Women’s Day 2013 in Dublin

International Women’s Day 2013

I attended the International Women’s Day celebration in the Alexander Hotel in Dublin held on the 7th of March. The theme for it this year was Celebration, Connection and Inspiration for Women in Business and it certainly lived up to it.

Enterprise LoungeThe speakers for the evening were Anne Bedos of Rothar, Gillian Moore of Fuschia Make Up, Martina Delaney of Clevamama, Elaine McCabe – The Clever Box Club. And lastly Ann O’Leary the new CEO of Vodafone.

Interestingly, Ann is the first female CEO in Vodafone Ireland and only 1 of 3 female CEO’s in Vodafone globally out of 40.

Each of the speakers told their story of how they got to where they are today. Some are still on that entrepreneurial journey. They talked about the hurdles they had to jump and the different challenges they faced in starting their businesses.

I really liked hearing their stories, it’s like getting a motivation boost, makes you feel your not on your own with your mad thoughts of running your own business. Plus you always pick up a tip or 2 from these sort of talks. The added bonus of tonight was that you were hearing about starting a new business from a woman’s point of view. It is good to get a different perspective for a change.

Special thanks to Pauline Logan who runs the Dublin City Enterprise Board’s Women’s Network and keeps us all informed and in touch. I would highly recommend joining and attending the monthly network meetings. There is always a great speaker and the networking is great. I find there is great support from the women who attend and the collaboration is great.

Ready Girls

And lastly, just want to say congrats to Aileen Rogers of Ready Girls who pitched her business to Dragon’s Den last Sunday night. She had a pick of 3 dragons, choosing Ramona Nicholas as her Dragon to help bring her business to the next level.

Digi Women – Making Digital Women in Ireland Visible

Digital Women in Ireland

Helen Shaw’s article in Feb 2010 Digital: Not Just Toys for Boys highlighted the lack of females at digital conferences in Ireland. In particular the lack of women speakers and women sitting on panels. I became interested in why this was happening and what was being done to help make some changes to this gender imbalance.

I discovered that there were women and men trying to address the issue.

Many lists …

Like Margaret E Ward who set up Women On Air a voluntary networking group that runs seminars and informal training workshops to help give women the skills and confidence to go on radio and television. A list was put together of women willing to speak in public about their businesses and interests. There is now almost 1000 women on that list.

Catherine Cronin found that IT Women… were Not So Hard to Find After All and compiled a Google doc #ITwomen with the names of nearly 60 women in IT — current and potential speakers and conference presenters.

Unfortunately, lists like this one The Talented 38 Irelands Top Technology and Startup Leaders which are all male do not help or encourage women to stand up and promote themselves.

Thankfully, John Breslin came up with this list Another Talented 38 more of Irelands Top Technology and Startup Leaders in the interests of equality and highlighted 38 talented women who were leading the way in technology.

International Women’s Day 2013

And with it being International Women’s Day coming up next week, my collegues Rita Tobin of Asar and Siodhna McGowan of Inspired Thinking thought it would be a good idea to gather pictures of these women on the list and make a short video. The video will be launched on the 7th of March 2013 to help celebrate the digital women in Ireland and their achievements to date.

So we are inviting the digital women in Ireland in business to share a photo of themselves holding a card saying the following I am A #DigiWoman, followed by your name and website or digital contact details. Very simple!

And the response has been great so far and thank you to Carol for being the first one in with her picture.

So keep them coming. You can post your photo to the DigiWomen Facebook page or email us at digiwomenirl@gmail.com

DigiWomen is all about being active in promoting your business, speaking at events and sharing the work you do in order to encourage the next generation of women in digital business.

What do you think? Are lists and projects like this necessary?

Dublin Web Summit

Dublin Web Summit 2012

Tomorrow I am going to the Dublin Web Summit in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) in BallsBridge, Dublin 4. And I am really excited to be going. This year the summit will have 100s of investors, media and speakers and over 3000 attendees all coming to talk and hear about digital and social technologies. In fact when trying to plan my schedule of speakers for the two days it was quite overwhelming or as @omaniblog put it in a recent audioboo quite challenging when there are #toomanyinterestingpeople.

Women in Technology

The focus on this summit is women in technology. They first ten speakers announced for the web summit were women. And the Leaders Lunch on Thursday purpose is to bring together female business leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers from Ireland and abroad. I am very interested in seeing how the lunch goes and what impact it will have on inspiring more women into technology.

My intention for going to the summit is to network, meet with people I have being following on Twitter and hopefully make a few connections with people that can help my business Social Zavvy and social enterprise Hyperlocal Ireland develop further.


And just for fun I have set myself a little challenge using my favourite social platform Instagram. I am aiming to get a picture taken with the 37 female speakers at this years summit over the two days and one night. Each picture will be put onto Instagram as they are taken and numbered. I will use the Twitter hastags #changetheratio and #websummit. Hopefully my Instagram stream will be flooded with great women over the next two days.

No Women in Irelands Top Tech / Start Up list

No Female Leaders

Came across this tweet today and discovered that Mr Collins and Mr Blanchfield had got together to list who they felt were Irelands top technology and startup leaders. It was disappointing to find that there was no women (AT ALL) on the list!

Of course I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed as you can see from the following tweets. When the all male list was questioned Dylan Collins responded by saying they are not listing people for the sake of it. To be fair he did say they tried. To what extent they tried would be interesting.

The most worrying aspect to this is that Dylan Collins and Sean Blanchfield come into contact with more women in technology and women in start ups than the ordinary person. And the fact that they couldn’t think of any women that stand out as leaders in technology or start ups is a concern for everyone.

Lastly, check out this great post by Catherine Cronin about a Google doc she compiled full of interesting women in technology.


Over a hundred names on it. No excuses now for not being able to get female speakers :)