Women’s Entrepreneurship Day celebrated in Belfast

Justice Keegan with Junior Minister Emma Pengelly
Justice Keegan with Junior Minister Emma Pengelly

TEN Northern Ireland female business experts hosted a series of mentoring sessions yesterday in Belfast to mark Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

Hosted by Eva Grosman at The Centre for Peace and Democracy and Ulster Bank at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, the Business Breakfast was part of a series of global events.

Running across 144 countries worldwide Women’s Entrepreneurship Day “celebrates the positivity women bring to the global economy, as well as empowering and supporting future generations”.

Speakers at the event included media consultant Sarah Travers, Junior Ministers Emma Pengelly MLA and Jennifer McCann MLA, Shauna Burns from the Commercial Banking section at Ulster Bank and a special keynote address from Justice Keegan.

During her speech Justice Keegan said: “Of the 84 QCs in NI just 17 per cent are women. In NI women make up just 25 per cent of senior roles in solicitor firms. Women should not be defined by their gender.”

Ms Pengelly added: “We have to break down the hurdles that many women encounter in bringing their talent, determination and skills to the fore.

“I want women to step up and realise their full potential. Be leaders, be entrepreneurs and don’t stay silent. Be brave, have confidence in yourself and just do it.”

Mentors included Cathy Martin (PR and fashion), Ellvena Graham (ESB), Jackie Henry (Deloitte), Maeve Monaghan (NOW Group), Maria O’Loane (Tughans), Nisha Tandon (Arts Ekta), Sarah Travers (Bespoke Comms), Suzanne Wylie (Belfast City Council), Sue McAllister (NI Prison Service) and Tina McKenzie (Diamond Recruitment Group).