10 women transforming the world of work this #IWD2017

Office & Culture

Today successful women occupy the highest positions in all walks of life and many of them use their positions to drive improvements in diversity and equality in the workplace.

International Women’s Day has been around in some or another form since 1909. It was first observed in New York to remember the 1908 garment workers strike when women protested for better working conditions.

We have come a long way over the past century and women have made their contribution in all arenas, they are challenging social norms and shattering the glass ceiling.

Today, International Women’s Day has become an occasion to celebrate women and their achievements.
For International Women’s Day 2017, we tip our hat to these ten women who have made strides in transforming equality, diversity and wellbeing in their workplaces.

1. Sheryl Sandberg – COO, Facebook

A former Google executive, Sandberg was wooed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 when the company was still a start up.

Since then, Sheryl has made a huge impact on the world of tech and in 2012 she became the first woman on Facebook’s board of directors.

More recently Sheryl has set about using her position to benefit other women and has been a driving force behind Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness, which trains women entrepreneurs on how to leverage their online presence for the benefit of their businesses.

2. Nasreen Begum – Head of Workplace, LinkedIn

Since 2009, Nasreen has played a key part in developing and delivering LinkedIn’s Workplace Strategy. With her focus on staff and relationships, she understands the importance of developing teams through coaching and support.

She has managed to create a workplace environment that can meet the demands of extreme business growth.
She has set up and operated new workplaces for LinkedIn all around Europe, including in Dublin.

3. Olivia McEvoy – Director of Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Service, EY

Last year Olivia was appointed to this position which focuses on creating an inclusive environment and working culture in which employees are valued, feel valued and are able to achieve their full potential.

EY’s research shows that companies with diverse teams perform better than those with more homogenous ones; they improve market share and demonstrate stronger collaboration and better retention.

Olivia is also a prominent advocate in the LGBT community.

4. Sharon Martin – IT Program and Project Manager, Terex GB

Last year, Sharon won the Women in Business Award for Advancing Diversity in the Workplace for her role in the Women@Terex initiative and her work with the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland.

The Women@Terex initiative aimed to tackle the mindset that manufacturing is not an appropriate career for women. It focused on building awareness within the company to ensure that women felt included and supported to create a workplace an business environment that they can thrive in.

5. Anne Ravanona – Global Invest Her, Founder & CEO

Global Invest Her is an online platform and community that aims to demystify the funding process for early-stage women entrepreneurs.

Anne founded Global Invest Her to help female entrepreneurs get their companies funded. As a women’s advocate, Anne speaks at conferences around the world to raise awareness of unconscious bias and to break the ‘Funding Ceiling’ for women entrepreneurs.

6. Sasha Kerins – Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Grant Thornton

Sasha leads Grant Thornton’s Diversity and Inclusion programme, EMBRACE, which launched last October. The programme celebrates all aspects of diversity through events and initiatives.

So far she has worked with GLEN’s Diversity Champions to celebrate their LGBT employee network. Sasha wants to create a supportive and safe work environment where everyone feels they can bring their whole self to work.

7. Nuala Murphy – CEO and founder, Moment Health Ltd

As director of the Belfast-based Malone Marketing, Nuala Murphy already has an established business behind her. But now she is working on a new mental health support app which screens women for antenatal and postnatal depression.

And this isn’t the first thing she has done to support other women around her. Back in 2013, Nuala read Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book ‘Lean In’. She identified with the book, which discusses the challenges women face when it comes to work and family. Like many others, she was inspired to set up a local Lean In group and she founded the Belfast branch, which supports a large network of women and men dedicated to gender equality and encourages women to pursue their ambitions.

She was sick of going to business events that weren’t diverse so now, through the Lean In group, she organises events and networking sessions.

8. Marie O’Connor – PwC Ireland, Partner

As a partner at PwC for 30 years, Marie O’Connor has led the way for women in business for 30 years. But Marie also leads the 30% Club in Ireland, which is a group of chairs and CEOs who are committed to improving gender balance at all levels of their businesses. The group believes that gender balance and diversity on boards encourages better leadership, governance and performance.

Through her work here, Marie hopes lead the way and see other business leaders follow so that ensuring diversity becomes a part of mainstream talent management in Ireland. Marie’s Irish branch aims to have at least 30% women on all Irish boards by 2020.

9. Sarah Friar- CFO and Operations Lead, Square

Sarah Friar grew up in Tyrone, but her career has taken her across different sectors and continents to San Francisco where she is now CFO at the mobile payment company, Square.

Sarah has been quite outspoken about sexism in tech and has tried to shine a light on the subject. In the US, she has even created an initiative in schools to help girls pursue careers in computing.

She is to the forefront of Square’s open and transparent company culture, in which notes from every single meeting are shared with every member of the company.

10. Sandra McDevitt – Senior VP People and Places, Quantcast

Having studied human resources at NCI back in the late 1980s, Sandra went on to head up Google’s people operations in 2008, before moving to Quantcast in 2015.

Sandra drives Quantcast to be a workplace with an inclusive and diverse environment where staff are actively supported. Stateside, she works with Path Forward, a non-profit that helps people restart their careers after taking time out for caregiving.

This evening Glandore will host an event to celebrate International Women’s Day featuring insights from Olivia McEvoy of EY. Other speakers include Joan Freeman, senator and founder of Pieta House, Iseult Ward, CEO and co-founder of FoodCloud, and Theresa Lowe, presenter and founder of Theresa Lowe Communications.

What are you doing for International Women’s Day? Let us know on Twitter @GlandoreNetwork.

If you would like to find out more about us and how your team can work in a diverse and supportive environment, get in touch. Our coworking or project space could be just what you need.

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