The business networking community in Ireland is thriving and if you are looking to extend your contact list and get an injection of inspiration then there is a network out there for you.
On the launch of a major European festival to be held in Galway this May, we speak to President of the Irish Business and Professional Women’s Club, Carmen Taheny, on why it pays to get involved.
What is BPW?
BPW International was founded in 1930 in Geneva by Lena Madisen Philips. It has grown to an international network of 30,000 members in 100 countries.
Members include influential women leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, professionals & young career women.
We have 5 regions to manage this large organisation: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Europe is the strongest region with approximately 20,000 members in nearly 30 countries.
The aim is to persuade companies, academia and governments that they would perform better if the percentage of females at top executive level reached a par with men.
What are your main aims?
While capacity-building and confidence-building enable more women to advance to executive positions, the goal of equal participation is still far from being a reality.
BPW International is giving high priority to creating opportunities for women to rise to senior executive level by collecting evidence on the return on investment when women get there.
The aim is to use this testimony to persuade the relevant stakeholders such as companies, institutions, academia and governments that they would perform better if the percentage of females at top executive level increased and reached a par with men.
BPW provides a safe environment where women can come together to share our knowledge and advocate for each other
Where are you based in Ireland?
BPW Ireland have clubs in Dublin, Galway and Tullamore and we aim to develop professional and leadership potential for women at all levels.
BPW provides a safe environment where women can come together to share our knowledge and support and advocate for each other while discovering our true leadership potential.
We champion women’s issues and causes, making a positive difference in our own communities and beyond, breaking barriers and pushing boundaries to help in the progress, development and success of women across the professions.
BPW enjoys Consultative status at the UN and Council of Europe and is a founder member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland
What can a person expect from membership?
• Local Friendship – BPW is a very welcoming and sociable Club where women of all ages meet to discuss issues of importance, share ideas, support each other and learn from each other. We have a full calendar of very enjoyable events for all ages and interests.
• Worldwide Friendships – Members from five continents connect through BPW. In May 2019, we will host BPW Delegates from all over Europe in Galway.
• Leadership Development – by becoming involved in the work of the Club, helping at Events, taking on leadership roles at Club, National or International levels, BPW helps to develop leadership skills in a supportive environment.
• A Strong Voice – founded in the 1920’s, BPW has grown to become a highly influential organisation internationally with Clubs in over 100 Countries with more than 50,000 members worldwide. BPW enjoys Consultative status at the UN and Council of Europe and is a founder member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland. So, by being part of BPW, you too can have a strong voice where decisions are made that impact us all both at home and abroad.
What’s on the Networks agenda for 2019?
Highlights of the events this year include the Candle Lighting Supper. We continue our preparations with the EC 19 team to help deliver the BPW European Conference in NUIG from 24th – 26th May for BPW Ireland (more detail below).
The Galway Club Summer Lunch will take place on June 28th in the Ardilaun Hotel.
All the clubs throughout Ireland will also hold annual Health Event, Schools Public Speaking Competition, Equal Pay Day Coffee Morning and Business Networking Event, each of which will take centre stage at various points during the year.
BPW differs from other organisations as we have links both European and internationally – members have a chance to network all over the world.
How does BPW differ from other business and networking groups in Ireland?
BPW differs from these other organisations as we have links both European and internationally. Through these links, members have a chance to network with likeminded individuals in countries all over the world.
BPW Ireland will host the 16th European BPW Conference in May this year. What will be covered at the conference and who should attend?
In 2014 BPW Ireland pitched against Estonia, Iceland, Paris and Istanbul to host the 16th European Conference.
The conference will promote women’s professional and leadership potential at all levels. This is the first time this prestigious conference has been to Ireland.
The conference is open to all women in Ireland who would like to get an insight into likeminded individuals, retired professionals and entrepreneurs across Europe.
There will be 20 workshops over two dates discussing the topics of People, Education, Ambition, Communication and Environment.
The theme of the conference is PEACE, broken down for discussion under these topics: People, Education, Ambition, Communication and Environment.
There will be 20 workshops over two dates discussing all of these topics and how they affect women right across Ireland and Europe.
Speakers for the conference include:
- President of Malta H.E. Marie- Louise Coleiro
- Hildegarde Naughton TD
- Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, Chairperson of National Women’s Council
- Geraldine Swarbrigg, Inglot Cosmetics
- Josephine Feehily, Chair of the Policing Commission
- Aedhmar Hynes, CEO Global Communications and her sister Garry Hynes, Druid Theater
- Evelyn O’Toole CEO, CLS, as well as many international speakers.
At present we have 380 women already registered from across 30 countries in Europe.
The conference will be held from 24th May till 26th May in NUI Galway.
For a general guide to women’s networking groups in Ireland see here