Want to network with and learn from other women but confused about where to start? Want to increase your profile and visibility, or be mentored by leading business women?
Ireland has an abundance of national networking and business organisations working to promote, educate and inspire women. Here is The Daily Slogs guide to the key women’s networking groups in Ireland.
Network Ireland is the largest of its kind in Ireland, supporting the professional and personal development of women. Membership is made up of a diverse group of women, from budding entrepreneurs, SME owners, professionals and leaders in indigenous and multinational organisations to non profits, charities, arts and the public sector.
Established in 1983, Network Ireland has 1,000 members, with thirteen dynamic branches across Ireland. Through their branch network they organise in excess of 200 events annually for members to collaborate, share ideas, knowledge and support. They also run a number of flagship national events, including an International Women’s Day Celebration and Annual Conference and Business Awards.
The Women’s Executive Network was established in Canada in 1997. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders. The aim of the organisation is to ‘create and deliver innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to support and recognize executive-minded women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence’.
WXN runs a regular Speaker Series in Dublin, inviting some of the leading female Executives in Ireland to share their knowledge and experience. Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards is the key annual event at WXN, hosting 400 of the countries top business leaders each year.
Lean In: Ireland Chapter
LeanIn.org is an international organisation set up to empower women to achieve their ambitions. Launched by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, its ethos is the belief that women are most effective when encouraged on the one hand, and challenged on the other.
Launched in Ireland in March 2017 by entrepreneur Nuala Murphy, the Irish Chapter has grown to 20 stand alone circles. Lean In Circles are small groups of women who meet regularly to learn and grow together. A Circle can be a monthly roundtable at home, or even a virtual meet-up with people from around the world. Corporate Circles in individual companies are also growing rapidly and generally run on a lunch and learn model. If you’re company doesn’t have one yet, Lean In Ireland encourages you to set up your own with their help.
Women’s Inspire Network
The Women’s Inspire Network was set up by Samantha Kelly, initially on Twitter under the hashtag #Womensinpire, as a support network which connects and empowers female led businesses. The Network runs two major events each year, showcasing women who have succeeded in their business community. The network is aimed at women who are thinking of starting a business, or are already working from home, and offers advice, inspiration and networking opportunities.
Professional Women’s Network (PWN)
PWN is a career development network for high potential women, where members engage in peer to peer learning via other members and dedicated seminars. With over 300 members, the Network offers leadership and self development webinars, events, online forums with global members and a mentoring programme.
National Women’s Council
Representing 180 member groups as well as a growing number of individual members from a diversity of backgrounds, sectors and locations, the mission of the National Women’s Council is to lead, and to be a catalyst for change, in the achievement of equality between women and men.
Working with its regional members the Council campaigns for more women in leadership positions through research and guidance on formal frameworks for business and government. They also work to highlight the under representation of women’s voices in current affairs and in news broadcasts.
Business & Professional Women (BPW)
A global organisation dedicated to working women, BPW was founded over 80 years ago. Regional clubs throughout Ireland are made up of women in business who ‘come together to learn from each other, support each other and advocate for women generally while enjoying the company of fantastic women’.
Membership is open to women who are either in the workforce or have been in the workforce (retired, career-break etc.), whether employed or self-employed.
Women Mean Business
Aside from their magazine and website, offering news, interviews and advice for businesswomen and female entrepreneurs, Women Mean Business run an annual Conference and Awards ceremony to ‘connect women and recognise their contribution to the Irish economy and society as a whole’.
Image Magazine Business Woman of the Year Awards
Generally held in November each year, the Image Business Woman of the Year Awards recognise inspirational, successful women across a number of categories including start-up, entrepreneur, management professionals and CEO’s.
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