DCU’s ComputeTY Programme Encouraging More Females into Technology

ComputeTY-2019-1It’s a continuing fact that females are outnumbered in the Tech world, representing only 20% of the Tech workforce compared to their male counterparts. At university level in Ireland, technology programmes have the highest gender disparity among all discipline areas. This situation persists, despite the fact that young women are leaving school with equivalent attainment in higher maths to their male peers, a dramatic growth in the number of both sexes studying higher maths over the last 7 years, and ever growing career opportunities.
 
DCU’s Compute TY programme aims to tackle the imbalance in how young men and women perceive their subject and career options, by inviting Transition Year students to study computer programming and app development on campus for a week. This intense program gives students an eye-opening experience into life on campus and introduces them to the world of STEM.

Prof. Lisa Looney, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, comments on female participation in the programme “ComputeTY was originally set up to encourage secondary school students into IT by taking them into DCU for one week, teaching them how to programme and create their own apps. Whilst the activity has been very successful, it was time for ComputeTY to refocus and tackle the gender disparity issue. By engaging and working with the schools, as well as Fidelity Investments, our mission is to help bridge the confidence gap many young women experience, and make The World of Opportunity which a technology based degree can offer (irrespective of eventual career path) very real to them.  This year we had 56% female representation in the programme, the highest representation of females ever in ComputeTY.  We plan to continue and build on this strategy, and we’re hoping for a similar mix for our engineer’s week activities in March..”
 
Margaret O’Halloran, Director of Software Development at Fidelity Investments said, “We have supported this outreach activity for 2 years and were particularly keen to continue to support the program in 2019 with the focus to encourage more females into STEM. Fidelity Investments recently won the inaugural Women in Tech Company Award from Technology Ireland for our commitment to championing women in tech including our many STEM education initiatives such as Compute TY at DCU.  As a fintech organisation, we believe it is important to communicate to females that there is a place in this industry for them. Students, and particularly females, are unaware of what options are available to them in technology, not just from a programming and software engineering perspective, but a broader spectrum within the IT industry. ComputeTY allows secondary school students to get a real taste of IT and gives them the opportunity to meet computing graduates from Fidelity and learn about wider career  paths in the business.”

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ComputeTY runs every January.   For more information contact: Christine.stears@dcu.ie