Irishwoman shortlisted for Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

16 Sep 2014

Yvonne Brady and a willing volunteer in her EVB Sports Shorts

Engineer Yvonne Brady, founder of EVB Sports Shorts, is one of just three European finalists for the prestigious Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.

The Drogheda businesswoman’s female sportswear invention has featured on Dragons’ Den and she and 17 others have been selected from 1,000 female entrepreneurs worldwide for the competition’s shortlist.

EVB Sports Shorts

Research finds that 33pc of women accidentally pass urine during physical activity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. This condition can deter a number of women from exercising, particularly after pregnancy.

Brady was one such woman and, putting her engineering talent to use, she designed some fitness apparel to address this issue. Her EVB Sports Shorts incorporate medical-grade compression panels which support the abdomen, lower back and perineum while relieving pressure on the core muscles during physical activity.

EVB Sports Shorts founder Yvonne Brady

EVB Sports Shorts founder Yvonne Brady

The shorts have been endorsed by medical and sporting professionals across Ireland as well as the physiotherapy suppliers to the UK athletics team.

Recently, EVB Sports Shorts signed a deal with Elvery Sports that will see them launched in three outlets this month – Galway and Dundrum and Arnotts in Dublin – while a nationwide launch is planned for early 2015.

In good company

As a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, Brady will compete in a week-long business marathon in Paris starting 13 October, after which the winners will be announced.

Each award winner will receive US$20,000 plus a year of mentoring from international business school INSEAD, as well as networking opportunities and media exposure.

Last year, Pharmapod CEO and co-founder – and one of Silicon Republic’s top 100 women in STEM – Leonora O’Brien took home the top European prize.

Brady no doubt hopes to repeat Ireland’s success in this global competition and said, “It’s an incredible honour to be chosen and fantastic for our company to be associated with such a premium brand as Cartier.”

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

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.