Meet the Young Women's Network WIB Ambassador Mentors

With Group Mentoring,  YWN members can gain first hand knowledge and advice for personal career progression with leading females of the NI business community. Mentors are dedicated WIB Ambassadors from a wide range of business and professional backgrounds to ensure that we have the perfect support for you and your career path.

Online Group Mentoring will begin in January 2021, with small groups of members to ensure attentive suport between your mentor and peergroup.

Mentoring session availability:

  • Tuesday 19th Jan 10am - 11am    
  • Thursday 21st Jan 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • Monday 25th Jan 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • Tuesday 26th Jan 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Wednesday 27th Jan 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • Thursday 28th Jan 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • Friday 29th Jan 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Want to find out more?

If you want to get on board, become a YWN Member today and get in touch with your availabilty via email: Please note that it is best to get in touch with us soon, as spaces are limited!

The Mentors

Carmel McKinney OBE

Chairperson of Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Carmel began her career in the teaching profession moving through her career as a principal, Member of the Education and Training Inspectorate and senior leader in the Further and Higher Education sector. Carmel is now the first female chairperson of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and was appointed as an independent member of the Policing Board.
Carmel is also an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland as a multi-award-winning professional for her work on Diversity and Inclusion; including her coaching and mentoring programmes, as she is deeply committed to ensuring a pipeline of aspiring female leaders for the future.

Madeleine Alessandri
Permanent Secretary - Northern Ireland Office

Madeleine Alessandri is the Permanent Secretary of the Northern Ireland Office, taking up her post in February 2020. She was previously the UK Deputy National Security Advisor and Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Resilience and Security. She joined government service in 1988 and has held a wide variety of positions in the Diplomatic Service and in National Security both in the UK and overseas.

Elaine Birchall

CEO of SHS Group

Elaine was appointed CEO of SHS Group in 2015. The SHS Group has been operating in Northern Ireland for over 40 years and has grown its turnover to c.£570m. The Group owns brands such as WKD, Shloer, Bottlegreen and also distributes a portfolio of well-known brands including Colgate, Nurofen and Mars Drinks. Prior to joining SHS, Elaine held management and leadership roles in Europe, the USA and South Pacific for Colgate Palmolive.

Ellvena Graham OBE

Chairperson and Non-Executive Board Director of ICC Belfast

Ellvena has worked across a number of different sectors including Energy, Banking, Agri-Food, Business Tourism, Higher Education & the Arts. Amongst a range of interests, Ellvena has been Chairperson of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and has been a Non-Executive Director in Ulster Bank Ltd. She is Chairperson of the Belfast Waterfront & Ulster Hall (BWUH) Ltd and a Non-Executive Director in Dale Farm Ltd. Ellvena was President of NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry for two terms.
Ellvena was a Board member of Barretstown, a charity helping children with serious illnesses, up until June 2012 and an Advisory Board Member of Women's Executive Network (WXN) in Ireland from 2008 - June 2016. 

Emma Derby

HR Director of _VOIS

Emma is the HR Director of _VOIS, which is Vodafone’s shared service organisation. _VOIS has 25,000 employees and is one of the world’s largest captive shared services.
Emma is passionate about unlocking potential in people and business, fostering a culture of success by providing a talent and skills blueprint for the future. Emma’s focus has been on Diversity & Inclusion, as well as focusing on upskilling and reskilling. With a background in both IT and telecommunications Emma specialises in change management, talent development, employee advocacy and leadership development.

Judith Totten MBE

Founder of Upstream

Judith is the founder of Upstream, a business she originally established in 2011 as an independent provider of working capital funding for Northern Ireland SME’s. Prior to establishing Upstream, Judith had a long and successful career in banking, principally with Danske Bank. Judith is also a non-exec Board Member of Invest NI, is involved in supporting and fund raising for The Princes Trust in NI and sits on the CBI Council in NI. As well as being involved as a mentor / advisor to several small business owners, Judith is a respected and recognisable face throughout the province both as a provider of finance solutions for business. Judith was awarded an MBE in 2018 for Services to Economic Development in NI. 

Marie-Therese McGivern

Non-Executive Director of Invest Northern Ireland

Marie-Therese McGivern started her career as a lecturer in Further Education at Rupert Stanley College and then spent a decade in the voluntary sector working with the young unemployed. In 1999 she was appointed to the new post of Director of Development at Belfast City Council where she was responsible initially for Economic Development, Urban Regeneration, Tourism and Culture. In 2009 Marie-Therese took up the role of Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan before retiring from the College in 2020. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Strategic Investment Board for NI since 2013, the Northern Ireland Water Board (Feb 2020) and of Invest Northern Ireland (April 2020). She is also the Chair of the Titanic Foundation and a Board Member off Visit Belfast. Marie-Therese has a passion for transformation and believes that we each have the obligation to pass on a positive legacy to next generation.

Vanessa Dunne
Commercial Finance Director Moy Park Ltd

Currently the Commercial Finance Director at Moy Park Ltd, Vanessa’s expertise combines financial leadership with strong technical knowledge. Her analytical acumen has enabled Vanessa to positively impact business performance in several international business roles, across a number of industries. These include food and agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and distribution. Vanessa has always recognised the value of people, and she actively drives the agenda on people development initiatives across all finance roles within Moy Park. A graduate in Genetics and Zoology from Leeds University she is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Vicky Davies

Deputy CEO at Danske Bank

Vicky is Deputy CEO at Danske Bank and also sits on the Board of the Bank. Vicky has extensive strategic, commercial, M&A, digital, regulatory and transformational change experience. She is a certified Bank Director who is hugely passionate about Financial Services and helping people and businesses achieve their potential. Vicky was named Banker of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards in Ireland in 2018. Women in Business also recognised her as the winner for Advancing Diversity in the Workplace in 2018.