Andrew is proactive in challenging inequality, and establishing and embedding strategic support to create a more inclusive working environment where diversity thrives. He has worked closely with the Group CEO to establish a leadership goal for all appointments to senior management and leadership to reflect a 50:50 gender ratio by 2021. He has built awareness and understanding of the importance of gender diversity through encouraging his team to lead by example, through educational support including unconscious bias training and by speaking passionately internally and externally and communicating regularly with all colleagues. Andrew also published the ‘Group Finance Maternity Charter’, a leadership commitment to supporting the needs of expectant and new working mothers, and regularly hosts lunches with colleagues who are returning from maternity leave to network and build confidence. He commissioned a return to work pilot scheme, actively engages men in gender diversity and hosts a regular ‘Role Model’ networking series with senior female leaders. Externally, among other initiatives and engagements, Andrew established the Gold Sovereign award. Until 1972, when Ireland joined the EU, upon marriage, women were required by law to leave employment and ‘return to the home’, and were presented with a gold sovereign on their departure. Andrew repurposed the gold sovereign, presenting them to people who are driving the I&D agenda in the organisation and in wider society.
Since May last year, Margaret has delivered a flagship Female Leadership Development Programme, focused on equipping women with the skills to take centre stage in their careers and progress to leadership. The programme has resulted in numerous promotions, expanded and more varied roles, and more involvement in senior leadership teams, boards, and networking groups. An alumni group has been formed to foster learnings and Margaret has mentored women leaders to deliver the programme going forward. In partnership with INSEAD, Margaret undertook a programme to drive gender balance, developing a business case, researching hidden challenges for women, conducting diagnostics and working with senior leadership teams to implement solutions. She is a founding partner and inaugural speaker for the Female Networking Group, and has led the rollout of Breaking Bias training for over 1,000 staff over 6 months. As part of this training rollout, Margaret initiated and managed a research project with Dublin City University to conduct rigorous academic assessment to measure programme outcomes. She also developed the company’s inaugural mentoring programme, exceeding gender balance targets. Externally, Margaret spreads the gender diversity message during speaking engagements at key events, sharing her experiences establishing various initiatives and programmes focused on gender diversity. She is beginning a journey with the Women ReBOOT programme, an innovative initiative that supports women with technology sector skills and experience to return to work after a career break.
At Irish Life Group and in the wider sector, Simone has taken a root to branch approach to stamping out gender bias in financial services and beyond. She established the Achieve Your Potential ERG to drive gender balance across Irish Life; she introduced policies allowing both parents to share responsibilities more equally; she rolled out unconscious bias training to over 800 people managers, with 83% of staff reporting heightened D&I awareness as a result; she introduced a full parenting support pathway with workshops and resources; she established a female leadership programme; and she undertook a complete review of recruitment practices and policies to remove any bias from the process and ensure a wider pipeline of diverse candidates for the future, among many other successful initiatives. Externally, Simone developed Irish Life’s involvement with Irish government-launched P-Tech, promoting social inclusion of young people in the north east inner city of Dublin. She is a member of the financial services working group of the 30% Club and has been instrumental in the development of the new Girls in Financial Services Schools’ programme. Simone is also a board member of Business to Arts, and is a regular keynote speaker at events in Ireland and internationally, fostering a sense of belonging for women in financial services.
Four years ago, Rachel joined Aer Lingus as the first female executive board member and only the second woman at executive level in 83 years. She is responsible not only for all areas of Finance including actionable financial insight to drive business performance, but also for the technology functions, covering day to day operations across all systems, cyber security and development of new technology solutions. Rachel acts as a powerful and visible role model for women in the sector. She has developed diversity from an initially uncomfortable conversation to a regular point of discussion. She sponsors the LIFT (Let’s Inspire Female Talent) network, enabling a 9% improvement in women at senior management level in the last three years. As a result of Rachel’s commitment to diversity, a number of positive changes have been introduced, including annual International Women’s Day all female flights; and the engagement of the company’s first female engineering apprentices. Rachel allocates time to act as a mentor and sponsor to women at all levels across Aer Lingus and the IAG Group. She also participates in panels at events and conferences, such as Hackathon – The Levers of Change, the 2018 Women in Tech conference and the 2019 Dublin Tech Summit. Furthermore, Rachel has supported the launch of the first Irish Girl Guides Aviation badge.
In 2009, Rachel founded the Women in the Firm initiative within Arthur Cox. This involved bringing the women partners together to formulate a strategy to empower women in the firm. The initiative included training for women partners and associates on a range of subjects, as well organising talks and presentations by external speakers on key issues. Arthur Cox was the first Irish law firm to introduce maternity coaching. For the past seven years, the firm has hosted a lunch event for 200 women clients on International Women’s Day. Rachel also played a key role in bringing the Catalyst programme, Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) to the firm, running over two days and fostering inclusive leadership through understanding privilege. 33% of the firm’s partners are now women and in May the firm’s first female chair was appointed. Externally, Rachel is currently the Deputy Chair of the 30% Club in Ireland, and co-heads the club’s Professional Services Firms’ Group. She is a regular speaker in various fora on women in the workplace – she recently spoke about gender diversity in the legal profession at the Annual Conference of the Society of Young Solicitors, she was a panellist for Dublin City University Law Society, and she spoke at a Grant Thornton-hosted event on Women in Tax. Rachel is also a member of the committee of the Irish Chapter of the International Women’s Forum.
This year, Carol’s focus has been mentoring and developing women leaders, participating in several mentoring programmes (both internally and externally), including a reverse mentoring programme. She uses her position of influence to further advance female potential, particularly at senior levels, and to act as a proactive ambassador for gender parity both within and outside BNY Mellon. Carol led the BNY Mellon partnership with the 30% Club in Ireland to co-sponsor the ‘Women in Management’ report, now in the fourth year of this five year survey, with results showing increased participation rates of women at all levels in the management hierarchy. She supported the implementation of BNY Mellon focus groups following Business in the Community’s Project 28-40 report, seeking to identify hidden tensions within workplace cultures that may explain why UK employers are struggling to create a more gender-balanced workforce. Externally, Carol is a co-founder of the 30% Club in Ireland and is currently country lead for the Ireland chapter. Under her leadership, the 30% Club in Ireland has grown to 250 Chairs and CEOs of Ireland’s largest businesses committed to better gender balance in senior decision making. The 30% Club Ireland’s cross-company mentoring programme has supported more than 700 women and in 2019 will offer 22 executive education scholarships. Carol is also personally supporting, the ‘Balance for Better Business review’ under the leadership of the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, which will set voluntary gender targets for Irish Business. Carol is a Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD) and holds an MSC in Business Practice from the Irish Management Institute / University College Cork.
Shortly after joining Bank of Ireland as CEO in October 2017, Francesca articulated her ambition to enable customers, colleagues and communities to thrive by supporting a D&I agenda. She appointed the CFO as executive sponsor for D&I, thereby demonstrating her commitment with both Executive Directors fronting the diversity agenda. Francesca launched a 50:50 public commitment for all senior appointments by 2021, which has also heralded a sense of ambition for upcoming female talent. The bank has delivered a female talent accelerator programme, and Francesca has introduced ‘Modern Ways of Working’, allowing greater flexibility to those with outside responsibilities. She initiated a returners’ network and has spoken at the bank’s Role Model lunch series on gender diversity. Outside of her regular work, within the last year Francesca has given the keynote speech at the 30% Club annual conference, also ensuring that the Bank of Ireland actively supported and embraced the pilot ‘Board Ready Programme for Senior Female Executives’ run by the 30% Club. She has supported a number of ‘100 Women In Finance’ events, welcomed the ‘Fearless Girl’ to the Bank of Ireland, penned an OpEd for the Irish Independent and welcomed the Minister of Finance to the bank to present the Balance for Better Business first annual report.
At LinkedIn, Tiffany blends her daily leadership of core business initiatives like the 2018 opening of a new company office in Berlin, with service as both a culture ambassador and mentor to young women across the enterprise. She has coached dozens of young women to pursue leadership positions in technology, tackling deep-rooted imbalances in the sector. Tiffany also served as a board member of Women at LinkedIn, an employee resource group focused on developing female leaders. Tiffany spends much of her time outside of work as a thought leader in the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, serving as a mentor to young professionals new to the field, and writing a quarterly column on the subject. She actively promotes diversity by participating in mentoring sessions and developing “personal branding” events. She also showcases her business leadership through outlets like: Training Industry Magazine; speaking on podcasts; and keynote talks at many events internationally. Most recently, she was a featured speaker at Vodafone’s International Women’s Week, and at the Ericsson Women network resource group.
Over the last two years, as she met with candidates, talked to hiring managers, and shared experiences with fellow HR professionals, Lisa became increasingly focussed on the problems preventing potential talent from reaching the stage of making an application. As a result of lengthy discussions, she started looking at ‘returnship’ models that have emerged elsewhere, but saw the chance to go further. LinkedIn’s programme, ReturnIn, would be real, full time jobs, not work experience. It would have a unique recruitment process, additional help with onboarding, family friendly features and specialist help, and mentoring from people who understand the circumstances. Last November at the All Hands event, at which CEO Jeff Weiner was present, they officially launched LinkedIn’s ReturnIn programme. Lisa also speaks regularly internally and externally on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, including hosting CWIT (Connecting Women in Tech) events and International Women’s Day at LI.
In 2008, Rachel founded the Women in the Firm initiative within Arthur Cox. This involved bringing the women partners together to formulate a strategy to empower women in the firm. The initiative included training for women partners and associates on a range of subjects including Mastering the Unwritten Rules of Work and Developing a Personal Brand, as well organising talks and presentations by external speakers on key issues. Arthur Cox was the first Irish law firm to introduce maternity coaching. For the past five years, the firm has hosted a lunch event for 200 women clients on International Women’s Day. Rachel also played a key role in bringing the Catalyst programme, Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) to the firm which was attended by partners over two days in Dublin in September 2017. Externally, Rachel is currently the Deputy Chair of the 30% Club in Ireland, and co-heads the club’s Professional Services Firms’ Group. She is a regular speaker in various fora on women in the workplace – she has recently chaired an event for the Irish Society for European Law and has been invited to give the key note address at the Society of Young Solicitors’ conference in November.