Irish cities languish in ranking of supports for women
Dublin has been ranked 34th out of 50 international cities in research by tech giant Dell measuring the level of support for women entrepreneurs.
The capital came two places ahead of Belfast but behind cities such as Nairobi, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Copenhagen. The Dell Women's Entrepreneur Cities Index ranks cities on five measures - capital, technology, talent, culture and markets.
At 34th place, Dublin's position was unchanged from last year's report.
The top five cities are New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm.
Speaking at the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (Dwen) Summit in Toronto, Aongus Hegarty, president of Dell EMC EMEA, said Dublin was being compared to major cities all over the world.
"Dublin's ranking is pretty impressive. There are very significant cities ahead of us.
"But we have to strive to do better, that's for sure," he added.
While access to incubators was judged to be good, access to capital continues to be a challenge in Dublin and Europe.
"You see a lot of companies quickly move towards the US, towards Silicon Valley, etc, but I think that is changing as well," said Mr Hegarty.
"Access to capital, banking and financial services is much stronger now than it was three or five years ago so we should see more improvements."
The Dwen conference heard yesterday from Canadian minister for small business Bardish Chagger about gender equality initiatives including significant financial packages aimed at women in business.
Asked if the Government is doing enough in Ireland to support businesswomen, Mr Hegarty said he was quite impressed with some of the Irish diversity initiatives being developed.
"We're forming a working group together with industry around how we can support and create a more diverse environment across industry, with my focus obviously on technology.
"There is a huge responsibility on industry to step up as well," said Mr Hegarty.
"Government can create the environment for it and create the right encouragement and support for it but ultimately for me it's an awareness that more diverse and inclusive organisations are stronger."
More than 100 female entrepreneurs from 16 countries, including Ireland, are attending the two-day summit.