30% Club, the campaign to achieve better gender balance in business leadership, has also launched a programme of 27 postgraduate and executive education scholarships covering prestigious MBA programmes and masters programmes in STEM, healthcare, public policy and other specialist areas.
IMI and 30% Club’s Cross Company Mentoring programme, established in 2015, brings together experienced leaders and mid-career high potential individuals for mentoring focused on both professional and personal development.
Successful applications for the new initiative will partake in the year-long mentoring programme where they will have a mentoring partner, provided by AIB, access to the resources of the IMI, and the opportunity to build a network with other mentors and mentees.
“AIB has a proud tradition of supporting women business owners and we are delighted to further enhance this through the AIB Mentoring Access Initiative for Women in SMEs,” said Geraldine Casey, chief people officer at AIB.
“It will provide participants with a mentoring partner for a 12-month programme of support and networking opportunities. As a company with a strong track record in promoting gender diversity, we want to extend this to support women in businesses across Ireland to recognise their talent and potential.”
Gillian Harford, country executive at 30% Club Ireland, added: “Our intention within the 30% Club is to build talent across all women, and the generous support from AIB gives access to this great initiative to talented women in smaller organisations which may not have had the financial capacity to fund participation.”
Shane O’Sullivan, interim CEO of the IMI, said the organisation was delighted to be partnering with the 30% Club and AIB to “provide this key opportunity for women leaders in SMEs.
“This is a further endorsement of our Cross Company Mentoring Programme which has provided significant developmental support to more than 2,000 participants since 2015.
“We can now, in collaboration with AIB, support a brand new audience in a sector that is critical to Ireland’s continuing economic success.”
The Irish chapter of the 30% Club is supported by more than 300 leading Irish businesses and organisations across all business sectors, representing more than 650,000 employees.
Photo: (l-r) Gillian Harford; Giles Barrett, group wellbeing officer at AIB; Tanya Horgan, non-executive director at AIB; Shane O’Sullivan, interim CEO at Irish Management Institute; Cathy Bruce, managing director of capital markets at AIB; and John Brennan, head of retail SME at AIB. (Pic: Robbie Reynolds Photography)