Next week marks International Women’s Day 2020. Now widely celebrated in Ireland and across the world, IWD celebrates women’s achievements and calls out gender inequality inside and outside of the workplace.
It’s only when we look back to the origins of International Women’s Day, which originated from the trade union movement in the early 20th century, can we realise how far we’ve come. As a Mum of a 13-year-old daughter, it’s heartening to see the progress being made to create a more equal future for her & future generations.
This year Cpl was recognised as one of Ireland’s Best Workplaces for Women and it’s amazing to see the leading work some of our clients are doing in the diversity space. We still have a long way to go and so this week I asked 3 Irish leaders in business for some inspiration to keep striving for success.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland
Julie Sinnamon is CEO of Enterprise Ireland. Prior to her appointment to CEO in November 2013, Julie held several senior public sector positions, spanning a 30-year career in Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.
Julie is a member of the Board and Investment Committee of Enterprise Ireland, a member of National Competitiveness Council, and a member of the Investment Committee of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, part of the National Treasury Management Agency. She is also a Board Member of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Limited.
Julie is a business graduate of the University of Ulster, has a Masters in International Business (Fordham and IMI) and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Programme, USA.
Julie’s Top Secrets for Success in Life and Work
- Do something you love. If your job is not bringing out the best in you, move on and find a job that does.
- Act with integrity. Doing what you believe to be right is always the best approach – even if you turn out to be wrong. If you get it wrong, don’t be afraid to admit it – people are more likely to respect and trust you going forward.
- Have the confidence to ask for advice or help. None of us have all the answers – so, reach out.
- Play to your strengths and help others in your team to do the same.
- Sometimes things don’t go right – a sense of humour is critical to surviving!
- And last, but by no means least, the one I constantly struggle with…. Work/life balance. You need to find time for family, friends and exercise.
Claire Fitzpatrick, Strategy & Operations Director, Consensys
Claire joined blockchain software technology company Consensys in mid-2018 to lead Strategy & Operations for its scaling global business, including its product development centre in Dublin, locations across Europe, US and the Asia Pacific region.
Claire works across the operations and business leadership of the company to design and implement the necessary strategies to support the company’s growth and development.
She has built a 20-year career across a wide breadth of experiences in large corporates, professional service organisations and also as co-founder of start-up Red Planet (sold to Deloitte in 2017). Claire continues to invest in and advise start-ups in the Irish ecosystem.
Claire’s Top Secrets for Success in Life and Work
- Assume Positive Intent. People get up in the morning to do the best they can. Making this assumption at the outset creates positivity and improves relationships immeasurably in the workplace and beyond – you will create a positive attitude ‘ripple effect’ around you.
- Perspective is everything. Think big picture and always remember tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities and challenges to experience and learn from.
- Don’t be afraid to do something risky. The best outcomes both in work and in life have been where I have taken a perceived risk which has ended up with the best experiences. Life is short, it’s worth rolling the dice now and again!
- Don’t care too much about what people think. This is a tough one, but it is your life (personal and work life) and no one will ever be as invested in it, and your happiness as you. At the end of the day, you are the only person who needs to approve of your own choices.
- Control what you can control: Very often, all that you can control is your effort and your attitude. If you channel your energy into the things within your control, instead of worrying about areas outside of your influence, you’ll be much more effective.
Geraldine King, Chief Executive, National Recruitment Federation (NRF)
Geraldine is CEO of the National Recruitment Federation since 2009. The NRF is the professional body supporting the recruitment profession in Ireland, representing over 175 members.
Over the past decade, Geraldine has led a significant expansion in the NRF member services introducing the only accredited Certificate in recruitment practice. More recently Geraldine played an instrumental role in the success of the government award of the first undergraduate 3-year degree recruiter apprenticeship programme in partnership with the National College of Ireland. She also successfully secured Skillnet for the NRF which provides reduced funded training for members.
Prior to joining the NRF, Geraldine ran several operations for Grafton Recruitment. In 2018 and 2019 she was recognised by the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) in the top 100 staffing leaders in Europe and the top 150 global women leaders. Geraldine is a qualified trainer and coach and she has an MA in HRM.
Geraldine’s Top Secrets for Success in Life and Work
- Be prepared to put yourself out there and to make sacrifices along the way. Expect that things will not always go to plan no matter how prepared you are. If there is an obstacle, engage and enlist what experts or skillsets you need to make it happen.
- Surround yourself with great people and always give them the credit for what they achieve. Promote and reward their successes and empower them whenever it is possible.
- Hard work pays off. Keep current and informed with what is going on in your business area/sector and do whatever is needed to upskill or redevelop yourself.
- Try not to procrastinate and meet challenges head-on. Do the hard tasks first then the rest seems easy.
- If you don’t love your job seek to change to something that makes you jump out of the bed every morning. Most of all life is short do something that makes you happy!
To quote International Women’s Day “our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender-equal world.”