Going for Growth: Sandra Healy, Inclusio

Over the past 14 years, Inclusio founder Sandra Healy has championed and driven diversity and inclusion practice across industry. She talks about her Going for Growth journey.

In this new series we talk to women entrepreneurs who have taken part in the Going for Growth programme. Going for Growth is a six-month part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations. Applications are currently being sought from ambitious female entrepreneurs for the 14th cycle of the popular programme.

In 2016, Sandra Healy identified a problem she was intent on solving; how to measure impact and return on investment on workplace culture and diversity.

“Being an entrepreneur and a CEO can feel like a solo journey at times”

To this end, Sandra – who is the founding Director of the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion — established and is now CEO of inclusio.

Diversity expertise

Prior to joining Dublin City University, Sandra’s career spanned 20 years in the global technology industry. Sandra holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a first-class Master’s in Organisational Psychology.

Over the past 14 years, Sandra has championed and driven diversity and inclusion practice across industry and is considered one of the country’s leading experts.

She was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Citizens Assembly on

Gender Equality in Ireland (2020-2021) and contributes to the work of the Ibec Diversity

Forum, CWIT and 30% Club Ireland. Sandra provided critical diversity expertise and sectoral knowledge for the establishment of the EU Diversity Charter Ireland in 2014. 

In 2018, the Inclusio team secured Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation funding to research and build a cutting-edge SaaS solution set for the global market. The software provides employers with access to rich diversity data and scientific culture metrics.

Employee and manager development is delivered through AI personalised content, providing organisations with a time and cost-efficient approach to culture and diversity learning. Unlike other solutions, the software tracks trends and changes using scientific culture metrics and directly links them to business KPIs.

Inclusio was shortlisted for a European Compliance and Ethics Award (ECEC, 2020).

In 2018, Sandra was named in the top three Diversity Leaders to Watch by DiverseIn as a ‘game changer for diversity and inclusion’. She was also shortlisted for the European Diversity Awards in the ‘Head of Diversity’ category in 2019/

Sandra is part of the Going for Growth community after participating on the Starting Strong element of the programme in 2021. 

In exceptional cases, entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of their business journey will be considered for Going for Growth if they are generating sales, and it is felt that the business is highly innovative, plans to have export customers and the entrepreneur has significant growth ambitions. If accepted, these participants are included in the ‘Starting Strong’ element of the programme.

Sandra says that participating in programme was a fantastic experience.

“I found the programme invaluable, both for myself personally and for the development of my company,” Sandra explained. “Being an entrepreneur and a CEO can feel like a solo journey at times.

“The Starting Strong programme created a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, all facing the same challenges, as we focused on growth strategies for our businesses. I benefited from every aspect of the programme: the workshops, the peer mentoring and the expert coaching from our Lead Entrepreneur. Combined, they enabled me to build a roadmap for future success,” she said.

The call is open for applications from female entrepreneurs who would welcome peer support to take their businesses to the next level by taking part in the Going for Growth programme. This is the 14th year of Going for Growth and more than 800 female entrepreneurs have so far taken part in the programme. Up to 60 places will be available for the 14th cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2022 and the deadline for applications is Thursday December 16th 2021. There is no charge for those selected.

Anyone interested is encouraged to register on the website goingforgrowth.com and a link to the application form will be sent to them.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.