20.04.15

Olwen Dawe

President of Network Ireland

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I believe that we are most powerful when we stand together.  Feminism is not anti-anyone, it’s pro-equality for everyone.

Olwen Dawe is the 2015 President of Network Ireland, the longest-established Irish professional development and representative organisation for working women from all sectors.  An advisor to enterprise, economic development, arts and private organisations – Olwen established her own consulting business, Irish Business Intelligence in 2010.  Olwen is a regular media contributor and a member of the SAGE Business Expert panel.  Joining Network Ireland in 2007, Olwen has been part of the organisation’s National Executive since 2010, she is also a member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland [NWCI].

Because I am a Girl I ask…. that women and men work together for gender equality.

Because I am a Girl I believe…. that we are most powerful when we stand together.  Feminism is not anti-anyone, it’s pro-equality for everyone.

Because I am a Girl I hope…. that one day we will have a female Taoiseach. We’ve successfully elected two women to the Áras… now it’s time for the Dáil.

Because I am a Girl I wonder…. how it’s practical to ever achieve such a thing when less than 20% of our government is female. Quotas are important, but they alone won’t change a culture which is impermeable and stuck in an inhospitable time-warp.

Because I am a Girl I dream…. that we collectively, as a society, will embrace the importance of change for future generations – patriarchy is damaging for everyone.

Because I am a Girl I remember… all the amazing role-models I’ve been inspired by throughout my life.  I’m very fortunate.

Because I am a Girl I like… the fact that more women are speaking up, and not afraid to be counted.

Because I am a Girl I dislike….. the amount of attention paid to women’s appearances, age, number of children and marital status.  Why on earth does any of that matter?

Because I am a Girl I feel… extremely privileged to be at the helm of an organisation that has been developing the potential of professional women for over thirty years.  It’s an honour.

Because I am a Girl I celebrate… the achievements of other women.  We can’t be what we can’t see – role models and recognition of our innate potential is crucial.

The views expressed in all blogs, are those of the authors only and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of Plan Ireland

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