Cavan Business Women’s Club hosted a cross-county conference recently at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cavan. The line up of speakers for the evening included Baroness May Blood, MBE and media guru Terry Prone. Ulster Bank’s Business Women Can programme partnered with County Cavan Enterprise Board and Cavan Business Women’s Club on the evening by sponsoring the guest speaker Terry Prone and also had the opportunity to present to the audience on this programme and give an insight on the supports available to women in business.
The event was attended by between 100-120 business women from the counties of Cavan, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Sligo, Longford, Meath and Leitrim. There was a really fantastic atmosphere on the evening which was enhanced further by the wit and excellence of the two main guest speakers. All present had the opportunity to engage in some energised networking sessions which took place both at the start and end of the evening.
Baroness May Blood
Baroness Blood told the story of her successful career to date recalling how she left school at 14 years of age and advised that her lack of formal education had never stood in her way of success. She left school with only one recommendation and that was from her Vice Principal who had called her into her office to reprimand her and advised her that “she would never make anything of herself?” How the Baroness had proved that wrong! She went on to entertain the crowd with a witty account of her life experiences to date from joining the linen mills at 18, going on to become an active member of the trade Unions where she promoted equality for women in work, working on the Greater Shankill Partnership, being a former member of the NI Women’s Coalition, receiving honorary degrees from University of Ulster, Queens University of Belfast and Open University, assisting Mo Mowlan with behind the scene work on the Peace Process. In 1999 she was awarded a life peerage as a Baroness Blood (being the first woman in NI to be given a life peerage) which entitled her to a seat in the House of Lords. She went on to tell the crowd that on hearing she was getting a seat in the House of Lords, her first thoughts had been “where would she put a seat like that in her house?” It had taken her three days to make up her mind as to whether to accept this honour or not but looking back, she knows she made the right decision. She continues to work in the House of Lords in London and despite her age of 75 years, has no intention of retiring. On finishing her presentation, the Baroness received a rapturous standing ovation from the crowd.
Media guru, Terry Prone who is one of Ireland’s leading female entrepreneurs. She is Chairperson of the Communication Clinic and has a life long career in media training together with advising governments, corporations and individuals on reputation management. Terry has written 26 books including eight critically-acclaimed novels, an award-winning collection of short stories not to mention more than a dozen practical guidebooks. Terry ‘s Workshop was entitled “Image and Reality” and also proved to be a big hit with the audience. She gave us all a number of great tips for improving our overall image and for becoming better communicators and strongly recommended that we should never be afraid to say what we think or to make our opinions heard. She too, provided several factual anecdotes and examples of getting it right and also getting it wrong! Terrys overall no nonsense, down-to-earth style was well received by the audience with the workshop finishing with a Q & A Session from the audience.
A number of women led business’s exhibited on the night including Scanme.ie, Escape Beauty & Massage, Claire Durkin Photography, A Good Yarn, Cakemagic Confectionery, Natures Inspiration and Ulster Bank Business Women Can.
A great evening of entertainment and networking was had by all with many valuable inter-county contacts having been made by those present.
Further information on Cavan Business Womens Club can be obtained at (049) 4377200 or https://www.facebook.com/CavanBusinessWomensClubCBWC