What is Smarter Placements?
Smarter Placements is a ground-breaking initiative aimed at encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by supporting them in work placement opportunities. The programme hopes to stimulate their interest in technology as a fulfilling career option and to influence their subject choices at 2nd and 3rd level.
Work placement is a key element of most transition year programmes and is often remembered by students as one of the highlights of their ‘TY’ year, yet sourcing the placement is often left up to the student themselves. ICT companies typically see fewer work placement applications from young female students that their male counterparts. This initiative aims to facilitate equal opportunity work placements.
To this end, the i@cork Chairman recently challenged Industry Leaders at the European Technology Summit to commit to providing 100 work placements in Cork to female students for the 2014/2015 school year. The work placements will be one to two weeks date that works for the school and the company involved. Every effort will be made to match schools with industry in their area. These Industry-Academic partnerships are key to the success of the Tech sector in Ireland and allow students to experience ‘real-world’ work environments and gain valuable skills for their CV’s. Companies want to know there’s a pipeline of skilled graduates to join their teams in the coming years. Schools and colleges want to prepare students for the jobs that are coming. These are not mutually exclusive needs. Schools and Industry must work together to fulfil both of these needs. Together, let’s get female students meeting female executives, working with female engineers, crunching the data with female data scientists and opening up a whole new world of tech careers.
By Signing up to take part in this programme, your company is making a powerful commitment to the local community and to building the skills of the next generation of employees. You are joining many other tech companies in Ireland working hard to increase the number of students taking STEM subjects at 3rd level, and females going on to rewarding careers as engineers, IT developers, data analysts, data scientists, and many more disciplines which are vital in supporting the tech industry. It is also an opportunity to showcase your company as a great place to work and an opportunity for us as employers to learn from the students about what they want to see in an employer of choice in order to make our businesses more socially-enabled.
How does it work?
By signing up, you are agreeing to give one or more female students, most likely in the locality of your company, one or more weeks (unpaid) work experience at a date and time that is agreeable to both you and the student(s). You are also agreeing to provide as many of the touch points listed below as possible during that time.
- be greeted on day 1 by a senior female executive
- take part in a formal or informal “employee shadowing” experience
- be given well-defined opportunities to network with other staff
- hear from other females in your company working in various/disciplines
- be “buddied” with a female staff member for the duration, to ensure a nurturing experience
- have opportunities to learn new skills
- learn about positive work life balance
- leave with an improved understanding of women in business and technology
- receive a small non-financial token of thanks on departure (optional)
Students CV’s must be provided to you by the school in advance of the placement and acceptance on the company’s programme is at the discretion of the company. Companies should also request insurance letters from school as required.
To sign up for this programme: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and more details will be sent.