TOP 25 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN TO BE HONOURED THIS EVENING AT WXN AWARDS GALA
Diverse Winner selection includes business, arts, trailblazers and public sector
Winners selected by strict criteria or by influential WXN Advisory Board
Ireland's Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards will this evening celebrate 25 extraordinary women who are leading the way in their various sectors. This is the first year of the Awards, which are co-presented by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) and HSBC Ireland.
Research was conducted across the 5 categories in order to identify Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winners. There was no nomination process. WXN followed a clear methodology and criteria for each category including company turnover, number of employees in Ireland, stock-market listing, role responsibilities, role budget, breaking new ground or traditional barriers, and the impact of the Winner’s contribution to Irish Society.
A small sample of Winners includes Dr Mary Robinson, Edna O’Brien, Professor Marie Cassidy, Senator Mary Ann O’Brien, AG Maire Whelan, Tanya Clarke of Diageo and Caroline Green of Ryanair.
There are five categories:
- HSBC Corporate Executives Award
- Public Sector Leaders Award
- Entrepreneurs Award
- Trailblazers Award
- Arts & Culture Award
Details of all Winners are in the Editor’s Note below.
“Ireland has not celebrated influential women and their achievements in such a structured manner before. The research criteria used was very exacting for certain categories and this approach produced new names that perhaps haven’t been in the media,” said Pamela Jeffery, WXN Founder.
Speaking about the business element of the Awards, she added: “While women are under-represented in some professional sectors, the ten Winners of the Corporate Executives Award show that women are sitting at the boardroom table and they are doing so without fanfare. Many of our Winners have not sought profile but were identified purely for their work and the role they play within some of Ireland’s largest companies.
“Traditionally women have succeeded in areas such as Human Resources and four of our Winners are in this category. However the full list of Award Winners shows the diverse functional areas such as finance and operations in which women are now leaders.”
For further media information please contact:
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Editor’s Note: WINNERS
Ten women received the HSBC Corporate Executives Award. Of these ten, four were in Human Resources and two in Finance. Sectors which dominated this category were the technology and life sciences sector, although travel, consumer goods, and building sectors also featured.
- Maeve Carton, Finance Director, CRH plc
- Tanya Clarke, Category Marketing Director, Diageo Ireland
- Caroline Green, Director of Customer Services, Ryanair
- Eimear Kenny, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, ICON plc
- Marie Moynihan, Vice President Global Talent Acquisition, Dell
- Avril McDermott, Human Resource Director, Ireland, Hewlett Packard
- Margaret Morrissey, Country Human Resources Director, Abbott Ireland
- Anne Sheehan, Sales Director, IBM Ireland
- Melanie Sheppard, Finance Director, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
- Siobhan Talbot, Group Finance Director, Glanbia plc
Under the selection criteria, the research identified the ten women who hold the most senior positions in Ireland’s largest publicly-traded companies on the ISEQ by annual turnover or Ireland’s largest companies by number of employees and turnover in Ireland. Candidates must hold their position at the Director level or higher or report directly to the CEO/Managing Director.
Three women were selected for the Entrepreneurs Award and these are well-known names: Anne Heraty of CPL Resources, Mary McKenna of Tour America and Senator Mary Ann O’Brien of Lily O’Brien’s. The criteria required the Winner to have founded the company and still actively manage its daily affairs as the top executive. She must also own at least 25% of the shares of the company.
Few women fell within the criteria and this shows that while many women are launching their own businesses, it is difficult to launch them into the larger scale/big league.
Three women were awarded the Public Sector Leaders Award and these women were in the health and energy sectors. Two of these Winners started their careers as nurses and grew their education with their careers. Winners were: Professor Anne Scott of DCU, Eilish Hardiman of Tallaght Hospital Dublin and Brid Horan of ESB. The criteria identified the women in the most senior positions in Ireland’s largest public sector organisations, in descending order of operating budget. Elected public office holders were excluded due to the nature of their roles.
Five women were recipients of the Trailblazers Award. These women marked a first in their professions and dismantled barriers for women who followed in their paths. These remarkable women were selected from a panel canvassed from the WXN Advisory Board and voted upon. The Winners are:
- Professor Marie Cassidy, First Female State Pathologist
- Dr Clare O’Leary, Medical Consultant and Adventurer, and first Irish woman to climb Mount Everest and reach the South Pole
- Deputy Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan, first woman to secure this post in An Garda Síochána
- Dr Mary Robinson, Human Rights campaigner and first female Irish President
- AG Máire Whelan, First Irish female Attorney General
Finally four women were selected from a panel canvassed from the WXN Advisory Board for the Arts & Culture Award. The Winners are:
- Moya Doherty, Media Entrepreneur
- Marian Finucane, Broadcaster
- Garry Hynes, Founder and Artistic Director, Druid Lane Theatre
- Edna O’Brien, Novelist and Playwright
About Ireland’s Most Powerful: Top 25 Awards:
The Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards Gala will be attended by 400 people this evening in the Convention Centre Dublin. These 25 extraordinary women are leading the way in their various sectors and are inspirational game-changers, trendsetters and pioneers to the women who follow in their paths.
About WXN Ireland:
The Women's Executive Network (WXN) brings the Top 25 Awards to Ireland after 9 successful years of a similar programme in Canada. WXN is a motivated community of 2,500 high achieving women across Ireland. Each looks to WXN to learn from, be inspired by and connect with national and international thought leaders through its professional development, networking and mentoring programmes.
The Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in Ireland launched in September 2008.
WXN fulfils the need for professional women in Ireland to learn from thought leaders, connect with smart women and celebrate accomplishments together. In addition to Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards and the subsequent Summit which will arise from the event, WXN offers a number of other products:
The Breakfast Series presents a number of breakfast events to meet and network with other professional women, then listen to an engaging and provocative panel discussion on a topic of relevance to members’ careers or professional development or perhaps a keynote speaker or a briefing on the local, European or Global economy.
The WXNWisdom Programme matches WXN members with 8-10 women of similar age and professional accomplishment to form a ‘personal advisory board’ for one another. This group comes together five times over a six-month period (for a total of 15 hours) with a trained facilitator to exchange ideas, make strategic contacts, and receive guidance and feedback.
The Cocktail Series offers women an opportunity to meet their peers in a more relaxed post-work environment while still gaining the same crucial insight into the lives and learnings of successful role models.
The WXN Advisory Board
The Irish Members of the WXN Advisory Board include:
- Orlaith Blaney, CEO, McCann Erickson
- Fionnuala Croke, Director, Chester Beatty Library (Chair)
- Mary Davis, Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia
- Maeve Donovan, Former MD, The Irish Times
- Ann Fogarty, Head of Off Shore and European Fund Operations, BNY Mellon; Managing Director, BNY Mellon Fund Services Ireland Ltd.
- Ellvena Graham, Chief Operating Officer, Ulster Bank
- Pamela Jeffery, WXN Founder
- Liz O'Donnell, Former Government Minister and Public Affairs Consultant
- Terence O'Rourke, Managing Partner, KMPG
- Sally Storey, Vice President and General Manager, GlaxoSmithKline Ireland