Taoiseach to join tech leaders to discuss how marriage equality can benefit business

15 Apr 2015

Image via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Irish technology leaders will converge in Dublin’s Digital Exchange tomorrow to discuss the business case for diversity and why a Yes vote on 22 May is best for Ireland’s tech sector.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, is set to open the business breakfast event hosted by GLEN, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.

In the iconic setting on the doorstep of Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse on Thursday, 16 April, tech business leaders from Twitter, Iona Technologies and Vennetics will gather to discuss why marriage equality is good for business, good for Ireland and good for employees.

“At a time when Ireland is striving to attract jobs and investment, the business case for a Yes vote on 22 May couldn’t be clearer,” said Ann O’Dea, CEO of Silicon Republic, who is chairing the event.

“If we are to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs, leaders and talent into this country, it is important we build our credentials as an inclusive, open, progressive and diverse society, one where all are welcome and all have equal rights.”

O’Dea will chair a panel discussion with speakers such as John Hamill, CEO and co-founder of Vennetics, a Dundalk-based software company providing video-on-demand solutions to international customers.

“It will be immeasurably more difficult for Irish companies to win foreign contracts if we are perceived as being happy to discriminate against our gay citizens.” said Hamill in a statement.

“Equality is good for investment, good for jobs and good for business. For these reasons, Vennetics will be providing all of our employees with an extra half-day in annual leave on 22 May, so that they have every opportunity to cast their vote. We hope that other regional companies will join us in recognising the importance of the marriage equality referendum to Irish businesses.”

Also speaking at the event will be Stephen McIntyre, managing director of Twitter Ireland; Chris Horn, Atlantic Bridge Capital partner and Iona Technologies co-founder, and Kieran Rose, co-chair of GLEN.

Gay marriage image by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

GLEN is a partner for Inspirefest 2015, Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.