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Lorna Martyn

SVP and Ireland Regional Chair, Fidelity Investments

Companies in the STEM industry can create an inclusive workforce by providing educational initiatives and mentorships to encourage young women to pursue careers in tech.

Tech can be an “exciting, interesting and achievable career choice” says Lorna Martyn, regional chair at Fidelity Investments Ireland. However, the number of women in tech roles has reduced as the industry has grown.

Exposing young students to tech

Many young female students can become discouraged from pursuing tech roles if the relevant career advice is not easily available to them. “That’s where the power of role models and educational programmes comes in,” says Martyn.

One way to boost the numbers of young women entering tech positions is by educating students of all ages — especially girls — through school visits, partnerships with like-minded organisations and educational programmes that teach tech skills. Fidelity Investments recently partnered with Junior Achievement to develop Our World, a five-week, STEM-focused educational programme that will be rolled out to over 12,500 students, parents and teachers, with a focus on female participation of over 60%.

“We’ve taken it as our mission to promote careers in our industry, starting from primary school education through to third-level education and into early careers,” says Martyn.

Showcasing careers in technology

Teachers play an important role in shaping the career paths of their students. To enrich this influence, Fidelity Investments provides a paid 12-week Student Teacher Internship focused on educating teachers about the different STEM careers available for their students. It also helps teachers learn about integrating technology in the classroom.

We’ve taken it as our mission to promote careers in our industry.

“It’s important that those who are educating the workforce of the future have an understanding of the STEM career options available for their students,” says Martyn. “It also allows those student teachers to learn about technology and earn over the summer period.”

Retaining top female talent

Apart from acquiring a diverse workforce, companies need to focus on retention too. “We recognise we have an obligation to help resolve the pipeline problem and develop our female technologists,” says Martyn.

Once a company has attracted female workers into technology roles, the focus then shifts to retaining and developing them. One way to do this is through internal mentorship schemes that help take employees’ careers to the next level.

Our female-focused mentoring programme, PropelHER, aims to support the career development of our female technologists, to help them develop skills to advance into more senior roles,” says Martyn. 

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