‘The World Needs More Women in Leadership Mnà’ UCC IWD 2024

Why The World Needs More Women In Leadership


Lee Ann Burke,Treasurer and Emma Connolly and Clíodhna O’Callaghan Co-Chairs Mnà UCC recording the Women In Leadership podcast


International Women’s Day in UCC University College Cork was celebrated with a series of presentations and discussion on the subject of ‘why the world needs more women in leadership’. After the event, the co-chairs of Mnà UCC, Emma Connolly and Clíodhna O’Callaghan together with Dr. Lee Ann Burke the Mnà Treasurer, recalled highlights of the IWD event in UCC.  They are terrific women and recalled the messages they took from the morning and are well worth a listen.

UCC Event ‘Why The World Needs More Women in Leadership’ IWD 8th March 2024

Four guest speakers Roberta O’Brien Commander Irish Naval Service talked about the difference women make in the naval service and how they can influence policy when they reach leadership levels. Commander O’Brien talked about how women can and do influence outcomes positively and with more long term consequences when they are involved in peace negotiations. She talked out how she was able to influence the Navy’s maternity policy and she had the audience enthralled with her recollections of her participation in migrant rescue missions and fire fighting at sea. “Within the military- it is importance to incorporate the gender perspective to enhance operational effectiveness eg. Dealing with EU migrant crisis- the Naval Service recognised the need to have females onboard in order to carry out searches but also meet the varying needs of women and men.

Commander Roberta O’Brien and HE Maaike Van Koldam Dutch Ambassador at the IWD UCC Event Why the World Needs More Women In Leadership 2024 8 March

Orla Joyce, Legal Director Heineken in Cork showed how it makes business sense to have more diversity in an organisation like Heineken and how policy has to support everyone at all points of their careers. She also spoke about the value of mentoring and sponsorship for both men and women in organisations. The business case for diversity has been proven she said but stressed we have to be laser focussed on the delivery of true equality and diversity in business.

Tom O’Halloran Diversity and Inclusion at LAYA Healthcare was passionate about recognising the contribution of women colleagues and says he sees the benfits of a having a diverse workforce like they have in Laya especially when it comes to understanding the women’s health journey. Their own workforce is often its best source for testing new offerings and policies he said and he advocated the necessity of ensuring bias free recruitment, onboarding, promoting and developing of staff throughout the careers of employees.

Ali O’Mahony Education Officer with the Students Union spoke about the challenge she faces as a young woman often walking into a room of men in suits but talked of how she has learned from this experience. She also talked about the efforts the college is making to tackle gender based violence on campus and their bystander intervention programme which is an essential part of the college led out Prof Louise Crowley.

College President John O’Halloran, a strong supporter of MnàUCC, celebrated the contributions of female staff but agreed there is a long road ahead to bring more balance for women in leading roles in the college.

The event was the brainchild of DIBA the Dutch Irish Business Association led by Marc Berghouwer President and Linda Nugent of DIBAHer Exellency Maaike van Koldam, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands opened the event and said for her “it remains important to highlight the achievements and
capabilities of women each year until we reach a truly equal society.”

Group selfie of panellists for UCC Event Why The World Needs More Women In Leadership

Just Perfect Ali O’Mahony UCCSU Education Officer with Clíodhna O’Callaghan MnàUCC

Podcast presenter and moderator Angie Mezzetti with the Dutch Ambassador HE Maaike Van Koldam

Angela Mezzetti
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