Celebrate 30 years of Barretstown at their special gala this September
Celebrate 30 years of Barretstown at their special gala this September

IMAGE

Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer
Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer

Megan Burns

This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25 million
This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25...

Sarah Finnan

This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb
This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb

Megan Burns

A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired details
A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired...

Megan Burns

A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups
A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups

Sinead Keenan

The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide
The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide

Holly O'Neill

Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food
Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food

Sarah Gill

Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy
Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy

Sarah Gill

The Irish fashion design graduates to watch
The Irish fashion design graduates to watch

Ruth O'Connor

Image / Agenda / Business / Events
Sponsored

Inspiring quotes from the 2023 IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year Award winners

Sponsored By

By Sarah Gill
15th Apr 2023
Sponsored By
Inspiring quotes from the 2023 IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year Award winners

The IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2023 championed Ireland's top female business leaders. Here are some pearls of wisdom from our winners’ acceptance speeches.

On Friday April 14, we celebrated Ireland’s most inspiring businesswomen at our 15th annual IMAGE PwC Businesswoman Of The Year Awards, and the volume of talent present was nothing short of phenomenal.

Given that there was an overwhelming number of nominations, our judging panel whittled it down to an exceptional shortlist, from which our very worthy winners were chosen. You can read a full list of winners and runners-up here.

With categories ranging from Creative Businesswoman of the Year to Diversity and Inclusion Businesswoman of the Year, those presented with awards on the night gave stunningly eloquent speeches, and we plucked out just some of the stand-out quotes from the occasion. Read a snapshot from their acceptance speeches below…

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Robinson

“A Lifetime Achievement Award is a reminder of all the people who have supported me throughout my life, I feel I stand on their shoulders with great gratitude, and you may remember that I did particularly thank mná na hÉireann, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system. I’ve been very interested in women’s leadership all my life. My main work at the moment is as Chair of The Elders and we are concerned about three existential threats; the climate and biodiversity crisis, the nuclear crisis and the pandemic crisis, but I’m also an active member of at least three women leaders networks.”

Watch Mary Robinson’s full acceptance speech here.

Young Businesswoman of the Year (under 35) Onagh Chira from Platinum Hair Extensions pictured with Emer Flynn from sponsor Circle Club Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year 2023 Awards

Young Businesswoman of the Year

Onagh Chira, CEO, Platinum Hair Extensions

“My mantra has always been ‘if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together’. Our team has grown from a few to 40 and I wish I could break this award into 40 tiny pieces to share with them all and my husband, who has been so supportive over the years.”

Digital and Technology Busineswoman of the Year Zara Flynn MD at Accenture Song pictured with sponsor Edel O’Leary, MBA Programme Director, Michael Smurfit Business School

Digital & Technology Businesswoman of the Year

Zara Flynn, Managing Director, Accenture Song

“It’s so surreal to be standing up here on my own, because at Accenture Song, we travel as a pack. It’s not just one person, it’s this ridiculous group of talented people. It’s the diversity of talent, skill, mindset, and people that make the wheels spin. Controversially in the Digital and Tech category, it’s not tech that’s ever the solution, it’s always creativity that’s manifested with technology and that’s where the magic really is made. My career for the last 20 years or so has been about creating amazing stories but using technology as a platform to get us out there. Rock bottom teaches you more than the top of any mountain ever will.”

Creative Businesswoman of the Year Nell Roddy, co-founder of Break Out Pictures pictured with sponsor Pippa O’Connor Ormond, Owner, POCO and Creative Director, iStil38

Creative Businesswoman of the Year

Nell Roddy, Co-founder, Break Out Pictures

“Since I co-founded Breakout Pictures, I’ve been privileged to work with some of the most singular and visionary Irish people in film today. I truly believe in the influence of the arts in general and film in particular to bring meaning and to enrich our lives. I feel really grateful to work in such a dynamic and creative industry.”

Social Entrepreneur of the Year Dee Ahearn CEO Barretstown pictured with Judge Bobby Kerr at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year 2023 Awards at the Clayton Hotel

Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Dee Ahearn, CEO, Barretstown

“I’m very privileged to work for such a fantastic organisation. I joined Barretstown over 13 years ago and I can honestly tell you I never looked back. I left the corporate sector behind and every year, there was something more to achieve, something more to do, and I just love my job. It’s true what they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I work with the most incredible team and I’m very emotional, but I want to dedicate this to the children and families we serve at Barretstown.”

Diversity and Inclusion Business Woman of the Year Amanda Adé Creative Director Black and Irish pictured with sponsor Sinead Keogh, Head of Sectors and Director, Medtech & Engineering, Ibec at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman Of The Year Awards

Diversity and Inclusion Businesswoman of the Year

Amanda Adé, Creative Director, Black and Irish

“Diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords or boxes to be checked off. It’s something that is the foundation of our society and something that should be weaved into every aspect of that. We need to embrace diversity in all its forms. We need to create inclusive environments where everyone can thrive and feel valued. As individuals, we can choose to make a difference, be allies, and learn from experiences that differ from our own. There’s an old Irish proverb, ní neart go cur le chéile, which means there is no strength without unity. We need each other and we need to support each other and continue to push for progress and challenge the status quo.”

CEO of the Year Karen Clince Founder and CEO Tigers Childcare pictured with sponsor Pamela Quinn, Managing Director, Kuehne + Nagel at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year 2023 Awards at the Clayton Hotel

CEO of the Year

Karen Clince, Founder and CEO, Tigers Childcare

“What made me look at children and the way in which they learn is that every child, all they need to succeed is one person that will believe in them. All they need is one person, and we have an army of people who have that belief in them. This award is for all of my colleagues who now do what I wanted to do on day one. This is for all my colleagues at Tigers because they’re the ones who actually do the work.”

Entrepreneur of the Year Suzanne Jackson, Director and Founder SanFran Cosmetics and Cohar Ltd pictured with sponsor Richard Carney, Marketing Manager, M&S Ireland at the Image PWC Business Woman of the Year 2023

Entrepreneur of the Year

Suzanne Jackson, Director and Founder, SanFran Cosmetics and Cohar Ltd

“I would not be standing here tonight without an amazing team behind me at SOSU and Dripping Gold. I am a firm believer to keep driving on and learning from failure, which we all know is so important to business. My mom taught me that it’s not about chasing money, it’s about chasing the dream. If you have a passion, carry on! Massive congratulations to everyone in the room; you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t doing something right. Let’s give everyone a round of applause.”

IMAGE PwC Overall Businesswoman of the Year Louise Grubb CEO of TriviumVet (centre) pictured with Doone O’Doherty, People and Organisation Tax Partner, PwC and Clodagh Edwards, CEO, IMAGE Media at the IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year 2023 Awards at the Clayton Hotel

Overall Businesswoman of the Year

Louise Grubb, CEO, TriviumVet

“I’ve had several businesses, and I’m really passionate about starting new businesses. That frenetic energy is what pulls it all together. The most important thing is pulling the right team together, you need to attract people who are willing to work with a little bit of uncertainty. I’m so fortunate that throughout my career, I’ve had fantastic teams with me. I’m incredibly proud of the team I have with me that have been on this journey with me along the way. One of the things that we talk about with women in business is that we don’t always scale these businesses. It’s so important when looking at your initial plan to make sure you’ve got the ability to scale your idea globally. Constantly challenge yourself to see if you can go further. Having a network of people around you, opportunities like tonight, making contacts and having a random coffee, it can be a challenge to your concept. It’s easy to be in an echo chamber, but it’s so important to look outside of that.”

Photography by Kieran Harnett.