Roseann Kelly MBE, CEO of Women in Business - 19/10/2021
On the eve of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP 26, there is perhaps no better time to take stock of the world around us. Looking to the human world and the challenges we face in the decades to come.
Mother Nature, with science as her messenger, has in recent years delivered stark warnings on the current state of Earth, and our overall direction of travel. What was once considered an inconvenient truth has fast become a harsh reality, where no country or creed is immune from climate change and its far-reaching consequences. The evidence is inescapable, the science unambiguous.
To quote the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the “climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.” A great challenge calls for great leaders. And collaboration.
Here in Northern Ireland, it was just last week when the Taoiseach Micheál Martin called for joined-up policies and the need for north-south co-operation to combat climate change upon meeting the First and Deputy First Minister. This shared island approach will also be the basis of next month’s All-Island Voices of Leadership. Taking place live from Killeavy Castle, it’s the third such conference from Women in Business following in the footsteps of the All-Island Chats Series and June’s All Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference.
It stands as an opportunity to cast the net and assemble a host of brilliant women from across the island of Ireland, each bringing their own expertise and unique perspectives to the table at a time when world leaders are themselves coming together in the face of a global crisis.
What we need are leaders who value empathy and compassion, to reach across borders – geographical and otherwise – and find common ground. To lend a voice to the voiceless, and platform the next generation of women who will rise to confront challenges on a local and global stage. It’s ‘Mother’ Nature for a reason, after all.
And what is Mother Nature if not the purest form of feminist leadership? That tireless source of guidance and care.
We see next month’s all-island conference as a celebration of feminist leadership on these shores and are proud to welcome speeches from a host of inspiring women – from Breda McCague, Co-Founder of Lean-In Ireland to Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council – who will discuss everything from digital innovation to workplace inclusion. Industry insight on a cross-border basis, as it should be. The chance to spark collaboration between great leaders.
As the world rallies to face the generational challenge of climate change, let’s continue to platform female leaders and thinkers with the ability to drive innovation so we may achieve tangible action, however ambitious it may be.
The All-Island Voices of Leadership Conference is due to take place on 4th November and will once again be hosted by Norah Casey and Sarah Travers. Details of how to register can be found by visiting www.womeninbusinessni.com/events