We may still say the word #Girlboss loudly and proudly, but when it comes to women in the working world, it isn't that simple. Leaning in is all well and good, but it takes a few steps to get there. We want to be assertive, smash glass ceilings; yes, we want to have it all - and be successful too. But are the challenges getting any easier? We would say yes. Because we're seeing more and more challenges overcome by remarkable women. We're talking about difficult things, owning our ideas, becoming more confident and passing words of wisdom we've learnt on to those making their way up the ladder. As we gear up to our 2017 Businesswoman of the Year Awards, there's never been a more exciting time to be a female entrepreneur in Ireland. All our nominees are filled with passion, drive and equally important, hope- hope that things must go onwards and upwards for all women because we've had enough of being shunned into silence. We are known to be a nation of worriers, but we are optimists and hard workers, too, ready to face whatever may come our way.
And what does the world of business look like for women in Ireland in 2017? We asked some of the nominees in out Best Entrepreneur category to tell us what they think:
"I believe that there has never been a better time for women to be in business in Ireland. There are excellent support frameworks in terms of innovative initiatives such as Going For Growth, which is a programme to support female entrepreneurs in achieving their growth ambitions. In its third cycle and supported by the government, the ACORNS scheme is ideal for women based in rural Ireland at start-up or early stage development of their business. Locally, there are the Women in Business networks, which provide a platform for sharing ideas, experiences, contacts and concerns with like-minded business women in their area. And of course, the State agencies are available as well. In 2017, women in business now have a strong voice, a voice that is well respected throughout communities and the country. This voice that can contribute to developing the next generation of Irish women in business."
Deirdre McGlone, Managing Director, Harvey's Point Hotel
"I think it’s an exciting time for women in business at the moment. There are so many opportunities and a real championing for female lead companies and entrepreneurs."
Ellen Kavanagh Jones, CEO and Co-founder, Waxperts
"I think the business world for Women in 2017 has never been more enticing, more inspiring or more inviting. Women are doing an incredible job, proving to the business world that work/life balance is most definitely achievable and is no longer a limiting factor. With business' appearing to be as concerned about identifying a purpose as well as growing the bottom line, we have an incredible opportunity to use our emotional intelligence to influence change."
Milena Jaksic Byrne, Managing Director, Platinum Pilates
"It’s challenging, but there are greater opportunities through agencies supporting more woman in business. There are more woman now than ever before as CEO and starting to get into politics etc."
Ann Rudden, Owner and Founder, Áine Hand Made Chocolate