Workhuman Teen-Turn briefing 8 May 2019
- 12 May 2019
Workhuman, WITS corporate member, held a breakfast briefing on its work with Teen-Turn. Each summer two students from local schools spend two weeks with the company at its Parkwest offices. Workhuman has taken part in Teen-Turn since its inception in 2016.
Joanne Dolan of Teen-Turn spoke about Teen-Turn and the valuable partnership with companies such as Workhuman. Iqra and Casey the 2018 Teen-Turn interns attended the briefing.
Dr Andrea Johnson, Director Global Business Systems, outlined how the programme works. The aim of the two weeks is to expose young women to the many roles in tech. The two students are paired with young staff members of the company as buddies.
There is an initial orientation on the focus of the company, its business and culture and how its business flows. Students have sat in on staff induction as well. Over the two weeks the explore areas such as UX/design, Helpdesk, Development, QA testing, SCRUM/Agile practices – team work and Infrastructure.
During the two weeks there is afternoon tea with the girls. Workhuman showcases its own women in STEM and the girls hear their stories and journeys into STEM and technology. Often these are non-linear and a second career. At the end of the two weeks the girls do a presentation to Dr Johnson and Christine Doran HR Manager. This is followed by discussion and feedback.
Workhuman wants the girls to see a modem workplace, warts and all, how it is fast and pacy. The company aims to give them an insight into what tech looks like, showing teams and team work. Essentially Workhuman wants the girls to have fun, learn and see what’s possible.
Ronan O’Dunlaing, VP of Software Engineering then spoke about the benefits to Workhuman on taking part in Teen-Turn. Participation started through a sense of responsibility to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Since 2016 the benefits to the company have become evident. It’s fun for the company participants and buddies learn how to talk about their work. This is career development for them. It draws in people across the company to work with the girls and enable men to act as male role models. A further benefit is that it helps Workhuman attract talented people, people women, who want to work in a company that takes its social responsibility seriously. These are short-term benefits and the long-term benefits have yet to be seen.
The overall message was that Teen-Turn is a great programme for girls in school and for companies. Workhuman would recommend taking part and is happy to share any lessons learned. Workhuman also takes part in Women ReBoot and uses the buddy system for women returners as well.
Niamh Graham VP Global Human Resources and other members of the executive team attended the briefing. WITS corporate members Mary Carroll of Growth Potential and Vicky Dolan of Emerson attended as did WITS Treasurer Dr Marie Barrett and Dr Marion Palmer WITS executive. Thank you to all at Workhuman for the briefing.
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