Park Place Technologies, I Wish, Launch STEM Initiatives in Ireland
October 11, 2021
(CLEVELAND, OH and CORK, IRELAND) October 11, 2021 – Park Place Technologies, a global IT infrastructure services and solutions provider, is celebrating the Oct. 11 International Day of the Girl by announcing a laptop donation programme, TechForGood, with Ireland-based STEM non-profit I Wish.
58% of DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) students in Ireland do not have a laptop for schoolwork, according to Camara Ireland. UNICEF is reporting that while the COVID-19 pandemic “has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting,” an estimated 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have home Internet access. UNICEF further reports that girls are more likely to be at a disadvantage, as “the gender gap for global Internet users grew from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019,” and girls are less likely than boys to use and own devices and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs.
During the next year, Park Place Technologies will join global corporations focusing on this need by donating a minimum of 100 refurbished laptops to female students in Ireland who have limited or no access to technology. This zero-waste recycling initiative bridges the accessibility gap by providing refurbished laptops to female students across Ireland who may have problems accessing technology.
Teachers in Ireland who have applied for the first wave of donations report great need for laptops. “Having your own laptop allows you to have a meaningful tech experience and also full access to necessary programs, quality of research would improve, and they would be on even playing field with their peers,” said one teacher. Others reported, “Projects and essays are very difficult to draft on small screen and phones” … “We find students struggle massively to access learning from home due to lack of technology” … “A number of students muddle along as best they can, but they fall between the cracks, modestly preferring to remain under the radar.”
In addition to the launch of the TechForGood program, I Wish, with the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and assistance from Park Place Technologies, is also rolling out an international school twinning programme in several American cities, including Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, Charlotte and Santa Barbara. Continuing to strengthen their partnership, Park Place Technologies will again collaborate on I Wish’s annual global STEM event, to be held virtually in February 2022 and open to young female students worldwide.
Park Place and I Wish have been partners since 2019, when they jointly initiated an ongoing intern program that sends two Irish STEM students to the United States every summer for a two-week internship at Park Place’s Global Headquarters in Cleveland and Operations Center in Boston. Today’s announcement on the strengthening of their partnership comes fittingly on International Day of the Girl, a United Nations initiative that focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Jennifer Deutsch, Chief Marketing Officer for Park Place Technologies, said, “By changing attitudes one step at a time through global initiatives, providing tangible resources and championing success stories, I Wish is making genuine change that will impact generations of women. Park Place is an I Wish partner as we believe in developing a fully diverse workforce where all talent can learn and thrive.”
Co-Founder of I Wish, Gillian Keating stated: “The past year has exposed the profound digital divide that exists. Many homes have no devices like laptops while some households share a device. As a result, girls’ access to education and engagement with technology has been limited. As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technologies, the impact of the digital divide is far reaching. Those without the resources can be cut off from opportunities to develop their skills and to network with like-minded girls and role models, which in turn increases gender inequality.
“Access to technology should be a right, not a privilege. We believe that no girl should be left behind. We wanted to make a difference, and so the I Wish and Park Place TechforGood programme, which is advocating for equal access for all, was born. This fantastic initiative, with Park Place Technologies, will be instrumental in our fight for equity of opportunity for young women in STEM. There is no better way to mark the International Day of the Girl Child by listening to their voices, unlocking new opportunities for them and empowering them to be the change.”
The inaugural I Wish Twinning XChange program will initially involve pairing five Irish secondary schools with schools in the USA for its first year, bringing about long-term positive change and shaping the future lives of hundreds of girls involved in 2021/2022 and their relationship with STEM. I Wish XChange student relationships will offer significant benefits for students, from identifying best practices, to relationship building, to simply broadening viewpoints and breaking down cultural barriers.
In addition, Park Place will again help I Wish reach a maximum global audience with its February 10, 2022 virtual global event. In 2021, Park Place shared the details of the event with its 21,500 customers and its channel partners across the world, which assisted I Wish to reach a global audience in excess of 15,000 viewers across 19 countries.
To apply for future donations, visit I Wish.