Tech Firms Pledge More Teacher Internships

08 Nov 2017 | 03.41 pm

Tech Firms Pledge More Teacher Internships

Connecting  Women in Technology CEO forum

08 Nov 2017 | 03.41 pm

Executives from 18 of the country’s leading technology firms have pledged to do even more to attract and retain women staffers in the technology sector, including further teacher internships to give educators experience of what it’s like to work in a tech company environment.

The chief executives gathered at the annual Connecting  Women in Technology forum, aimed at promoting STEM and technology careers at school level and promoting female role models in industry — actions to encourage young women into areas where they are under-represented.

In the past year, the CWIT member companies have been implementing activities to improve gender diversity, including ‘IT is not just for geeks’, a programme that educates students and encourages girls in particular in realtion to opportunities in the sector.

More than 4,000 students were reached, and there are plans to expand this in 2018 by recruiting more volunteers from the CWIT companies to assist in bringing it to schools across Ireland.

The STEM Teacher Internship programme has facilitated 11 student teachers from the BSc Science Education course at Dublin City University to complete twelve-week paid internships with Accenture, AIB and Intel. It is estimated that these student teachers will have the ability to reach over 440,000 students once qualified.

The programme aims to give a teacher, who may influence thousands of young people, first-hand experience of working in the technology sector. In 2018, the number of internships will increase as more member companies including IBM, Virgin Media and Vodafone take on more interns.

As well, CWIT is promoting the inclusion of specific actions on gender diversity within the ICT Skills Action Plan 2014-2018, as well as getting commitments from its participant companies to deliver on relevant actions.  

 CWIT welcome the phased introduction of Leaving Certificate Computer Science in 2018, an issue which has been high on its agenda, as well as the introduction of coding as a short course at Junior Cycle.

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CWIT was founded by Dell EMC, Microsoft and Accenture in 2011 to bring together technology companies with the vision of “connecting and supporting the development of women in the technology industry, now and for the future”.

Since then, CWIT has grown to 18 member companies, including BT, Dropbox, Eir, Ericsson, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HPI, IBM, Intel, Linkedin, Twitter, Virgin Media and Vodafone. It seeks to attract, retain, inspire and empower women in the technology industry.

 

Photo (l-r): Ifah Sivak, Etain Seymour, minister Richard Bruton, Fiona Coyle and Lisa D’Arcy. (Pic: Julien Behal Photography)

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