Female business leaders take centre stage on October 14th for National Women’s Enterprise Day. Established by the Local Enterprise Office, National Women’s Enterprise Day is all about highlighting the achievements of our female entrepreneurs and encouraging and educating other women to succeed in business. Events include online networking, panel discussions, interviews, and workshops, all designed to promote resilience, innovation, and strength in the female business community.
STEM sectors get a lot of bad press for a lack of gender diversity, but successful female business leadership is one of the key factors driving Kerry’s science, technology, and engineering sector. Here we highlight ten women who are making an impression in the Kerry business community:
Emily Brick founded Athena Analytics in 2017 to help solve the “data problem” in schools. Her company’s data analytics solutions for educational institutions translate the huge volumes of data schools look at daily into interpretable and actionable results. It means that principals and teachers can respond to trends as they happen and make sure that no student gets left behind in the busy school system. With almost 300 schools now using the Athena Reports, the product is in every county across Ireland.
Aoife Ni Mhuiri is the founder of Salaso Health Solutions Limited, a scaling software development company whose platform allows healthcare providers to deliver high-quality physical rehabilitation services for patients. Her company’s disruptive technology is transforming the way diseases are managed by incorporating exercise and physical rehabilitation as central elements of the treatment protocol across multiple therapeutic areas.
Kathleen Wall-Sheehy is Director – Operations & HR at ViClarity, an award-winning supplier of audit, risk and compliance management solutions to the financial and healthcare sectors. Kathleen oversees operations and human resources at a global organisation that leverages its innovative solution to optimise risk and compliance with a centralised platform that gives clients real-time access to their data at all times.
Laura Malone, co-founder of MyClinic365 (formerly Doctonow) with Keith Lyne, has succeeded in creating a patient relationship management platform that lightens the administrative load on GPs and strengthens patient-GP relationships. Highlighting a commitment to the local community, Laura and Keith have been offering their telemedicine platform free of charge for GPs in Ireland for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.
Organisational psychologist Jennifer Dowling set up The Box CoWorkspace in Killarney in 2019. Earlier this spring, Jennifer delved further into the remote-work space and established Train Remote to support “remote-first” training, coaching, and team development. She supports organisations as they transition into some form of remote working. The current pandemic highlights just how important Jennifer’s work in this area has become.
Kate Murphy co-founded Southern Scientific Services Ltd. in Kilcummin in 1994, with the aim of delivering analytical and specialist consulting services to the agricultural, environmental, food, and pharmaceutical sectors. The company now operates out of state-of-the-art facilities in Farranfore and Dunrine, using cutting-edge technology such as plasma mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry. Clients include Irish Water, Teagasc, Liebherr, and Munster Joinery.
Mariana Kobal has been turning concepts into reality for international companies throughout her career. With experience in product development, product re-engineering, and the reorganisation of R&D departments, she was ideally placed to become an entrepreneur. Now based in Kerry, Mariana co-founded 3D printing start-up Wazp with Shane Hassett in 2014. Wazp is a digital supply chain platform for 3D printing that connects companies to 3D printing designers and makers so that they can work together on products. The company works with industrial 3D printers to produce higher-quality goods that are 3D printed in an industrial setting.
Sort My Books cloud accounting software is the brainchild of Anne Hannan. She founded Aisling Software with her sister Aileen in February 2000 and launched the popular desktop accounting products SortMyBooks and QuickVAT. In 2008, the product made the transition to the cloud and now offers a comprehensive cloud-based product for small businesses. Anne has 20 years’ experience working with small businesses and considers it a privilege to serve them because of their pivotal role as leaders in their communities.
Deirdre Fee is a co-founder of Mobility Genie, a technology assistive kiosk that enables pharmacies to offer an interactive online experience for customers looking for medical mobility products. A nurse by training, Deirdre has more than 30 years of experience in the world of medical mobility aids and is passionate about empowering those with restricted mobility and restoring their independence.
Niamh O’Hora is a UX Design Lead at Aspen Grove Solutions. She is passionate about design and innovation and enthusiastic about sharing her insights and experiences at community events and workshops. In May of this year, she spoke at the Women in Technology World Series about the importance of validating market and consumer demand and interest at product discovery stage and throughout a continuous discovery cycle. “I like to talk about design and innovation,” Niamh says. “It’s a great opportunity to learn from others. I also advocate for design and its role in innovation, product and service delivery.”
These are just some of the women behind Kerry’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In companies across the county—both established giants and tiny start-ups—dynamic, innovative women are driving progress in all areas, making Kerry a place to prosper for everybody.