Dublin City University’s all-female driven business programmes are receiving more interest than mixed gender programmes according to the latest statistics.
DCU’s female High Fliers Academy has already received more than 70 applications for the upcoming year, with only 10 places available. While DCU’s mixed gender programme, Ryan Academy, has received nowhere near that amount of applications in comparison.
Both entrepreneur programmes follow similar structures with the only significant different being gender specification.
Director of the Female High Accelerators programme Niamh Collins believes this stark contrast in application numbers can be put down to an inaccurate perception of male-dominated programmes. She said, “the interest from women for mixed accelerators is much lower largely because accelerators often conjure up an image of a certain type of male techie in combat trousers that most women don’t relate to, as a result they simply don’t apply.”
However, professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at DCU Maura McAdams claims that women-only networks actually create a lot of limitations: “When it comes to increasing sales and achieving strategic goals, such as growth, or accessing new opportunities, then a mixed group is better as it more accurately mirrors the general business environment.”
She argues that while segregation can be helpful to build confidence in the short-term, there is generally
nothing helpful about separating men and women in business environments.
DCU business student Harry Coen is looking forward to undergoing an entrepreneur programme next year and said, “If there was an option for me, I wouldn’t apply for a single sex course to be honest. Looking back over the years I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do a course with males and females because I think you’d get a more well rounded set of opinions in class.”
Whether or not, female driven programmes are a better idea, the ongoing demand for them cannot be ignored.
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