Pictured l-r: Rachel Ashe, online content manager at Hays, Joanne Dolan, co-founder of Teen-Turn and creator of Girls Hack Ireland, James Milligan, Hays IT director, UK and Ireland, Catrina Carrigan, Computer Applications Student at DCU, Ann O'Dea, CEO Silicon Republic and founder of Inspirefest, and Niambh Scullion, co-founder of Teen-Turn and senior business analyst at IBM. Image via Conor McCabe Photography

Teen-Turn programme to combat gender stereotypes in STEM

18 Apr 2016

What are you doing this summer? Well, if you’re a girl in secondary school, you might consider checking out Teen-Turn, a two-week work placement programme aimed at combating gender stereotypes.

The Teen-Turn programme – a play on the words teenager and internships – has been created as a means of breaking the traditional gender stereotypes associated with particular careers in STEM, which have led to many girls not pursuing something they might actually be interested in.

The programme was founded by Joanne Dolan, a former site general manager at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in Dublin City University (DCU), as well as the creator of Girls Hack Ireland, and Niambh Scullion, senior business analyst at IBM and one of the founders of CoderDojo Girls.

By focusing on girls, the pair said, they hope to influence course decision-making processes and inform the programme’s young participants about education and career options.

As more girls explore and gain an interest in technology, it will then lead to more women earning technology qualifications, thus meeting a demand for skills that is currently outpacing supply.

‘Young girls need role models’

Joining Dolan and Scullion will be two advisers to the programme, including Silicon Republic CEO and founder of Inspirefest Ann O’Dea, and Catrina Carrigan, CoderDojo mentor and co-founder of Leanú Technologies.

The programme will take place this summer, with Hays Specialist Recruitment Ireland to help out by finding applicants a place at a company that would suit their career hopes, with travel and lunch costs covered by the hosting company.

Speaking of the programme, Scullion said: “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.”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Book your tickets now.

This article has been amended to show the hosting company will be covering the costs of meal and travel, not Teen-Turn.

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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