Saturday 23 March 2019

New fund to help disadvantaged women hailed by Taoiseach

The 1.8 million euros will support charities and social enterprises.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland , The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD and Anne Finucane, Chairman Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe and Vice Chairman, Bank of America officially announce the new Mná na hÉireann – Women of Ireland Fund. The fund is a €1.8 million initiative which will be delivered over three years (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)
Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland , The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD and Anne Finucane, Chairman Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe and Vice Chairman, Bank of America officially announce the new Mná na hÉireann – Women of Ireland Fund. The fund is a €1.8 million initiative which will be delivered over three years (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

The Taoiseach has welcomed the launch of a new fund aimed at helping disadvantaged women into employment.

Leo Varadkar has spoken of his hopes for the 1.8 million euro (£1.58 million) Mna na hEireann – Women of Ireland – fund.

It will be the first in the nation to support charities and social enterprises that seek to aid women experiencing disadvantage access to sustained employment.

Mr Varadkar said: “The 1.8 million euro fund has the potential to create a lasting impact and transform the lives of the women involved and add value to our society.

“This initiative also complements the work being done by Government to reduce the gender pay gap in Ireland and ensure greater representation of women across all sectors of Irish society.”

The fund aims to empower 1,000 women to secure employment across Ireland over the next three years.

It will be delivered by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, in partnership with Bank of America and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

This new fund aims to support organisations which provide women with the tools needed to gain sustainable employment Anne Finucane, Bank of America

Anne Finucane, vice-chairwoman of the Bank of America, said: “Fostering sustainable growth, economic mobility and social progress within the communities in which we operate is at the heart of our business.

“This new fund aims to support organisations which provide women with the tools needed to gain sustainable employment.”

The fund comes as figures from the Central Statistics Office Ireland show the gender participation gap in the Irish labour market is one of the widest in Europe, compared to other EU15 countries.

Organisations wishing to apply to the Mna na hEireann, Women of Ireland Fund can find details on the Social Innovation Fund website www.socialinnovation.ie/mna-na-heireann-fund with the application period open until April, 18 2019.

Press Association

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