Despite the school’s proximity to a number of major multinationals in West Dublin, only 16 percent of students from the Ballyfermot area will enroll at a third-level institution, and even fewer will ever pursue careers in technology.
“Teen-Turn has the potential to really make a difference by exposing our students to the broad spectrum of opportunities available to them and demystifying an industry that they may otherwise have no exposure to,” says Lesley Keegan, school completion co-ordinator at Ballyfermot School Completion Programme.
Tech employers and senior employees in other companies with tech-focused departments are being asked to sign up for the Teen-Turn initiative. More information can be found here.