It is an honour and privilege for me to assume the role of President of Network Ireland in 2020. Taking on the role is very special for me personally and professionally. I’ve been a member of Network Ireland since 2016, I was a founding member and subsequently president of the Wicklow branch in 2017 and 2018 and I’ve served on the National Executive Committee for all of my time in Network.
I’m particularly excited about embarking on this journey as a new decade begins. The beginning of a new decade provides us with a unique opportunity to look back and reflect on all we have achieved, to appreciate where we are at right now whilst also looking to the possibilities ahead.
Reflection gives us perspective. We are all incredibly privileged yet too often we compare ourselves to others or dwell on what we believe is lacking rather than appreciating how far we’ve come and how much we have already achieved. I believe that by taking stock and acknowledging our achievements, we can take inspiration from the past and use the strength from that to grow into the future.
That is why I’ve chosen #PowerWithin as the theme for 2020. We have the power and strength within ourselves, individually and collectively within Network Ireland, to achieve all our goals. By drawing on that power within us and from those around us, we can accomplish anything we set our hearts and minds to. Our power and strength doesn’t come from looking up to trailblazers like Michelle Obama or Marie Curie. It comes from the people who we interact with, who are in our circles and show us how to live life.
I see Network Ireland’s ongoing purpose as helping women to recognise the #PowerWithin ourselves and the network. Our mission, after all, is to lead the way for ambitious and enterprising women, support the professional and personal development of women and collaborate with government, private and non profit sectors to help women succeed.
Our flagship events – International Women’s Day lunch on February 28th and the national business conference in October–will delve into this theme further and will be designed to ensure you have the tools, resources, motivation and know-how to achieve more.
We now have 1,200 women in business members across 15 branches representing over 6,000 business people. So, one of my primary goals for 2020 is to continue improving the level of consistency at both a branch and national level. To this regard, I will be putting in place some administration support nationally and also taking on board your feedback to our recent survey to ensure we move the organisation forward and continue to be the leading organisation for women in business in Ireland.
Thank you to our national partner AIB for their hugely valuable support and to our sponsors who make each of our flagship events a success.
As you reflect on what you’ve achieved so far and start to set goals for the year ahead, make sure to look at how you can maximise on your membership and benefit from the power within your branch network. Be inspired by the speakers at the events you attend (remember you can attend events at any branch!), expand on your networking sphere and draw on the power of making new connections and relationships, and take advantage of our mentorship programme. We have so many wonderful mentors on our panel offering invaluable free advice and expertise to help you achieve success.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the year. Until then, I wish you every success.