Female Innovation Champions Help Local Industry Think Differently

With the business world perceived as a traditionally male environment, Invest NI concluded its Innovation Week activities with a seminar focusing on business women who have made their mark by becoming champions of innovation.

More than 1000 local business people and 200 local schoolchildren attended a variety of Innovation Week events across Northern Ireland. The ‘Women Making Innovation Work’ conference was the final event of the week.

Delegates heard keynote speaker Vicky Reeves, the award winning founder and managing director of London-based full service web agency Chameleon Net, give a personal insight into how she made her mark in the competitive world of technology and how innovation continues to improve business practices and create a stimulating environment for her staff.

Also speaking at the event were Catherine McKeever, Director of Manufacturing Engineering Tool Design and Manufacture at Bombardier Aerospace and Maureen McLaughlin of North West firm Diamond Corrugated Cases.

Tracy Meharg said: “Evidence tells us that women are likely to be more innovative than men and as innovation is a key driver of productivity, it makes sense to maximise this potential.

“However women are the largest under-represented group when it comes to enterprise in Northern Ireland and represent an enormous pool of untapped potential.  It is therefore imperative that we maximise this potential and achieve a cultural shift which will help ensure that women have the opportunity and the confidence to maximise their contribution to the economy.”

Drawing Innovation Week to a close Ms Meharg added: “Rapid, sustainable growth, world class companies, market leading products – the benefits of innovation are clear so it is vital that we continue to enhance innovation and capability within Northern Ireland companies.

“Innovation Week has provided a valuable opportunity for firms in all sectors and of all sizes to experience the positive business results innovation can deliver, and I hope it has inspired them to incorporate innovation into everyday working practices as we work towards creating a stronger, wealthier economy.”