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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-06-14 07:38:52




The speakers

The Planet Woman Academy 2017: real women, real stories


For the last 19 years Richard has brought his values based leadership to Boots.
Richard is responsible for the strategy that will deliver against Boots Ireland’s
mission to be the leading pharmacist-led health and beauty retailer ensuring
the best health and beauty retail experience for Irish customers. Engaging and
supporting the team of 2,000 employees, 90% of whom are female, by connecting

company goals and values is a focus of Richard’s leadership.


Byrne’s compelling performances have won her the acclaim of audiences and
critics across the opera world. Byrne made her operatic début as Mimi, in Scottish
Opera’s 2010 production of La Bohème. Noted for the ease with which she manages
to combine power and confidence with delicate and heartfelt intensity, Byrne received
critical acclaim last season for her role as Micaela in Carmen at The Royal Opera
House, Covent Garden. A frequent concert performer, Byrne has sung all over the
world including concerts in Carnegie Hall, New York and the Albert Hall, London.
Future engagements include concerts with Josè Carreras in Europe and Russia, and the

Celine Byrne Christmas Gala in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin.


Mary Byrne’s story is the stuff of fairytales and movies. She’s the Tesco
supermarket checkout lady who took a chance in life at the age of fifty by
auditioning for Britain and Ireland’s biggest TV talent show, the X Factor.
Although she was pipped for a place in the 2010 X Factor final after going out in
the semi-final, Mary won the hearts of millions with her big, warm personality and
powerhouse voice. And when she finally got her life-changing break in the world
of showbusiness, Mary Byrne, a bright and ambitious woman with a wealth of
life’s experiences under her belt, was determined to make the most of it. Having
reached the semi-finals of ITV’s ‘The X-Factor’, Mary was mentored by Louis
Walsh, and her fellow finalists included One Direction and Matt Cardle. Since
then, Mary has performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her historic State
visit to Ireland in 2011, and shared the stage with Neil Diamond to perform for

over 55,000 fans at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.


Paula Cain is the General Manager BT Ireland’s wholesale division. She is
responsible for leading the Commercial Business and Development Plans for the
UK Public Sector Market, including P&L Management, Marketing, Product and
Propositions. Paula joined the BT family in 1998 as a graduate, based in London.
Since then, she has progressed solidly in her career, working in a number of roles
from product manager to propositions manager for BT Group. In 2005, she re-
located to Ireland with her husband to take up the role of head of marketing and
business planning for BT Ireland, before ultimately moving into strategy in 2010.

Paula’s mantra is do what you say and say what you do. Paula believes that
one of the biggest challenges for women in business is ‘that we still have a lot of
work to do when it comes to self-promotion. In general, we’re far less likely to
push ourselves forward for things than men and it’s even harder if you work in
a male dominated industry, although I do see that changing. I think that many
women could have accelerated their careers much earlier by breaking down those

confidence barriers and supporting and nurturing other female talent.’
Paula has a BSc in management Sciences from Sheffield Hallam University and
an MSc in business telecommunications from University College London. She lives

in Dublin with her husband and two children.


To sum her up, Caroline is a women in leadership and diversity champion. She
describes herself as a newshound, politics nerd, hiker & yoga convert in her down-
time. With a background in strategic communications and politics and with a PhD

in culture change, Caroline helps businesses have conversations that matter.
Caroline has over 15 years’ experience working in strategic business

development, corporate communications and lobbying. She’s worked in-house, for
herself and as a consultant with some of the largest blue-chip corporates in media,
pharma and most recently, financial services. Her experience spans across national

and European programmes in the private, public and NGO sectors.
She works with other senior leaders to get to the heart of what’s unique about
their business, to engage the right stakeholders & deliver through their people.
With a passion for helping organisations develop the kind of culture it takes to
succeed she supports the delivery of strategy by building a community of engaged

employees through open, vibrant, trust-based conversations.
She has authored two books, edited two more and more recently contributed as
a guest author on impactful ways to communicate science to the general public.
She has been a speechwriter and contributed to an address given by Bill Clinton on

his visit to Ireland in 2005.
In her current role as Group Head of Communications with Irish Life, Caroline
reports to the CEO and works with a team to support a business of over 2400
employees, and a client-base of over 1 million customers. You can find her on

Twitter @Caz_Collins and trust us, she doesn’t bite!


Orla Coughlan has been powering people in the global tech, communications
and gaming sector in the US, Europe and Ireland for most of her career, including

a 9 year stint for Activision Blizzard, and has also raised two grown up sons in
that period so is a huge advocate for working mothers. Most recently she was VP
for People and Communication for Irish-based firm Cleverbug. She took up the
role of Chief Human Resources Officer for eir last December. eir is the principal

provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services in Ireland with
approximately 2.3 million customers.


Appointed to Tánaiste in May 2016, Fitzgerald previously served as Minister
for Justice and Equality and as Ireland’s first ever senior Minister for Children and
Youth Affairs. Amongst many political highlights, Fitzgerald introduced legislation

for the holding of the Marriage Equality referendum and, in November 2015,
signed the Commencement Order for the Marriage Act 2015 which officially made
marriage equality a legal reality. Prior to her election to the Dáil, Fitzgerald served

as Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland and VP of the European
Women’s Lobby. Trained as a social worker and family therapist, she has a B.Soc.
Science in UCD and an MSc. in Social Administration and Social Work from the

London School of Economics.


Named in Huffington Post UK’s 50 Funny Women to Follow on Twitter, Flynn’s
background is as varied as a founding member of singing comedy trio The Nualas,

to the comedy festival circuit of Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International
Comedy Festival. She has written two satirical books – You’re Grand: The

Irishwoman’s Secret Guide to Life and Giving Out Yards: The Art of Complaint,
Irish Style – and worked extensively across radio, TV and theatre in the UK and
Ireland, with highlights ranging from Radio Four to Moone Boy and a stint in I
Do Not Like Thee Dr. Fell for the Abbey Theatre. Flynn is a regular columnist for

Irish Tatler and a contributor to the Irish Times.


Joanne Hynes is fashion designer, business woman and mother who approaches
projects with a unique vision.

On September 18th 2016, Joanne Hynes introduces her quintessential A/W
2016 collection to Ireland’s Dunnes Stores.

A love of craft driven design techniques has developed into a highly recognisable
“Joanne Hynes look”, incorporated into clothing and accessories, which has been

built over 15 years since graduating from Central Saint Martins MA. Inherent
in the Joanne Hynes signature is the clashing of eclectic elements, the interplay

of illustrious fabrics, colours and signature hand crafted embellishment and
applications on cloth. AW16 introduces all of the quintessential Joanne Hynes
elements such as the playful Tiger Lady leather motif, leather Rabbit neckpieces
from London Fashion Weeks SS12 show and the iconic embellished crystal collars.

The Joanne Hynes label has been shown internationally and sold within the
world’s most renowned luxury retailers. Previous collaborations include Pretty

Polly hosiery (2012) and Joanne Hynes for Topshop (2006).
Joanne returned to Ireland permanently in 2012 and lives in County Wicklow

with her partner and three young daughters.


As Manager of Female Entrepreneurship, Sarita manages Enterprise Ireland’s
key initiatives to support Female Entrepreneurs. These initiatives are part of a
drive to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set
up and led by female entrepreneurs. Sarita has worked for Enterprise Ireland
since 1995 in various roles, which include Regional Development, Commercial
Evaluation and most recently as Senior Development Advisor with the High

Potential Start up Team. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree
and a MBS from Liverpool John Moores University. With circa twenty years’
experience in working with indigenous companies across multiple sectors Sarita
has significant experience in strategic mentoring, financial analysis, operational

strategy and business plan implementation.


Dr Mahony is currently Master of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in
Dublin. NMH is one of Europe’s largest maternity hospitals, employing over 800

staff and delivering almost 10,000 infants annually. It is a major Irish Tertiary
Referral Centre providing advanced obstetric, neonatal and gynaecological care.
Dr Mahony is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and a Specialist in Maternal and
Fetal medicine and is well published. As a graduate of University College Dublin,
she plays an active role in teaching medical students and is currently a Clinical
Professor with The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Dr Mahony is a Fellow
of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, UK, and of the Royal
College of Physicians of Ireland. She has recently been appointed an Honorary
Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Since 2014 Dr.
Mahony has been an Eisenhower Fellow as part of a Multi-Nation Programme. In
2013 she founded the National Maternity Foundation, which supports the work
of the Hospital. She is a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and serves

on the board of the Little Museum in Dublin.


A global Eisenhower Fellow, the journalist, author and broadcaster was recently
named Irish Tatler Media Woman of the Year.

Last month Dearbhail received an inaugural alumni Special Achievement award
from Dublin City University for her contribution to journalism and society.

A former news correspondent with The Sunday Times, she has won a series
of awards for her legal affairs coverage and is a former Young Irish Medical

Journalist of the Year.
Dearbhail serves on the board of Fighting Words, Ireland’s national creative

writing centre, and is a director of the St Stephen’s Green Trust.
A member of the External Advisory Board of Maynooth University Department
of Law, she also serves on the board of the Happy Days Enniskillen International

Beckett and Lughnasa International Friel Festivals.
Dearbhail holds an LL.B (Law) from Trinity College Dublin as well as a First
Class Honours Masters Degree in Journalism from Dublin City University.


McElligott is Head of Capital Markets at Tetrarch Capital and is responsible for
key institutional investor relationships and banking relationships. She’s worked as
a Director of Capital Markets at Lloyds Bank from 2008 to 2013 and Managing

Director for Fixed Income Sales at Bear Stearns in London from 2001 to 2008.
McElligott has an Electronic Engineering degree (BAI) from Trinity College Dublin

and is ACCA qualified.


Caroline is a member on the Low Pay Commission and is also an adjudicator
in the new Work Place Relations Commission. She has also completed a Masters
in Human Resources in the University of Limerick, she is CIPD accredited as well
as being a trained mediator. Caroline had worked across various areas of HR for
over 20 years in Kerry Group PLC and in the retail and hospitality sector where
she was the Operations and HR Director of the Garvey Group prior to setting up

the HR Suite in 2009.
The HR Suite offer specialist tailored and effective human resources and
business solutions to clients throughout Ireland. They have four key departments,
which include; Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Training and

Caroline speaks widely and writes articles and papers on thought leadership
in relation to the future landscape of HR and the challenges and opportunities
that presents for employers and employees and she also speaks on the area of

employment law, mediation and other relevant HR related topics.
She is also a lead mentor on the ACORNS programme which is promoting

entrepreneurship for women and is a member of the going for growth
entrepreneurship programme and continuing the momentum programme. Caroline

recently launched her new book ‘ The Art of Asking the Right Question.’


O’Brien has been Director General of the Health Service since July 2013, having
served as Director General Designate/Acting CEO from August 2012. O’Brien
was previously Chief Operating Officer of the Special Delivery Unit, Department
of Health and CEO of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). He served

as Chief Advisor to the HSE on the implementation of the National Cancer
Control Strategy, Project Director for the National Plan for Radiation Oncology

and is a former Chairman of the National Cancer Registry Board. He was the
founding CEO of the National Cancer Screening Service, Director of BreastCheck,

CervicalCheck and an Associate and Interim Director of the National Cancer
Control Programme. Currently, O’Brien serves as Adjunct Associate Professor
in Health Strategy and Management at Trinity College Dublin, Vice President
of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) and a Council Member of the
Irish Management Institute (IMI). He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in

collective leadership.


The businesswoman and broadcaster has always spoken out about health
matters and encouraged others to do the same. In September 2013, she shaved
her head live on The Late Late Show – the Irish Cancer Society received €600,000
in donations after the show – a little over a week after a preventative double
mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. After being given the all-clear, she still
campaigns to raise awareness of cancer diagnosis and cancer services. She is the
founder of mental health charity Donegal Mind Wellness and a prominent support
of mental health awareness. She and her husband, Daniel have recently completed

a second series of Daniel and Majella’s B&B Roadtrip.


Having been in the business since the age of 17 and MD since 19, O’Donovan
has helped to make O’Donovan Waste Disposal one of London’s leading

independent waste management companies. The award-winning, family-run
business provides a comprehensive waste management service for some of the
country’s biggest construction businesses. It is a leading pioneer in sustainability
and safety across the sector. Under her dynamic leadership, O’Donovan Waste has
become an exemplar haulier, was one of the first construction firms to become a
CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) Champion and achieved
the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Gold accreditation for the fifth
consecutive year. Personal achievements for O’Donovan include being named
Outstanding Woman in Construction 2016 and Vitalise Business Woman of the

Year 2016.


Phelan is Vice President, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Ireland, Middle
East and Africa at PayPal. Responsible for more than 100 countries across the
region, Phelan joined PayPal from the senior management team of GE Money in
2006, when PayPal had just 200 employees in Ireland. She oversaw significant
growth and expansion with employee numbers currently at more than 2,600 in
Dublin and Dundalk, with estimated growth to reach 3,000 by 2018. In addition,
Phelan is a Non-Executive Director at Ryanair, sits on the board of directors of
Voxpro and is a member of the Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Group. In
2014, she won Irish Innovation Champion at the 2014 Innovation Luminary



Gina is the President of National College of Ireland and is privileged to be
leading NCI’s mission, ‘to change lives through education’.

Previously, Gina worked as Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber representing
Businesses in the Greater Dublin Region, and as CEO of Gandon Enterprises, the

Commercial division of the Rehab Group.
A Psychologist by training, Gina holds an MBA from UCD Smurfit Business
School and is a Board member of ESB Networks, the Docklands Oversight and
Consultative Forum, a Chartered Director, and a recipient of the Alumni of
the Year Award from UCD Michael Smurfit Business School. Gina is currently

undertaking an MSc in Cyber Psychology.
National College of Ireland is a not-for-profit third level college situated in
the heart of the International Financial Services Centre and Silicon Docks area
of Dublin. The college provides a range of third level under-graduate and post-
graduate programmes in Business, Computing, Psychology, and Education and

business incubation facilities.


Ryan is a highly-experienced director and business leader who currently serves
as a non-executive director on the board of a number of organisations including
Wells Fargo Bank International, The Abbey Theatre and Touchtech. Ryan was

Country Managing Director of Accenture in Ireland from 2005 until 2014,
overseeing a business that employed an Irish workforce of more than 1,600
people. He is currently a member of the Trinity College Foundation Advisory
Board, The Leinster Rugby Professional Game Board and is on the Ireland
Strategic Investment Fund Investment Committee. Ryan also served on the board
of the National Concert Hall from 2005 to 2011. He is a member of the Institute

of Directors.


Julie Sharp joined Bank of Ireland as Head of Group Human Resources on 14
June 2010. Julie is Australian and brings diverse HR experience to the Group,
gained in several different companies including ING where she more recently
worked. Julie held a number of senior HR positions with ING, ranging from
Regional HR Director, Australia, to Regional Head of HR & Board Member,
Hong Kong, ING Asia Pacific, where she was responsible for 17,000 employees,
covering Investment Management, Insurance and Real Estate. After 10 years
working with ING, Julie moved to Ireland with her family where she has been
engaged in consulting assignments over the past year. Prior to IMG, Julie was the

HR Director for Citibank Australia and Arthur Anderson.
Julie holds an MBA in International Business Management from Charles Stuart
University, having previously graduated from the University of New South Wales

with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology.


Prior to becoming CEO of Enterprise Ireland in November 2013, Sinnamon
held a number of senior public sector positions, with a 30-year career in Enterprise

Ireland and IDA Ireland. She has significant experience in a variety of industry
sectors, in particular the food sector. Sinnamon has managed Enterprise Ireland’s
commercial evaluation division and its equity portfolio. She is a member of the

Board and Investment Committee of Enterprise Ireland and a member of the
Investment Committee of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund. Her ambition is to
help Irish-owned business to achieve business scale through international growth.
Sinnamon is a champion for women engaging at all levels within the private and

public sectors


Margot Slattery is country president of Sodexo Ireland, part of the global
Sodexo Group, the world’s largest multi-services company. In Ireland, Sodexo
employs 2,100 people delivering services that improve the quality of life to clients

and their staff at 200 site locations.
Margot is on Sodexo’s global LGBT network leadership team. The company is a
founding partner and signatory of Ireland’s first Diversity Charter and a finalist in
the Best Employer category at the 2015 GALA Awards, Ireland’s LGBT Awards.

Margot was the winner of a Trailblazer Award in the 2016 WXN Most
Powerful Women in Ireland Awards and named Senior Leader of the Year at
GLEN’s inaugural Workplace Equality Index Awards in 2015. She is on the 2016
Out at Work/Telegraph list of Top 50 LGBT Executives and the 2015 Financial

Times’ list of Top 100 OUTstanding LGBT Business Leaders.
Outside Sodexo, Margot sits on the Board of GLEN (the Gay and Lesbian

Equality Network) in Ireland.


Currently at RTÉ, where Spillane holds the position of Director of RTÉ Global
& TV Marketing, she has worked in Marketing, Media and Entertainment for
over 20 years. She worked at some of the largest entertainment brands in the
world including Disney, Warner Bros and ITV, where she held the position of
Marketing Director. Prior to joining RTÉ, Spillane has been Chief Marketing
Officer for Microsoft Ireland, and Head of Marketing, Brand & Sponsorship at

Bank of Ireland.


My career has been spent providing marketing, sales, digital and people related
services for a variety of industry sectors, so in Alternatives, all these skills combine
to spearhead our specialist talent solutions offering. My experience spans both the

UK and Irish markets, the last 14 of which have been in leadership roles. Before
joining Alternatives, I was managing director of FMI Ltd, Irelands’ leading field
management and sales services business where I doubled the business over the 6

years of my tenure despite trading through the recession.
Prior to FMI I pulled together the 3 separate divisions of McConnells
Advertising below-the-line offering to form and head up McConnells Fusion.
Before returning to Ireland in 2003, I held senior sales and marketing roles in a
variety of sectors in the UK, including e-commerce, telecommunications, financial
services and marketing services. I’m delighted to be part of Alternatives Group and
to be given the opportunity to help the leadership team drive its’ future growth.


Jean Ann Taylor has over thirty years experience leading large teams and is
a commercial professional at a senior management level having worked with
companies such as House of Fraser, Brown Thomas, Clerys & Co. and ARI. She
has an impressive track record for the successful development and implementation
of commercial strategies in both existing and new business ventures and excellent
team leadership skills. Jean Ann’s record for commercial growth and challenging
target achievements is exceptional having lead management teams of 20 and store
teams of up to 450. She has successfully developed and implemented Employment
Engagement Projects, Performance Management Design and Training, Designing

and Implementing new Organisational Structures.
She is a strong influencer, successful negotiator at the highest level with
international brands. Jean Ann has MBS in Strategy and Innovation, Business
Finance Management and Strategic HR Management and is currently working as a
consultant in the Business Change Management Company owned by her husband

and herself.

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