American Chamber to host exciting new programmes aimed at supporting women in leadership roles

Speakers at the AmCham4Balance luncheon in Dublin: Ciara Houlihan, HSBC; Eileen Gregory, Adroll and Fiona Carney, Microsoft.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland is to pilot two new programmes for its members this year aimed at supporting women in international leadership roles.

Led by Miriam O’Keeffe, programmes director of the Women in Global Organisations group at American Chamber, the programmes will look at the challenges being faced by the increasing numbers of Irish-based employees in US multinationals who hold roles with responsibilities spanning Europe, the Middle East, Asia and in South America.

Often these roles require them to manage virtual teams, to travel extensively, to work across time zones.

“However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Managing a team that spans several time zones takes organization. Along with language barriers, cultural differences; what motivates one region, may not work for another; varying time differences: When you’re on fighting form at the start of the working day, your colleague across the Atlantic is winding down and preparing to leave the office.”

The Women in Global Organisations pilot programmes are open to Chamber members and are currently open to female participants but in future, Miriam O’Keeffe confirms will be open to both men and women.

“This is the first cross sector mentor programme which aims to support women who have recently commenced a role with international or regional responsibilities. Our range of mentors, both male or female, will have extensive current or recent relevant international experience,” she said.

Complementing the mentor programme, a cross sector peer learning circle will help participants develop the skills to add value to their role in their company, and learn how best to communicate Ireland as pivotal in the overall global corporate development of their organisations.

Areas of focus for the learning circle include: How is one proactive in developing the company here; How do you challenge status quo; How do you push the boundaries; How to leverage your own internal capabilities and resources; How do you develop skills in the politics of global enterprises.

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Building on success

Meanwhile, exciting initiative aimed at supporting the growing community of start-up and emerging US companies in Ireland has been launched by American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.

Ireland has established itself as the leading location in Europe for these start-up multinationals when taking their first steps onto global markets and the new “Emerging US Company Support Program” is aimed at sustaining and building on that success.

Introducing the new initiative at Squarespace’s impressive new HQ on Dublin’s Ship Street in December, American Chamber Director of Special Projects Katie Keogh explained that the Chamber’s new Emerging FDI Working Group, supported by the IDA Emerging Business Team, will draw on the expertise of existing working groups in areas such as HR, tax, data, general counsel, and leadership and development to support new start-up companies during their first three years in Ireland.

The program and its potential were discussed by an expert panel comprising Squarespace EMEA operations director Raphael Fontes; Emergenetics director of regional operations Chelsea Dillon; IDA Ireland’s Emerging Business Division head Barry O’Dowd; and former Chamber President Bob Savage of Dell EMC.

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