Voices Heard - Our Annual Stormont Event Jan 2011
Voices Heard, the exclusive member's only annual event was held at a stunning venue: Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate recently. Over the years members have dealt with many gender ...
Voices Heard, the exclusive member's only annual event was held at a stunning venue: Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate recently. Over the years members have dealt with many gender related obstacles and challenges, and this lively lunchtime event was no different.
New WIB member Pamela Ballantine, provided witty commentary while facilitating the panel and ensuring all members' questions were answered, and the event was kindly hosted by Anna Lo MLA, who highlighted the career challenges women still face today, urging them not to be complacent while there is still a gender pay gap and they are underrepresented in high level jobs and in politics, before introducing the impressive panellists:
- Lesley Hogg, Director of Strategic and Regulatory Affairs for AES in NI.
- Professor Yvonne Galligan, Professor in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.
- Tracy Hamilton, Director of Mash Direct Ltd.
- Christine Boyle, Managing Director of Lawell Asphalt Company Ltd.
The importance of achieving a work-life balance, and, a women's ability to multi-task, were a common thread through Lesley Hogg and Tracy Hamilton's talk. Lesley relayed how being a women in business affects her daily life, and the challenges she faced keeping a work-life balance when being on call 24/7 and 'acting normal to her staff and family' while dealing with the enormous strain of a business take-over.
When farming was becoming difficult 6 years ago, Tracy's husband decided to make champ! Although thrown in at the deep-end, Tracy was able to use her multi-tasking skills: taking courses in Clait, Sage, word-processing and now managing a staff of 94, and believes, to flourish as a women in business, Tracy says it helps to, 'have a positive outlook, believe in yourself and step out of your comfort zone'.
Christine's comfort zone was shaken, when, after a career-break, she took over the family business. Christine never expected to go into business, but believes it has been enormously helpful for, 'dealing with situations and major work crises' sole responsibility is good for your development and builds your confidence as you face your fears, taking you out of your comfort zone', and recommends, 'Eat the Frog - 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating' by Brian Tracy, for a thought-provoking read.
Professor Yvonne Galligan's message was one of determination, when her career journey started after 18 years of Primary School teaching and she progressed to PHD level while off on maternity level, that led to a full time post as a Researcher. After applying to become a professor 3 times, Yvonne's determination paid off, and her inspirational motto is, 'If at first you don't succeed try, try again!!'
After this fascinating insight, questions from the floor ranged from: how do men in the Assembly treat women (and vice versa); why did it take 3 times to become a professor; how do women get into politics; the challenging, are women sacrificing too much to get to the top?
'if you are deeply passionate about the business it comes through to your customer' were Tracy Hamilton' positive closing words of advice. Inspiring, determined, multi-skilled, and passionate, all describe these women in business, who offer hope to all Women in Business.