25 Irish leaders join community of Ireland’s most iconic women


DUBLIN, IRELAND (14 June, 2018) –– The list of Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winners was released today, paying tribute to the outstanding women across Ireland who have advocated for diversity in the workforce, and who serve as an inspiration for the next generation of leaders.

“We are celebrating 25 of Ireland’s highest achieving women in diverse fields,” said Sherri Stevens, CEO of WXN.

“All 25 are role models for the generations who will follow – which is why it’s very important to recognise and celebrate their great achievements,” Mrs. Stevens concluded.

The Top 25 Awards span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, with the initial candidates selected by WXN’s Proxy Committee – Helen Tynan (Google), Fionnuala O’Leary (INM), Alma Curran (Medtronic), Margaret Clapham (Sodexo), Gráinne Ni Dhubhghaill (Sodexo), Liz Cunningham (Google), and Sarah Claxton (ESB).

The final vetting process for the 2018 Top 25 Award Winners was completed by WXN’s 2017-2018 Diversity Champions – Bronwyn Brophy, Vice-President Technologies, Medtronic; Sandra Healy, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, DCU; Fionnuala Meehan, Google Ireland; Orla Nugent, Director, MBA Programmes, UCD; Stephen Rae, Former Editor-in-Chief, Irish Independent; Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, ESB Networks; and Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo.

The awards are presented to remarkable women in six different categories: Business Leaders Award, Entrepreneurs Award, Public Sector Leaders Award, Trailblazers Award, Arts, Sport and Entertainment Award, and Future Leaders Award.

Past award winners include Actress and Screenwriter, Sharon Horgan; Director General of RTE, Dee Forbes; Justice Siofra O’Leary; CEO of Food Cloud, Iseult Ward; Olympic Silver Medalist and Sailor, Annalise Murphy; Founder of Cocoa Brown, Marissa Carter;  Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman; Susan Whelan, CEO Leicester City Football Club; novelist Edna O’Brien; Mary Fitzgerald, Foreign and War Correspondent; Breege O’Donoghue, Director of Penneys/Primark; and Rose Hynes, first female chair of an ISEQ listed company.

To mark this year’s awards, WXN is hosting an Awards Gala tonight (Thursday June 14th) at the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin, during which the winners receive their awards.  More than 400 senior professionals will attend.

For a full list of winners, please visit https://www.wxnetwork.com/ga/top-100/irelands-most-powerful-women-top-25-winners/


For more information, please contact Alison Nulty, Fuzion Communications, 086 4133031 [email protected]



WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognise our community of more than 22,000 smart women and their organisations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN enables our Partners and Corporate Members to become and be recognised as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.  WXN currently has more than 2,000 members in Ireland, where it’s been established for 11 years.


Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards

Since 2012, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) has celebrated the accomplishments of over 150 remarkable women through the Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards, inducting 10 of these women into the WXN Hall of Fame. Our Awards Celebration brings together 400 industry leaders from across Ireland, who join WXN to recognise their peers and colleagues in an event featuring high-profile keynote speakers, presentation of each Awards Category, and an unveiling of the current Award Winners.



WXN creates a list of Winners through research and the counsel of the WXN Advisory Board, the “Diversity Champions”. Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winners are in the following categories:

Indeed Business Leaders Award

This Award recognises women who hold the most senior positions in Ireland’s largest companies. These women have made a significant contribution to business in their leadership roles in 2017, whether they oversee growth, lead fast-paced innovation, increase diversity in their business, role model for others, or break boundaries within their sector. Nominees must hold a position at the Executive Director level or higher and report directly to the CEO/Managing Director.

  • Carol Andrews, Managing Director and Global Head of Client Service and Prime Custody, BNY Mellon, Alternative Investment Services
  • Liz Cunningham, Director EMEA Finance, Google
  • Ruth Curran, Managing Partner, MERC Partners; Global Chair, IIC Partners
  • Lisa Dillon, General Manager of the EMEA Digital Sales Centre, Microsoft
  • Anne Dooley, Managing Director, Winthrop Engineering and Contracting Ltd
  • Ann B. Kelleher, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation
  • Sinéad McSweeney, VP Public Policy and Communications EMEA and MD, Twitter Ireland
  • Fiona Muldoon, Chief Executive Officer, FBD Insurance plc
  • Pamela Quinn, Managing Director, Kuehne + Nagel Ireland
  • Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo Ireland
  • Marie Whelan, Chief Information Officer Europe, CRH


Entrepreneurs Award

This award recognises women who own and operate businesses. They must actively manage the daily affairs of the company as a top executive and must own at least 25% of the shares of a private company or at least 5% of the shares of a publicly-traded company. Nominees are judged on the following four criteria: business performance; impact on Irish thinking and culture; vision and leadership; and community service.

  • Nora Khaldi, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Nuritas
  • Eleanor McEvoy, Founder & CEO, Budget Energy Ltd
  • Ramona Nicholas, Co-Founder & Joint Managing Director, Cara Group
  • Evelyn O’Toole, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS)
  • Rita Shah, Founder & CEO, Shabra Plastics & Recycling Group Ltd


Public Sector Leaders Award

This award recognises women who hold senior positions and make an impact on the public sector in Ireland and/or in Europe. Considerations include the Nominee’s occupation, responsibility, reach, and impact. These women have shown demonstrable progress and achievement in their role. Nominees cannot currently be elected by the voting public. They must be Irish but are not required to be based here in Ireland.

  • Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
  • Susan O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group; Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin


Trailblazers Award

This award recognises women who have ignored obstacles and burst through barriers. Each nominee is the first Irish woman to achieve such a notable accomplishment in their field of endeavour. Nominees have furthered the cause of other women through their work, or they may have established a precedent for others to follow. In short, they demonstrate resilience and strength in their determination to contribute something extraordinary to Irish society.

  • Senator Joan Freeman, Founder, Pieta House; CEO, Solace House; Senator, Seanad Éireann
  • Senator Lynn Ruane, Independent Senator, Seanad Éireann            


Arts, Sport and Entertainment

This award recognises women for their continued work in Arts, Sport and Entertainment in a country with a rich, historic and celebrated culture. It also recognises the women who are making history in the sporting arena, a particularly male dominated area. They have added to and continued Irish cultural discussion through art, music, literature, broadcasting, journalism, film, sport, the performing arts or entertainment. Considerations include the Nominee’s achievements and impact on arts and culture in Ireland, their original and bold thinking, and other measurable factors, such as reach or international recognition.

  • Neasa Hardiman, Director & Screenwriter, Big Stories on the Small Screen; Language Communications
  • Oonagh Murphy, Freelance Theatre Director
  • Joy Neville, Rugby International Referee & Former Ireland Women’s Rugby International Captain, Irish Rugby Football Union


Future Leaders

This award recognises exceptional young women under 29 years of age who have distinguished themselves early in their life and who show tremendous potential to continue making their mark in the years to come. Nominees are assessed on their achievements to date as well as their potential and future ambition. Nominees are judged on the following criteria: accomplishments; vision and leadership; and community service.

  • Tetlanyo Lekalake, Co-Founder, Marketing Director, African Professional Network Ireland; Country Marketing Lead, Facebook


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