Laois female students encouraged toward STEM subjects

Laois female students encouraged toward STEM subjects

The Ada Lovelace Initiative Promoting Technology
Careers to Transition Year Students in Laois

Laois native and Ada Lovelace Initiative role model, Alison Halpenny, returns to her old school in Portlaoise to inspire the next generation of technology professionals.

On Tuesday November 8th 2016, the Transition Year pupils of Scoil Chríost Rí in Portlaoise will take part in the first ever Ada Lovelace Initiative (A.L.I) school visit in County Laois.

This school visit, which takes place at 12pm, will mark the launch of the volunteer-led initiative in Co.Laois for the new school year. The role model speaking to the pupils today is Alison Halpenny, who happens to be a past pupil of Scoil Chríost Rí and has volunteered to return to her school in Portlaoise to reminisce about her times there. Alison will share her experience about her career in technology at Citi Global Bank. It is Alison’s first time visiting her old school as part of the initiative and she is looking forward to bringing her story to a new group of students this year.

Laois female students encouraged toward STEM subjects

L-R Cathal Grogan, Managing Director of Verify Recruitment and Founder of the Ada Lovelace Initiative, Amanda Hay, Software Engineer at TripAdvisor and Ada Lovelace Initiative Role Model, Ciara McGarry, TY Coordinator at St. Dominic’s Secondary School in Cabra, Roisin Healy. Marketing Manager at Verify Recruitment and Ada Lovelace Initiative Representative

Less than 25% of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) sector is made of female employees, with research showing that the lack of access to female role models in these industries is one of the biggest contributing factors.

Named in honour of the mathematician and writer who is regarded as the world’s first computer programmer, The Ada Lovelace Initiative was first launched by Verify Recruitment in May of 2015 to address the low numbers of female students choosing to pursue careers in Science & Technology. The Initiative has reached over 3,000 students nationwide since its first school visit and there are a further 57 visits booked for the first school term so far this year. Alison’s visit to Scoil Chríost Rí will be the 10th visit for the Ada Lovelace Initiative this term.

To date, role models from over 76 companies in Ireland have signed up to volunteer at their local schools, with companies such as TripAdvisor, Amazon, Tapadoo, Udemy, The TAS Group and Intercom showing their support.

The organisers of The Ada Lovelace Initiative encourage technology professionals and schools from Laois to get involved in the free school visits this year.

Cathal Grogan, Managing Director of Verify Recruitment said: “The success of The Ada Lovelace Initiative depends on the participation of role models across Ireland. The only commitment for volunteers is to visit one school each for one hour. With the help of female technology professionals in or from Laois, we hope to promote technology careers to more Transition Year pupils in schools across the county this year.”

If you would like to register a school in Laois for a free technology role model visit, please visit