Women in leadership – 6 Irish female leaders to follow on LinkedIn

Irish female leaders to follow on LinkedIn

Women in leadership – 6 Irish female leaders to follow on LinkedIn

Women holding positions of leadership matters and should be embraced.

Gender should never come into force or be a factor in whether or not a person can be a great leader, it should be based on abilities, technique, confidence, and skills. However, this is not always the case and thus an imbalance occurs. There is a fantastic quote from the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, (Yes, I’m the kind of guy that reads everything) that tells us; “Not only do men and women communicate differently but they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently. They almost seem to be from different planets, speaking different languages and needing different nourishment.” I do not believe that we are from different planets, but I do believe that we think and act differently with it being a good thing. It is our strength!

Why it matters?


Leaders are the architects of a business so ensuring that you have a balanced view around the table from both perspectives is going to revolutionize a business toward success. Thankfully, many businesses and industries are waking up to the glorious reality that women in leadership roles are invaluable and irreplaceable in the board room and at the head of the table.

From speaking with women in leadership roles over the last two decades and how they got there, there seems to be one trait that always came up – Inspiration! Who inspired them, how they were inspired, when they got inspired and it was always other great female role models.  From Susan B. Anthony to Rosa Parks to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, these pioneers in female leadership created a wave of inspiration for thousands of others.

So I have decided in this blog, to make it relative to current Irish women who are leaders in their chosen industry.

Below you will find a list of 6 women, their organizations and their LinkedIn Profiles, that I also follow, to inspire other women, men, and businesses.



Anna Kennedy

Anna Kennedy – Global Health Services Operations Lead Ireland at Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson are an organization that takes diversity and inclusion to the core of their business model, not to mention Corporate Social Responsibility 

One of the women who has risen in the ranks and uses her influence wisely is Anna Kennedy. Heavily involved in speaking about mental health and the role that organizations have to play in ensuring their employees, male and female, are supported with initiatives to highlight and help, she uses the LinkedIn platform to distribute her knowledge and bring this issue to the forefront. The information is sound and applaudable and Anna is most definitely bringing her expertise to facilitating a wellbeing culture across Irish Organisations.



Áine Collins

Áine Collins – Business Development Director at EFM Ireland

Not only has Áine worked to become a credible Business Development Director, but she was also a TD in government. Extremely admirable avenue and hopefully inspirational as since 1992 and 4,575 Dáil seats available, over 30 elections and women held just 274 of them,  6 percent of the total. 

A courageous journey, Áine writes in her Irish Times article how “when I was elected I became a lonely figure on the political landscape. I was the only woman, from any party or none, to represent Cork North-West since the constituency was created in 1981. The number of women in the Dáil is dreadfully low. After recent byelections we are at 16 percent now: we lag behind Europe where 27 percent of parliamentarians are women.”




Lorraine Higgins

Lorraine Higgins – Director of Strategy and Public Policy, MKC Communications Ireland

Working as a director for one of Ireland’s leading PR agencies, Lorraine can also add barrister and politician to her resume and path so far. With extensive experience in strategic development, leadership, and management experience, she is using these skills on her new objective, the Emerald Leadership Program.

The Program is a female-focused networking group with a structured program to provide peer-based network and business support to the next generation of female leaders. Members will have the chance to hear from inspirational female speakers on a quarterly basis, join a peer to peer, facilitated a program that will fast track their development through the shared experiences of the group.



Susan Kennedy Lensmen

Susan Kennedy Lensmen – CEO of Lensmen Time-Lapse

Susan and Lensmen work are brilliant and the passion for creativity is evident with every piece produced.

The company itself has over 6 decades of video and photography services, with the quality reflecting so much experience. From government officials to Cirque du Soliel, the imagery and history captured are fascinating to behold.

From her LinkedIn profile, you get to delve into this world and she is a real inspiration that living, producing and bettering your passion and talent, leads to leadership that others truly admire.




Mary Bardin

MARY BARDIN –Operations Manager at The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Mary do incredible work to ensure that dementia specific services and supports are given to the people of Ireland. It advocates for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers. It supports people with all types of dementia, not just Alzheimer’s disease.

Mary’s LinkedIn is filled with inspiring quotes, notes, and information about the importance of kindness, compassion, integrity, and self-care. These four attributes are fundamental in the leadership journey, as it is those around you and how you act toward them, that shows your true character.



Marie Hunt

Marie Hunt  Executive Director, Head of Research, CBRE Ireland

With over 20 years of experience, Marie is a highly respected spokesperson and advocate for the real estate sector. She also won Businesswoman of The Year 2018, which is such a fantastic achievement.

Detailing her career in an article with Image magazine, she details her rise to the top.  “I don’t think I ever had a particular plan,” she says, “but I worked really hard in every task assigned to me, and by default, I ended up in the position I am in. I firmly believe that you need to give 110% to every task assigned to you. Work hard and the rewards will follow.”

Her eye for detail and a mind for numbers is very evident in her LinkedIn postings and she is a true inspiration of hard work will pay off.



With more than 860,000 women working in Ireland, this listing is a drop in the ocean in terms of the female talent that exists and women wanting and succeeding to climb the ladder of leadership is something that is growing year on year. A study of Women in Management – the Leadership Pipeline 2017 conducted by BNY Mellon details a 19% increase from 17% in 2016 and 14% in 2015. As with the data from these earlier years, this figure is far higher than global standards in which surveys report equivalent figures of 6.4%.


Let’s not stop with just the inspiration and really encourage women to embrace all that is available. In case you didn’t already know, there are a lot of initiatives and grants available solely derived for women, so I would encourage anyone who is in the different areas below to avail of every single one that they qualify for. Below are some great resources to find out more information.

Starting up your own business: https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/grants-funds-supports-for-women-in-business-ireland/

Childcare: https://www.dcya.gov.ie/cat/EN/What-We-Do/211.htm

Returning to work support and networking opportunities: http://wrpn.womenreturners.com/ireland/

Return to the tech sector with skills, competence, and confidence: https://www.softwareskillnet.ie/women-reboot/ 

Accenture returners program: https://www.accenture.com/ie-en/careers/resume-accenture-returners-programme

Emerald Leadership Program: https://www.irishchamber.com.au/emerald

EU Commission female support tools and networks: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship/we-work-for/women/support-networks_en


Well done to all the women in Ireland and globally, who are creating a balance in the boardroom and in society.


About the author;

Simon McAuliffe has over 20 years of experience in the HRD sector. Having worked and trained over 25,000 managers and leaders in the EMEA range he specialises in Organizational Design and Transformation, Executive Coaching and Team Performance​.

Connect with Simon  – simon.mcauliffe@bbatraining.ie – 0872774122



No Comments

Post A Comment