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Personal and Professional Insights from Business Women Leaders

As part of our “Inspiring your Success” series of events, the Business Women Can Dublin Ambassadors held a very successful morning event in association with Mason Hayes & Curran, Solicitors at their offices on Barrow Street. It was an early start for all but we were rewarded by the view of the beautiful sunrise which was in full view from the meeting area where there was much networking going on among the c.100 guests in attendance.

The event was organised by Tracy o’Sullivan, Maria Norris & Claire Kennedy, all Ulster Bank Business Women Can Ambassadors who worked closely with representatives from Mason Hayes & Curran co-hosts of the event.

The Speakers

There was a panel discussion facilitated by Jennifer Hughes, Head of Commercial Planning & Service Delivery in Corporate Banking and a BWC Ambassador also. There was a panel discussion made up of 3 speakers who gave their insights on the topic, “Transitioning through Change”, from their own experiences in their respective careers.

Frances Kavanagh, Board Member of the Irish Sports Council and Senior Director of Sport with Special Olympics Ireland and also served as Director of Sport and Competition for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Frances started out her career as a teacher and coach and in later years progressed to her current position where she has seen many changes over the years in the organisation.

Their business like many in recent years had to make some tough decisions and implemented a restructure of their business resulting in job losses and reorganisation of divisions. Their focus at all times was delivering best results for the Athletes who are at the forefront of what they do.

Maeve McMahon was recently appointed as Ulster Bank’s first Director of Customer Experience and Products. She is tasked with developing customer focussed products as well as the underpinning customer strategy and insight , marketing and customer interaction programmes. Maeve sits on the CEO’s Executive Committee of Ulster Bank.

Maeve is no stranger to change having lived and worked in 6 different countries. She also worked with 11 different line managers in an 8 year period in former roles.

Emer Gilvarry is Chairperson of Mason Hayes & Curran and a partner in their Litigation Team. Her practice primarily involves dispute resolution. Emer specialises in project management and acts as a legal advisor to corporates and boards with a particular emphasis on governance issues as well as providing corporate compliance and due diligence support where needed.

Emer was promoted to Managing Partner in the firm on the 1st April 2008, and was thrown in very quickly to a role very involved in managing change in the firm and making tough decisions.

Key Quotes

Some important Nuggets and quotes from the speakers :-

Frances Kavanagh
“ highlighted the importance of making people feel valued , effective communication to allay fears, transparency and being open and honest with people when delivering hard messages. Good team working is paramount and the Athletes are at the core of what they want to achieve.”

Maeve McMahon
“Try new things. Maeve’s motto is “If you don’t try new things you won’t know the outcome and you may have missed out on something great”.

“The bank that gets to the bottom of what the customer needs and delivers on this will be the Bank that succeeds “.

“Communication, Vision and immobilising people for success is important.”

Emer Gilvarry
“importance of Ethical Intelligence in the workplace, reputation and trust – important attributes for any organisation.”

“How you make people feel through your interaction with them is very important”

“Leadership is about hiring people that are much better than you”

Quoted WB Yates
“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

After the discussions there was time for Q&A and more time or networking. There was a great energy in the room afterwards and from the feedback from guests this was a very enjoyable and thought provoking event.

So if you would like to receive information on future Business Women Can events such as this one, please drop an email with your details to and we would love to hear from you. We would also welcome ideas on topics you would like us to cover for future events.

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