TECHIRELAND Supports Women Founders: the €100MCampaign aims to reach €100M in funding for women in Ireland.

On the 8th of March 2018, TechIreland launched its new enterprise, the €100M Campaign, with the aim to reach €100M in funding for women in Ireland. This year’s campaign builds on last year’s figures - just short of 84,5 M were tracked and supported 330 Irish female founders in 2017. A much welcomed endeavour in a male-dominated field in bad need of some gender balance.

According to Niamh Bushnell, TechIreland's CEO, “even at the highest level, when you include all public and private funding sources, female founder companies on average raise €1.1m versus the €2.2m average across all companies on TechIreland, versus €2.4m when you look at male-only founders." The cause? A blend of longstanding prejudices according to Bushnell: “The melting pot of answers includes things like trust and belief systems and culture and habits, but it also includes a straightforward dose of bias and the fact that there’s a dearth of investors in Ireland with loud, strong, female voices."

From the "pink-ification" of girls' toys to the way we think about women in academia, the roots of this issue are ingrained at a young age. A study led by PWC found that 4 out of 5 university students couldn’t identify any contemporary woman working in tech. As young women are pushed away from innovation sectors by longstanding gendered stereotypes at university level, a vicious circles settles whereby  talented women in tech fields become a minority often passed over. According to Irishnews.ie, “just a quarter of the people working in Ireland’s STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are women. That number drops even further when you extend the net to Britain – 15% – and yet further still when you drill down into specialist fields like computer science.”

As Aisling Teillard from Tandem HR solutions puts it, “confidence, women need more confidence when applying for funding and more training and education is need to help them play ‘the boardroom game’. We need more of a female-driven community,” With the #€100MCampaign, TechIreland aims to provide both funds and those lacking role models.

Each Friday, TechIreland will release a video interview featuring an inspirational female founder. First up this is Dr.Patricia Scanlon, CEO and founder of Soapbox Labs.

"Studies have shown repeatedly that female leaders run more profitable companies. Investing in companies with female founders just makes business sense.” says Dr. Scalon

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