Man up to secure the best venture capital

Posted on Mar 30, 2017

Woman in boardroom

Ultimately, the VC investor has one goal: to make money. So why does gender even enter the equation?

Women who start companies attract considerably less investment than men.  A major gender gap – in excess of 20pc – was highlighted in a Bloomberg analysis of US venture capital funding between 2009 and 2015.  According to Bloomberg’s figures, investment for companies founded by women average $77 million compared to $100 million for start-ups run by men.

Irish statistics paint a similar picture. An investigation by the Irish Independent last year revealed that less than 3 per cent of tech venture capital in Ireland goes to companies led by women. And, as is the case in other markets, the average investment seen by male-run firms dwarfs that seen by female-run companies.

Uncomfortable as these figures are, this is not a new story. (more…)

Silence not golden for women

Posted on Mar 15, 2017


Woman radio presenter

Silence not golden for women

There’s a magic to radio that draws in the listener.  Invisible voices spin a tale, debate an issue or captivate their audiences with a personal story.

But why are some voices so notably absent?

A 2015 report into gender balance on Irish radio found that male voices accounted for 72 per cent of Irish news and current affairs radio broadcasting.

Almost two years on, new research conducted by DCU’s Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) on the gender balance of business radio programmes points to little change. (more…)

Ho-ho-how to avoid conflict this Christmas

Posted on Dec 18, 2016

Communicate civilly

Avoid conflict this Christmas

It’s nearly Christmas and people everywhere are preparing to spend the holidays with their families – including, in some cases, family members they profoundly disagree with.

This has been the year of Trump and Brexit and, all of a sudden, we are faced with the reality that we may see things very differently to even our closest loved ones.

What do you say to a gran who is thrilled Britain is finally saying feck off to the Europeans or a brother-in-law who can’t wait for Trump to put the feminists in their place?

The skill

It’s never been so important to know how to communicate civilly with – and actually be heard by – people whose views might be radically different from your own.

This is a skill that will definitely help you have a more peaceful Christmas but, frankly, if you can master it, it is your flaming sword in business too (and indeed in most areas of life). It’s the secret to bringing people round and enrolling them to your vision; collaborating well with a variety of people; and leading from the front when you want to create really big, game-changing things.


Hillary and the feminine-leadership mystique

Posted on Oct 18, 2016

After the debate, TV pundits opined that Hillary should smile, but not like that

After the debate, TV pundits opined that Hillary should smile, but not like that

Sometimes satire is exactly the crowbar we need to get right inside the truth. We absolutely loved Sarah Cooper’s hilarious Nine Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women, which went viral just over a month ago and which might be even more timely than ever, given what is happening in politics in the United States right now.

Leaving aside for the moment the tweets, the memes and the hot-mic videos, we can tell you that as Hillary first faced into debate season with The Donald, a lot of us were personally quite petrified for her. (more…)

Is thought leadership important?

Posted on Jun 7, 2016

Is thought leadership important?

Sandra Mara tells Margaret E. Ward why it’s important to follow your dreams

Is thought leadership important?

Thought leadership is having a moment, but what is it and is it important?

In the second edition of our Broadly Speaking podcast, we asked Karl Deeter, columnist and financial analyst with Irish Mortgage Brokers, and Sandra Healy, head of enterprise and customer delivery with Vodafone, to tell us what they thought.

So what is thought leadership?

Here’s Sandra’s definition: “When a company or an individual have a unique or different perspective on something and they take that perspective and they inspire others with their knowledge, expertise or passion around that particular topic.”


How to avoid the tiara trap

Posted on Mar 29, 2016

Aine Kerr tells Margaret E. Ward why women need to move outside their comfort zone

Aine Kerr tells Margaret E. Ward why women need to move outside their comfort zone

How to avoid the tiara trap

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. That’s media innovator Aine Kerr’s motto in life.

Every time she finds herself getting too comfortable, she starts looking for a greater challenge. Then, she pushes herself beyond the boundaries, and on to a higher order.

In the very first episode of the Broadly Speaking podcast, she tells host Margaret E. Ward how that guiding principle led to her new role as Manager of Journalism Partnerships with Facebook.

“The one thing you’ve got to get right is to make sure that you are happy in your work,” she says.

“Be fulfilled and be ambitious for yourself. I have always allowed myself that luxury.”

Ask for help

It might sound counterintuitive, but the most powerful thing a woman in the workplace can do is to ask for help. (more…)

Could the next Steve Jobs be a woman?

Posted on Jan 8, 2016

What would the first woman to be made a postwoman (or letter carrier) in New York, exactly 100 years ago, think of women's progress?

The first woman postman in New York – exactly 100 years ago. What would she think of women’s progress?

If the women of 1916 were around today, what would they think of us? This woman (pictured left) became the first postwoman in New York exactly 100 years ago. Closer to home, the Irish revolutionaries of that momentous year would surely have celebrated her achievement.

Fast forward to 2016. Would those pioneers find reasons to be cheerful? Yes – and no. Think that’s too cynical? Well, as suggested by Kimberly Weisul of, try this experiment: “Name five iconic entrepreneurs.”

Could the next Steve Jobs be a woman?

Actually, she adds, don’t bother because every year Inc ranks the top businesses and entrepreneurs and here are some of the answers: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg and Tony Hsieh make the list sometimes too.

Are you spotting a trend yet? So why do men continue do top the rankings? (more…)

Why it’s okay to be a badass woman

Posted on Nov 14, 2015

“I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’

I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence has admitted that, until recently, she didn’t negotiate as powerfully as a man might because she was afraid of being seen as not “likeable”.

“I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’,” she wrote in an essay for Lenny, Lena Dunham and TV producer Jenni Konner’s new feminist blog earlier this month.

“[Then] I saw the payroll on the internet [after the 2014 Sony email hack, where multiple actors’ salaries were revealed] and realised every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’.”

Bitch or doormat?


Women are still not heard

Posted on Sep 30, 2015

Ireland is still 20 years behind other countries when it comes to women’s voices being heard

Ireland is still 20 years behind other countries when it comes to women’s voices being heard

Women are still not heard

When it comes to rebalancing the scales of gender representation, things may be starting to change.

However, Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright says Ireland is still 20 years behind other European countries when it comes to women’s voices being heard.

In a recent RTE One radio interview with Miriam O’Callaghan, Enright said women are still underrepresented in the Irish literary world, where, she says, the voice of the writer remains predominantly male. (more…)

A victory for women broadcasters

Posted on Sep 2, 2015

Women broadcasters are making some progress - but there is still a way to go

Women broadcasters are making some progress – but there is still a way to go

But the war is far from won

Is it time to throw our hats in the air to celebrate the success of women broadcasters in Ireland?

Audiences for programmes presented by women are up. And new shows targeted at women are being launched.

It’s tempting to think that women are finally being equally represented in the media.

Alas, that’s still not the case. But first the good news.

Women presenters win listeners

According to the latest JNLR figures, Claire Byrne’s audience on RTÉ Radio One has increased by 25,000 while Miriam O’Callaghan’s audience has grown by 12,000. (more…)

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