Women’s Leadershipconference launched

The Institute of Directors has announced the line-up of speakers for next year’s Women’s Leadership conference.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 12:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 12:47 pm
Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) National Director Kirsty McManus, left, and Lisa McLaughlin of Herbert Smith Freehills at the launch of the 2020 IoD Women’s Leadership Conference.

The event will take place on March 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

Speakers will include award-winning astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, journalist and disability rights activist Joanne O’Riordan, and Breege O’Donoghue, matriarch of Penneys and Primark.

Dame Burnell’s discovery of radio pulsars was hailed as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century. Joanne O’Riordan has an extremely rare condition which meant that she was born without all four limbs. A sports journalist and disability rights activist, she addressed the UN in 2012, aged just 16.

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Breege O’Donoghue was one of the ‘Gang of Four’ who over several decades transformed Penneys into one of the fastest-growing and most successful volume retailers in Europe.

Kirsty McManus, IoD NI national director, said: “Since it was established in 2008, the Women’s Leadership Conference has become one of the most significant annual events on the business calendar.

“For 2020, we’ve taken the theme ‘Leading the Way’ and that’s exactly what our speakers are doing.

“We very much look forward to hearing their stories of success and are sure the keynote sessions will be engaging and thought-provoking in equal measure.”

The conference programme also features panel sessions with speakers including Dame Rotha Johnston, chair of Northern Ireland Screen and Sinead Rocks, regions and nations managing director at Channel 4.

Lisa McLaughlin, director of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Alternative Legal Services, commented: “Herbert Smith Freehills is pleased to continue our headline sponsorship of the IoD NI Women’s Leadership Conference. At Herbert Smith Freehills, we aim to continually lead the way by attracting, promoting and retaining women in business leadership roles.”