Honouring women at top of their fields

Representatives of some of the world’s biggest corporations and institutions are among Ireland’s most powerful women, according to an awards ceremony organised by the Women’s Executive Network.

Honouring women at top of their fields

Among those named as Ireland’s 25 Most Powerful Women are European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly; Microsoft Ireland MD Cathriona Hallahan; and secretary-general of the European Commission, Catherine Day.

Network founder Pamela Jeffrey described the award winners as models for others to follow.

“Our members want to celebrate, highlight and aspire to the success of Top 25 award-winners and Women’s Executive Network speakers. More than anything, Women’s Executive Network members want to see how successful women have managed their career and life-journey and see if they can replicate that success.”

The awards recognised female leaders in both the public and private sectors as well as entrepreneurs and prominent women in arts and culture.

Five trailblazers were also honoured for breaking new ground through their work, including: United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Most Reverend Pat Storey.

The need for greater female representation in high-ranking positions was also highlighted.

“In Europe, the most senior positions are still predominantly held by men, whether in business, politics or other fields. In March this year, the European Commission noted that women only account for an average of 18% of the members of boards of directors in the largest publicly-listed companies and 3% of the CEOs... despite a concerted effort in many companies, progress is too slow to deliver the Commission’s target of 40% by 2020,” Ms Jeffrey said.

2014 Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winners: HSBC Corporate Executives Award: * Sharon Buckley, Group Commercial and Supply Chain Director, Musgrave Group * Rosaleen Burke, Vice President, Quality Assurance, Supply Chain and International, Boston Scientific * Maeve Coffey, Head of HR, Noonan Sarah Gallagher, Legal Affairs Director, Tesco Ireland *Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland * Orla Hunt, Group HR Director, AIB * Aisling Keegan, Executive Director and General Manager, Private Large Commercial Business, Dell UK * Ann Keenan, Head of Group Human Resources, DCC Plc * Jennifer Kelly, Global Director, Real Estate and Facilities, Google * Maria Smith, Vice President & Assistant Corporate Controller, Oracle Corporation Entrepreneurs Award: * Judy Byrne, HR Director & Co-Founder, Crewlink Ireland * Ramona Nicholas, Joint Managing Director & Co-Founder, Cara Group * Marian O’Gorman, CEO, Kilkenny Group Public Sector Leaders Award: * Catherine Day, Secretary-General, European Commission * Ann Doherty, CEO, UL Hospitals * Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, European Commission * Laverne McGuinness, Chief Operations Officer & Deputy Director General, HSE Trailblazers Award: * Anna May McHugh, Managing Director, National Ploughing Association * Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman * Orla O’Sullivan, Musician * Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations * Most Reverend Pat Storey, Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Church of Ireland Arts & Culture: * Kitty Holland, Journalist, The Irish Times * Orla Kiely, Founder, Kiely Rowan Plc * Dearbhla Walsh, Film & Television Director Hall of Fame: * Maeve Carton, Finance Director, CRH * Anne Heraty, Chief Executive, Cpl Resources Plc * Brid Horan, Deputy Chief Executive, ESB

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