International Women’s Day event will focus on empowering female founders in sustainable tech

February 11, 2022

A female-led sustainability workout is to be hosted by tech incubator SETsquared and the University of Bath to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The event is part of the university’s ongoing West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme but with a changed format to make it more inclusive for women and those with family commitments. 

Previously the programme’s workshops were held online from 9am to 4:30pm. Recognising that these times can exclude people who have family and other work commitments, the programme team will hold March’s event will be held over three days – March 8, 9 and 10 – from 9am to 1pm. International Women’s Day this year is on March 8.

The sustainability workout is a fully funded and open to business across the West of England that want to make changes to their sustainability and green agenda. 

The March event will also feature an all-female panel and will be staged by expert female facilitators and mentors.

SETsquared programme manager Andrea Kelly said: “The aim of this programme is to engage with as many organisations in the West of England which are looking to explore how they can be more sustainable.

“The sustainability workout is delivered by industry experts and provides a secure environment for an organisation to look at their business model – they can pull it apart and put it back together in a way that benefits people and the planet, while making sense from a strategic and tactical perspective.

We’ve already engaged with lots of companies on this programme, however, we recognise that the two-day programme may not be inclusive enough, particularly for female founders, entrepreneurs with families and their business colleagues, so we’ve looked at a more flexible approach. 

“As our March Sustainability Workout falls on the March 8, we felt it was the perfect time to extend the workout by a day and reduce the daily hours to make it feel more inclusive. 

“Our all-female delivery and mentor team is the icing on the cake to help with our effort to support International Women’s Day.”

March Sustainability Workout delivery team member Emma Burlow has been working directly with businesses on sustainability for more than 25 years, so has a hands-on understanding of the success factors required for implementing more circular business models.

She added: “The Sustainability Workout is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to find a pragmatic solid pathway through sustainability and circularity. 

“The bespoke content produced by SETsquared is a great way for organisations to see how their business could be more sustainable, and a more effective version of itself. 

“It is refreshing to see that SETsquared have considered factors that might put organisations and individuals off joining – the length of the sessions could be seen as a barrier, particularly for females, who generally have many other commitments to fit around their working day.”

Emma will be joined at the event by coach and trainer Katharine Bourke while the mentor team will include SETsquared innovation advisor Ashima Sangwan and business development coach Babita Devi.

The West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme is a three-year programme funded through the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by global No.1 incubator SETsquared in partnership with the University of Bath.

Two strands of support are available – a sustainability workout and/or academic research support from experts at the University of Bath.

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