9 March 2020

International Women’s Day Lunch with the Executive Institute

Our Managing Director, Nicola O’Neill, hosted a lunch with the Executive Institute for International Women’s Day . She speaks about the day below.

It was a pleasure to MC the International Women’s day Lunch with the Executive Institute in the Shelbourne on Thursday 5th March. I was joined on the platform by the fabulous Ruth Hayes, MD of Ireland at Kellogg Company, Carole Ann Clarke, CEO of I am Here and former International Rugby Player, and Vanessa O’ Mahony, Senior Sales Director Cloud Technology UK, Oracle Digital. They shared their inspirational insights:

  • Use your privilege to help others, particularly those who are marginalised
  • We are the catalyst for change
  • Have a mentor to provide quality thinking space
  • Challenge your limiting beliefs and don’t succumb to the realities that are there, like the glass ceiling- ignore it and move on
  • Be a pig in a swimming pool- it is ok to be different

We also ran some polls to get audience feedback, of which there were over 300 attendees, and here are the results:

  1. At the start of your career, what was it about your first employer that attracted you to work there?
  • Remuneration package: 33 %
  • Gender balance within organisation: 1 %
  • Flexible working hours: 10 %
  • Working from home options: 2 %
  • Parental support offered: 3 %
  • CSR activity: 1 %
  • Social Activities: 11 %
  • Other: 57 % (Career progression, development opportunities, company brand etc.)

When I questioned “Has this changed since their first job?”, the answer was unanimous, the priority now is flexible working hours and working from home options

  1. If you returned to the workplace after maternity leave, what supports would be of most value to you?
  • Additional coaching or training: 17 %
  • Flexible working hours: 85 %
  • Working from home options: 47 %
  • Ability to take additional unpaid leave: 23 %
  • Advice services available: 11 %
  • Compensation package: 9 %
  • Other: 5 %
  1. “Even with equal skills and qualifications, women have more difficulty than men reaching top management positions in my company”
  • I agree with this statement: 70 %
  • I disagree with this statement: 30 %


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