Women urged to inspire in business

Women urged to inspire in business

By Pádraig Hoare

Women outperforming men in universities are seeing “the wheels fall off in work” because of the “glacial pace in getting to equality”.

That was the message of Ulster Bank’s head of learning and development at an event aimed at encouraging women in business in Cork.

Joyce Walsh told the Irish Times Be One Inspire One business breakfast, run in association with Ulster Bank, that all women had a role in getting behind equality in the workforce through inspiring others.

“There is inequality across the world in all organisations. The pace with regard to getting to equality is glacial, and that is why we are here. There are stats that show when there is equality in organisations, a woman is four times more likely to succeed and a man is twice as likely.

“There was a really powerful example at a Women’s Day event earlier this year. An 18-year-old girl who will sit her Leaving Cert next year will outperform her male counterparts, according to evidence. She will outperform him in college. Then she will go to work and that is where the wheels fall off.

“In five years, she will earn 6% less than her male counterpart, she is less likely to make it to managerial level. That 18-year-old will be 67 before the gender gap closes, if we do nothing,” Ms Walsh said.

The event heard from women in a range of industries, including Claire Nash of Nash19 restaurant, who told the audience how she never let adversity beat her, but instead let it inspire her. A highly competitive nature, a trust for her gut instinct and meeting challenges head-on were some of the factors behind her success in business, Ms Nash said.

Marketing director for the commercial, business and private franchise of Ulster Bank’s parent RBS, Co Clare native Maeve McMahon said women were better bets for business plans to succeed because they were seen as less of a risk than men.

Her high-profile role in RBS was not easy, and did not provide an ideal work-life balance, she said.

“But I have a choice, and I do it,” Ms McMahon said.

Cork A&E nurse and beauty, skincare and fashion blogger, Louise O’Connell said she had turned a hobby into a commercial business in recent years. She urged women to be motivated, saying that self-acceptance was key to unlocking the confidence to do so.

“All of us have something to offer. I began my life all over again and started from scratch,” Ms O’Connell said.

Life coach and businesswoman Jo Flood told of how through trial and error, she had managed to better balance work and home life through her experience as a mother of a child with autism.

More in this Section

One in three plan to save more money in 2020One in three plan to save more money in 2020

Paddy Box is giving Tayto and Barry’s global reachPaddy Box is giving Tayto and Barry’s global reach

John Daly: The art of making a master investmentJohn Daly: The art of making a master investment

The climate is also changing for financiers and fund managersThe climate is also changing for financiers and fund managers


Overshadowed by its giant neighbours it may be, but the smallest of the main Blasket islands, Beginish, is no less impressive in its own right.The Islands of Ireland: The miracle of Beginish

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten — Psalm 90How to tell an animal’s age in a heartbeat

We often hear how nature will do well, even come back from the brink of extinction, if given a chance and some human help.Birds of prey on the rise

In our country we still have places that bear no evidence of disturbance by man, that are in their pristine state and rich with all the elements that feed the spirit and deliver us into the world beyond the skin of the time and circumstances we live in.Unique ambience of Dursey Island under threat

More From The Irish Examiner