Maire Hunt – Network Director Software Skillnet, Managing Director, Nett-Plus Consulting

    • Maire Hunt – Network Director Software Skillnet, Managing Director, Nett-Plus Consulting's presentations

    Retain or Return –Are tech women the answer to our skills shortage?

    Currently women represent less than 20% of technology workers and only 4% of tech CEOs. 56% of women leave technology mid-career. However it is well proven that gender diversity has a tangible impact on numerous elements of company performance. Quite simply companies with diverse leadership are more successful.

    If we have only 26% female STEM graduates in Ireland, we need to retain and nurture this talent as a high priority. We also need to normalise off-boarding and on-boarding for women who want to take a career break. This means providing suitable and effective support for women who want to re-join the sector.

    Is this the answer to our ICT skills shortages? It is proposed that it can make a significant contribution, but only if we understand and adopt best practice. One initiative that I lead with 50 top tech companies called Women REBOOT, is successfully attracting and supporting women returning to tech.


    Maire Hunt has over 25 years at the forefront of national talent development and sector competitiveness. She is National Director of the Software Skillnet – a talent development network for companies across the software and digital technology sector. Working with over 300 tech companies, the network develops strategies and programmes to enable companies to address future skill needs, and co-funds the development and delivery of programmes.

    In 1999 Maire was appointed founding CEO of Skillnets Ireland – a national organisation established by the social partners and the Department of Enterprise to support talent and skills within enterprises across sectors in Ireland – managing a €100 million fund. She previously led Plato Ireland and Plato International for 10 years– an ecosystem for SME development and leadership. She has been a member of several enterprise policy forums in Ireland and has worked as an advisor to Technology Ireland, Ibec, Financial Services Ireland, European Commission, Irish Stock Exchange, Department of the Taoiseach, Special EU Programmes Body among others. Her vast experience in collaborative talent and skills initiatives for companies, has enabled organisations to maximise the development, upskilling and retention of their staff to remain competitive both domestically and on the international stage.

    Maire holds BArch, MScArch and MBA qualifications and a number of national awards from KPMG, IITD and others. Her current interests centre on the Future of Work, Learning Technologies, Women in the Workplace and Diversity in Technology.


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