Network Ireland launches EU survey for International Women’s Day 2011
Wednesday 16 March, 2011
Network Ireland, the forum for women in business, has launched a comprehensive survey to establish how the EU can assist them to sustain and generate jobs, as well as attracting new business throughout Europe.
The survey sets out to collate the views of Irish women in business on the support and assistance available to small and medium sized business in Europe and to provide the EU with recommendations on how this can be improved.
Speaking at the Network Ireland ‘International Women’s Day’ conference in Dublin, its President, Ms Mary Kershaw, said that it was important to celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day with a positive and constructive contribution to women in business.
“We in Network Ireland represent over 3,000 women working in a wide range of industry sectors. It is vital for these entrepreneurs that the supports for SMEs are relevant and reflect their needs in the current economic climate.
We will be seeking the views of our network and we also invite other women in business to log on to the survey and share their views with us. The survey results will be presented to Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in April. And we will be asking her to work with her colleagues in Europe to act on the findings,” Ms. Kershaw said.
Supporting the survey, Ms. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said that this initiative undertaken by Network Ireland was a positive contribution to promoting women, supporting industry and improving the European economy.
“I welcome this Network Ireland survey and urge all women in business to take part. Initiatives like this can help identify the real opportunities for women in business throughout the European Union and the most practical ways of supporting them. I look forward to the results of the research," Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said. Almost 100 business women attended the Network Ireland conference and the speakers included experts in brand communications, business training, public speaking and mentoring.
Ms Mary Davis, Special Olympics, spoke about women in leadership roles, her experience of organising Special Olympics 2003 in Ireland, the power of networking and great Irish women in history.
“I believe every woman should have the choice to be a home maker or to be at the summit of any career she should choose. To do both in a single life time, we have to ensure that real choice is available, not only for women, but also for men. That choice for all is truly enabled by attitudes as distinct from being simply allowed in law,” Ms. Davis said.
Ms. Valerie Pierce, Director Clear & Critical Thinking Ltd, provided the delegates with facts and tips about clear and critical thinking and drew from her own experience and her book, Quick Thinking on Your Feet. “Smart Thinking determines success in business. With it you find the passion to create the possibilities,” she said.
Managing Director of ESB International Ireland, Ms. Susan Kinnane, highlighted the important role of mentoring for small businesses.
“ESB International currently sponsors BICT, Northern Ireland’s Connect programme. This looks to mentor start-up and small businesses, providing them with much needed contacts from larger businesses and organisations.
“Mentoring can do a lot for individuals as it provides a protected relationship in which learning and experimentation can occur, potential skills can be developed, and in which results can be measured in terms of competencies gained.”
Ms. Tina Roche highlight the role of The Women’s Fund in Ireland and brand consultant, Mr. Martin Crotty, Managing Director BFK, discussed the importance of having a strong and effective brand development strategy for your company. He said that in brand building today, some things have not changed at all but others have changed utterly and need entirely new thinking.
Mr. Cathal Quinn, the Head of Voice at the Gaiety spoke about ‘Vocal Presence' and said that 'Persona' literally meant 'through sound' and your personality could be gauged by the tone of your voice.
“By having a positive an attitude towards your vocal delivery, similar to that for your appearance and your presentation contents, will provide with an added degree of understanding of your subject matter for the listener, as well as an appreciation of your efforts when presenting it. You are going to breathe anyway, so why not do it well? You are going to speak anyway, so make an impact.”
Network Ireland encourages women to do business, market their skills and expertise with the support of other members throughout the country.
Members are recognised as serious contributors to the Irish economy and decision-making bodies.
Network Ireland also liaises with national and international organisations as well as key Government and State bodies throughout Europe.