School students involved in Teen-Turn are standing outside and holding up letters spelling STEM.
MSD Ireland announces Teen-Turn as the recipient of its 2020 Neighbour of Choice grant. Image: MSD

Teen-Turn to receive €88,000 grant from MSD Ireland

24 Feb 2020

MSD has chosen Teen-Turn for its 2020 Neighbour of Choice grant, pledging €88,000 to the charity that encourages young girls to get involved in STEM.

Last week, MSD announced the recipient of its 2020 Neighbour of Choice grant to be Teen-Turn, a charity encouraging young girls from under-represented backgrounds to think about STEM careers.

The grant – which is worth €88,000 – will help Teen-Turn expand into Carlow, Cork and Tipperary, as well as to build on its current operations in Dublin. It will also mean that staff from MSD’s Irish workforce of 2,500 employees will volunteer to help the organisation by mentoring and coaching students on the programme.

‘More girls exploring and gaining an interest in technology will lead to more women earning technology qualifications’

To encourage employees to take part in voluntary activities, MSD offers its staff members up to 40 hours of paid leave annually. To date, its employees have volunteered more than 1,400 hours for more than 500 projects and have delivered more than €5.8m to charities through the initiative.

In the past four years, Teen-Turn has helped more than 600 girls to get involved in conversations around career paths in STEM. Its CEO and founder, Joanne Dolan, said that her team is “excited to be partnering with MSD” as it continues to help girls across Ireland to identify with tech career environments.

“More girls exploring and gaining an interest in technology will lead to more women earning technology qualifications, and early support from industry is vital to give girls role models they can look up to and who can support them on the road from Junior Cert to job,” she said.

MSD Ireland managing director Ger Brennan highlighted that “diversity and inclusion are key values and strategic imperatives for MSD Ireland’s business”.

“We’re extremely proud to announce Teen-Turn as our Neighbour of Choice for the year ahead and are looking forward to highlighting the terrific careers and opportunities available in MSD and the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland at large.

“We recognise that when we break down barriers and change mindsets, we unleash the powerful potential we need to help us invent for life every day.”

Brennan added that in granting Teen-Turn the 2020 grant, MSD’s hope is to “inspire the next generation of inventors to help tackle tomorrow’s healthcare challenges”.

“Diversity comes in many different guises including background, communities, gender and even how we think and approach problem-solving,” he said. “Initiatives such as Teen-Turn are incredibly important in terms of highlighting the exciting career possibilities in STEM to communities that may have been typically under-represented in the sector.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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