In Deirdre’s own words..
2016 for me is going to be a very big year as I take over as National President of Network Ireland, one of the largest organisations representing professional women from all walks of life.
It’s a big year for me as I lead the organisation through a re-brand, expansion plans and some very exciting and high profile events and activities, partnering with some of Ireland’s biggest and best public and private organisations, culminating in our national conference returning to Cork City in September 2016.
Through my engagement with Network Ireland since 2008 I have connected with some amazing people and made many great friendships and am proud and excited about my new role and responsibilities.
One of the first tasks for 2016, was picking a strong theme for my year, that will resonate with our very diverse national membership and professional women from every walk of life in Ireland.
The theme I have chosen is “Fuelling Ambition” and it’s really a strong “call to action” for me as President, for our National Executive, our Branches, for all our members and I hope for all of the women in business we engage with in 2016.
I believe as professional women, we need to become far more ambitious for ourselves, to challenge ourselves and each other so that we can fulfill our untapped potential. We bring so much to the table and this is starting to be recognised, but we have a role to play to make sure that our voices are heard loud and clear in our businesses, organisations, in our regions and nationally.
As a national organisation in 2016 I want Network Ireland to be more ambitious. We are a strong organisation with eight regional branches and a membership of over 500 of the most tenacious, talented and creative professional women from all sectors. We have the unique opportunity to be the voice for professional women in Ireland supporting and encouraging each other as we develop our careers and businesses.
In 2016, my wish would be for all professional women to forget about glass ceilings and focus on fuelling our ambitions collectively and as individuals – taking us through every glass ceiling that we think is in our way.
There has never been a better time to be a professional woman.
Finally culture is changing and slowly but surely the powers that be are recognising that women at the decision making tables makes for better business. And if any proof was needed, a recent global study showed that boards with over 30% female representation faired much better through the recession than boards with fewer or no female representation. Network Ireland is determined to play its part in ensuring that we fuel the ambition of professional women so they can fulfil their potential and we can increase representation.
As an organisation, Network Ireland gets valuable support from organisations such as Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. They recognise the role that women have to play and are very proactive in helping women achieve their full potential.
We have also received support from other organisations such as AIB, European Parliament Information Office and the Local Enterprise Officesand many others who want to bring more women to the decision making tables in our region and nationally.
I’d love it if every single person reading this would ask themselves – how can they fuel their own ambition?
Don’t wait for something good to happen – you can make it happen for yourself, in your career or in your business. This can be done by connecting with like minded individuals so that you can encourage and support each other and we do so much of this for women through Network Ireland, through our regional and national events and our ongoing engagement with each other on social media.
There is also a strong learning dimension with Network Ireland as we carefully choose topics of interest and experts from their respective fields to speak and participate in our range of events during the year. We always make sure that there is a big social side to what we do as a relaxed and fun atmosphere can be the best way to network!
So this year, let us all help each other to fuel our ambitions, drive on in our careers and in our businesses – so by this time next year we can all say we have had a great year because we achieved what we wanted to achieve and of course, we had fun in the process.
[Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PR] Well said Deirdre … Network Ireland and all of the professional women that are represented throughout the country are lucky to have you!
Deirdre Waldron is a Managing Partner withFuzion PR, Marketing and Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland