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Thursday, 9th September 2021

New DkIT programme to help women THRIVE in STEM

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The DkIT campus with its iconic wind turbine as seen from the air.

A new programme called THRIVE has been introduced by the Regional Development Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology 9DkIT) to help women launch STEM careers and businesses.

With support from Enterprise Ireland, AIB and Local Enterprise Offices in Louth, Cavan and Monaghan, the programme builds STEM capability, confidence and connections for female entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, non-STEM management or work returners.

The THRIVE programme will bring participants through the development process for new products and services within the pharma, tech, mechanical, electronic or food manufacturing sectors from idea to execution.

The programme is designed to support women bringing new products and services to market in the STEM sector. It will also support women in management in other sectors, or work returners, to pivot their existing skills and experience to enter management and leadership positions in STEM industries.

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“If you have never brought a new product or service to market before and would like to demystify the process, for example, choosing a contract manufacturer, dealing with a supply chain, managing the dynamics of purchasing and shipping, as well as understanding compliance, industry standards and regulations, then this is the programme for you” said Athena STEM Project Manager, Lavina McGahon.

“THRIVE will also appeal to women outside the STEM sector who see the growing opportunities and career potential in this sector with increasing diversity and gender balance in senior management teams. The programme can support those who bring their own management skills and experience and give them the technical overview to allow them to lead and manage in a STEM field with confidence.”

Head of Innovation & Business Development at DkIT, Aidan Browne said, “This is a welcome and timely commitment by all the partners involved to address a significant market failure and career disparity for women in STEM focused businesses....Its multi-faceted suite of supports including: Thrive Innovate, Thrive Execute and the exciting Thrive Network, provide an important catalyst to addressing the challenges that exist.” 

Aidan McKenna, Regional Director North East and North West Regions, Enterprise Ireland said ATHENA STEM has been supported by Enterprise Ireland through the Border Enterprise Development Fund which provides funding for innovation and collaborative projects with the aim of sustainable job creation in the regions. Congratulations to Dundalk Institute of Technology and all the stakeholders in this project on addressing the disparities in the number of women-led start-ups and women in middle and senior management roles in STEM-related industries. This project shines a light on the North East Region as an innovator in driving the participation of women entrepreneurs and business managers in STEM sectors.”

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