Mairead McCaul, Managing Director for MSD Ireland.

Tipp firm helps highlight career opportunities in science for girls

MSD Ireland, which has a base in Tipperary, has announced that the recipient of the €88,000 Neighbour of Choice grant for 2021 is Teen-Turn, an organisation dedicated to highlighting career opportunities in science and technology to teenage girls.

MSD Ireland currently employ approximately 2,700 employees, across six sites including Ballydine in Co Tipperary.

Having helped over 1,000 girls in Ireland kick-start their careers in science and technology since the organisation was first established in 2016, Teen-Turn is dedicated to empowering young girls from under-represented backgrounds to identify themselves in science & technology and support them in their journey towards relevant third level courses and later entry into related industries.

MSD’s Neighbour of Choice programme is an annual grant of up to €88,000. Teen-Turn was also selected as MSD’s Neighbour of Choice partner for 2020, with last year’s grant allowing the programme to extend its support to 150 additional girls throughout the country, particularly in Cork, Carlow, Tipperary and Dublin. Throughout 2020, the grant also supported Teen-Turn’s efforts to move their programmes to operate fully online since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing them to support over 200 girls by providing them the necessary equipment in order to ensure no participant was left behind as all offline activities had to be paused.

Across Tipperary, Teen-Turn works with 12 girls in three schools.

The 2021 partnership announcement comes as part of MSD Ireland’s wider increased focus and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equal representation across its business in Ireland. In December 2020, MSD Ireland announced the appointment of their first female country Managing Director, Mairead McCaul, who joined a highly diverse leadership team.

In addition to the financial support, the partnership will also see MSD Ireland’s 2,700 team of employees encouraged to continue to volunteer virtually in mentoring and coaching students in the Teen-Turn programme throughout 2021. MSD employees receive a benefit of up to 40 hours paid time off to volunteer each year and are actively encouraged to support a range of impactful causes, including non-profits supported by the annual Neighbour of Choice programme.

Joanne Dolan, CEO and founder of Teen-Turn, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with MSD Ireland again for 2021, helping us continue on our mission to empower girls across the country to identify with technology career environments and build a better future for themselves and their communities - particularly in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. 2020 was an extremely challenging year as we had to completely re-design and re-think our entire curricula of activities in order to move our programmes to operate fully online. Thanks to MSD Ireland’s support, we have been able to successfully achieve and excel at this, taking it as an opportunity to expand our reach even further and achieving the significant milestone of registering our 1000th participant with the programme last year.”

Mairead McCaul, Managing Director for MSD Ireland (Human Health), said: “We’re extremely proud to announce Teen-Turn as our Neighbour of Choice for a second year running in 2021. Diversity and inclusion are key values and strategic imperatives for MSD Ireland’s business at all levels, and we are committed to these areas across all of our operations. After a very successful first year partnership, we’re really looking forward to working with Teen-Turn and the participants in the programme again, learning from each other as we continue on our efforts to inspire the next generation of inventors and together look to make a difference in our communities through science, technology and innovation.”

MSD Ireland is consistently ranked as one of the top five business contributors in Ireland and our employees have volunteered over 1,400 hours, helping and supporting over 500 local projects, and have contributed over €5.8 million to a range of worthy causes and projects over the past five years.