Ambassador Anne Anderson
By Ray O’Hanlon
Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson, is not at her post in Washington, D.C. today.
The popular plenipotentiary is back in Ireland where she is being honored, along with 24 other women, at an event highlighting Ireland’s “most powerful women.”
The gathering, including a “Leadership Summit” and a “Top 25 Awards” and hosted by the Women’s Executive Network, was attended by 700 people.
It was staged at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin.
Ambassador Anderson was one of the main speakers at the awards ceremony, others being Philomena Lee, whose life story was made famous in the movie “Philomena,” Microsoft’s Managing Director in Ireland, Cathriona Hallahan, and Enterprise Ireland chief, Julie Sinnamon.
Other speakers included Ulster Bank Northern Ireland chief, Ellvena Graham, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, Vodafone Ireland’s Anne O’Leary, Paypal’s Louise Phelan, Glanbia’s Siobhan Talbot, Keeling’s Caroline Keeling, Bank of Ireland’s Julie Sharp, Tesco’s Christine Heffernan, Judge Fidelma Macken, Suzanne McAuley producer of the acclaimed RTE crime drama “Love Hate,” youth campaigner Joanne O’Riordan, and vocal legend Veronica Cross.
The Women’s Executive Network event included both a leadership summit and an awards gala to celebrate the winners, and also to allow attendees to learn from the experience and knowledge of these successful women, said a release.
Two hundred attended the Leadership Summit, which delivered advice on negotiation skills, how to perform under pressure, and international leadership trends.
Five hundred attended the Gala Awards where Philomena Lee and Cathriona Hallahan gave keynote addresses.
A primary topic for consideration at the summit was the gender pay gap.
The gap in Ireland is currently 14.4 percent - and getting worse according to European Union statistics.
The statistics also show that women with children tend to fare worse in the pay scale against male counterparts,” said Pamela Jeffery, founder of Women’s Executive Network.
“Women need to be facilitated in their career progression and confident in their own value in the system. This is why we identify, promote and celebrate successful and influential women in Ireland,” Jeffery said.
The 25 award winners received their prizes in varying categories: for corporate executives, entrepreneurs, public sector leaders - the category in which Ambassador Anderson was recognized - trailblazers, the category under which Philomena Lee was honored, arts and culture, and a category headed “Hall of Fame.”