Press release from Meath County Chamber
Meath Women in Business and Tech meet virtually
The Meath Women in Business and Tech network met virtually for the first time on Friday the 5th of March. The Network was launched in March 2020 and is a joint initiative between County Meath Chamber and the Meath Local Enterprise Office. Open to all females in business in Meath, the zoom call attracted over 130 participants from the County and was facilitated by Lorraine Murphy from Lorraine Murphy Coaching. Guest speakers on the call were Valerie Moran of eCOMM Merchant Solutions and Minister Helen McEntee.
This network aims to connect women in business in the county and celebrate technology through sharing knowledge, collaborating and supporting each other at all levels. Valerie Moran was the first speaker of the morning and she was kind enough to share her journey with participants. “When I started out, Fintech was not even a word, the industry lacked diversity and while now, 14 years later, women are embracing technology, there are still too few of us in the business”. Valerie explained how her primary focus as a new business owner starting out was to create equal opportunities. She worked on introducing HR policies that identified women with potential and helped them develop within the company. Valerie ended with advice for all business owners who are struggling during the recent restrictions. “Communicate with your staff. Whether its good or bad news. Working collectively will bring the best out of your team.”
Support networks are important for everyone in business in the current context and it was timely that the Meath Women in Business & Technology network met just a day after Chambers Ireland published new data on the impact of COVID-19 on female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. Paula McCaul, CEO of Meath County Chamber was not entirely surprised by the statistic that 52% of Irish respondents reported that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women across all sectors. “The research reflects what we have been hearing from many of our members throughout the past year. As we approach International Women’s Day we call on Government and policy makers to ensure the long-term impact of the pandemic does not result in a permanently wider gender pay gap. A workplace that hold gender equality at the heart of its operations is a workplace which is flexible and supportive of working families. We are delighted to have Minister McEntee with us this morning to engage with our members and shed some more light on the support opportunities that the remote working strategy will provide”
Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice, was the second guest speaker of the morning. Minister McEntee shared her confidence that the remote working and right to disconnect legislation will be signed into law in the coming months. “Employers need to get ready for this legislation, talk to your staff and put arrangements in place that acknowledges family life” explained the Minister. Remote work hubs across the country, tax supports and policies, and broadband infrastructure were also discussed. Minister McEntee finished by acknowledging the gender gap in politics and how she is delighted to give visibility to young girls in the Meath area that a career in politics is a real option.
Lorna Cooney, Local Enterprise Office Meath “It is very encouraging to see the number of female entrepreneurs who tuned in to today’s launch event of the Women in Business and Tech network. The speakers were inspiring role models of female entrepreneurship and provided an engaging and enjoyable event. It is fantastic that as a result of this collaboration between LEO Meath and County Meath Chamber that Meath now has a platform for female entrepreneurs to network, share their success stories and learn from some of the country’s best role models.”
The next Women in Business and Technology meeting will take place on the 14th of May. The call is open to all women in business in County Meath and pre-registration is necessary HERE