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Educational Trust

 Women's Innovation Network at DCU

"I am, in Business, in Community, in Politics... a Woman of Influence"

Inspiring and Supporting Women in Business in the Community and in Politics at DCU

On Thursday, 23 March 2012, the DCU Educational Trust welcomed a large gathering of influential women to the Spring 2012 WIN@DCU event at the Helix. Guests included students, alumni, staff, friends and supporters of the DCU Community. The fundamental aim of the evening was to provide an interactive forum for guests to examine and discuss the fundamental role that women are playing in the area of business, politics and in communities. Master of Ceremony, Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell ensured a lively start to the evening and shared her opinion on challenges for women in leading positions and challenges to women trying to succeed particularly in politics. The keynote speaker was Mary Davis, President and Managing Director at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia who provided an inspirational speech and some heart warming mentoring stories. Mary Davis said, "Every woman should be recognised for their monumental efforts whether that is the CEO of the home or CEO of a company or a voluntary organisation. It is important to respect every individual's choice".

In addition, the programme for the afternoon featured a World Café Discussion where guests were separated off into smaller groups. This format allowed participants to comfortably discuss a number of targeted questions with specific relevance to the areas of business, politics and the community and each was led by a Chairperson. Participants were encouraged to draw and record their conversations on the paper tablecloths to capture free flowing ideas as they emerged. The main ideas were summarised by each Chair and the colourful and more importantly informative table cloths were presented in a plenary session.

According to Kerry O'Keefe, Director, T-Space and Founder of People and Culture, "The World Café discussions are an excellent method for stimulating innovating thinking and exploring action plans, sharing knowledge and engaging in depth discussions. The synergy, excitement and exchange of ideas were palpable in the Gallery of the Helix".

The evening concluded with a drinks reception which allowed participants to continue the discussions and connect among like-minded women – many a business card was
exchanged on the evening!

Orla Holmes, Director of Operations at DCU Educational Trust said, "Over the years, our keynote speakers have represented various sectors of the business world, kindly donating their valuable time to deliver inspiring talks to our participants. This year we had the added dimension of the world café which represents a powerful forum for women to share, learn and inspire one another".

The DCU Educational Trust would like to thank the 2012 WIN@DCU Spring Panel including; Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell, Mary Davis, President & Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia, Kerry O'Keeffe, Director T-Space and Founder of People and Culture, Julia Carmichael, Chief Compliance Officer, Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurances Ltd, Nicola Horgan Rogers, Owner, NHR Consulting and Board Member Dress for Success, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Caroline McDonagh, CEO and Founder WIN – West of Ireland Networking, Michelle O'Donnell Keating, Co-founder Women for Election and Niamh Gallagher, Co-founder Women for Election.

The Women's Innovation Network @ DCU is proudly sponsored by the DCU Educational Trust. For more information on how you may become involved or attend future events, please contact Orla Holmes, Director of Operations, DCU Educational Trust on (01) 700 8162 or email


WIN@DCU is a bi-annual speaker series, part of the DCU strategic theme "Business and Innovation". This speaker series highlights the achievements of innovative women in business, science, communications and the humanities and invites leading women from these professions to DCU to share their thoughts on contemporary themes. The aim of the series is to empower our undergraduate students by giving them the opportunity to meet with these successful women as positive role models and to offer a learning and networking opportunity to our alumni and friends. Topics to date in the series have included: Redesigning your Marketing Plan for Survival in the New Economy; Leadership – It is Not just For Leaders; Social Entrepreneurship – Investing in Social Development; the Glass Ceiling – Does it Still Exist? - and a wide range of topical matters under the themes of Enterprise / Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Since its initiation, the WIN@DCU programme has proven to be a tremendous success in connecting women in business and in particular affording undergraduate students the opportunity to meet and gain invaluable advice from some of Ireland's leading professional women.

The cross-faculty WIN@DCU is proudly sponsored by the DCU Educational Trust. For more information on how you may become involved or attend future events, please contact Orla Holmes, Director of Operations, DCU Educational Trust on (01) 700 8162 or email