Women in Tech collaborating

Cork ETB (CETB) and the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA) are collaborating to develop future leaders within the SME technology sector. The CEIA is Cork’s Technology Network, which represents over 50 technology companies in the region, ranging from SMEs such as Horner APG to large scale multinationals such as Apple.

This Skills to Advance ‘Leading through Change’ programme, launched on 17th September 2021, aims to develop the management capability of women in the workforce and was open to all member companies. Delivery is collaborative, leveraging current network skills and talent to support potential future leaders. The programme will give learners from SMEs access to the knowledge and skills of leaders from larger organisations, who have worked with CETB on the programme content. The modules delivered have been selected by the network as being of direct relevance to their businesses. It gives learners the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to build their own external network at an early stage in their career. The learners will complete the ILM Certificate in Leadership and Management.

Valerie Cowman, Assistant Manager, Cork Training Centre, and Chair of the CEIA Education and Skills group, proposed this programme as a great way to build the leadership skills of women in companies within the network and enable them to support and learn from each other, having already seen the ILM programme successfully run with a local technology company DELL.

Lauren O’Dell, Learning and Development Specialist with Boston Scientific, said: “The ILM Leadership and Management Programme covers a range of key practices that I feel will support my development in a Leadership and Managerial position. Modules such as Understanding How to Manage Remote Workers and Managing and Implementing Change in the workplace are two examples that are very relevant now. I am looking forward to meeting and gaining expertise and inspiration from strong female leaders from multiple CEIA member companies."

Brenda Hooper, Operations Manager, Horner Automation Group, commented: “The Skills to Advance programme offered by Cork ETB is designed to develop advanced leadership skills in a safe and trusted environment. Working in small cross company, cross functional groups, the participants can discuss ideas, with formal and informal interactions throughout the programme. I feel this course will give the participants the ability to play a stronger role and give them the tools and confidence to lead and participate more effectively within their organisations.”

This initiative by CETB illustrates the value of bringing clusters of companies together in a training environment for collaborative learning. ETBs support specific sectors such as the electronics sector in this case, by creating agile training responses to collectively identified development needs.

Women from CEIA member companies at the programme launch, including participants from Apple, Boston Scientific, Intel, Logitech, Horner APG, MOOG and Wisetek.

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