CCMA Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020 - An Equal World is an Enabled World

Date: 24/03/2021

Venue: Vhi Healthcare Innovation Centre, Abbey Street Lower, D01 DX77.

The theme of International Women's Day 2020 is An Equal World is an Enabled World. This breakfast briefing will be MC'd by Fiona Buckley, Executive Coach. 

Panel speakers include:

  • Gillian Harford, Country Executive, 30% Club Ireland
  • Ruth Leonard, Senior Director of Sales,
  • Áine McCleary, Director Distribution Channels, Bank of Ireland 
  • Maurice Whelan, Founder & Managing Director, Unleash Potential

The breakfast briefing will take place from 8.30 a.m. till 11.00 a.m. 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Challenges panel members have encountered in their career to date and how they overcame them
  • In the context of the theme for today - An equal world is an enabled world to outline any initiatives they have implemented recently in their organisation (e.g. agile working)
  • According to recent research ( McKinsey report 2019), the biggest obstacle women face is the 1st step up to Management? Do you agree? What has your organisation done to address this?
  • If you would like to raise a particlar topic/question in advance of the event please send through to

About the speakers

  • Gillian Harford - Gillian is the former Head of HR Strategy & Planning with AIB.  With a career spanning almost 40 years, she has been responsible for significant people change with particular focus on Culture, Career, Diversity and Agile Work.  Gillian is currently working on assignment as the Country Executive for the 30% Club in Ireland, helping to build their future strategy, and also works directly with client organisations focusing on diversity and workplace change. Gillian is a member of the Institute of Directors, fellow of CIPD, a fellow of the Institute of Bankers and is Chair of the Board, and non executive director, for Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.
  • Áine McCleary - is Director of Distribution Channels at Bank of Ireland. Having started her career as a foreign exchange dealer, Áine has led senior teams across Retail, Corporate and Institutional banking. She has overseen an extensive transformation of Bank of Ireland’s distribution and branch network, ensuring that investment in technology and automation is balanced with a positive personal experience. Áine leads a team of c3,000 banking professionals engaging with customers via phone, digital channels and 265 branches, the largest branch network of any Irish bank. A business graduate of UCD, Áine holds a Master’s Degree in Business Studies from the Smurfit School of Business. She is a Certified Bank Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Banking.  Áine is a non–executive Director of the Bank of Ireland Mortgage Board and past President of the Institute of Banking, the first female to hold this position.
  • Ruth Leonard - Ruth is Senior Sales Director at Indeed leading a high performance sales team to deliver innovative recruitment campaigns for their clients. Prior to Indeed she managed B2B & B2C sales teams for Sky Ireland. Ruth is passionate about coaching and developing her team to deliver world class solutions. Ruth believes that creating diverse and inclusive teams drives innovation, without which companies cannot survive.
  • Maurice Whelan - Maurice is the Founder and Managing Director of Unleash Potential.  He has over 25 years experience in public and private sector at Senior Management and Executive level. He held positions with VHI Healthcare and Sage as Head of Customer Experience. He is a Fellow of the Contact Centre Management Association (CCMA) since 2007 and was the recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a board member of the CCMA for 11 years, six of them as Chairperson. 

    Maurice’s leadership and strategy execution skills have been recognised by many national and international awards including European People Manager of the Year and European Industry Champion of the Year (ECCA). He became a member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) in 2013. Maurice provides programmes in Mindfulness, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, and one to one Executive Coaching. He works in Ireland, USA, Singapore, and all over Europe delivering services for clients including Airbnb, Paypal, Blizzard, Voxpro, Survey Monkey, Nestpick  and Letgo, amongst others.

  • Fiona Buckley - is a Business Psychologist,  Empowerment Coach and facilitator on a number of Women in Leadership Programmes amongst others. Prior to setting up her own business 4 years ago, Fiona held several senior corporate roles with her last role being Vice President of Professional Services for an International Tech company.

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