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Getting to equal


Accenture is delighted to present our annual celebration of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 7.30am in the Convention Centre Dublin.

This invitation only event is a key part of our inclusion and diversity programme and we are delighted to present such a diverse lineup of brilliant leaders from a wide range of disciplines and industries. From business to human rights, from Government to the arts, we’ve got it covered.

We will also present the findings of new Accenture research which we hope will jolt new thinking and provoke change as we work together to build a common ground in our quest to get to equal.

We hope you enjoy reading the Bios of our superb lineup of speakers and look forward to seeing you at the Convention Centre bright and early on 6th March.

To register please email before Wednesday 28th February.


Tara McCarthy


Chief Executive, Bord Bia

Tara McCarthy is the Chief Executive of Bord Bia. She was previously Chief Executive for Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency. Tara brings with her over 20 years’ experience in the wider food industry. Tara has operated in overseas markets for 10 years in Germany, France and Belgium and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with an MBS in Marketing from Smurfit Business School. An affiliate of IMD Business School, Switzerland; Tara has been a regular contributor to the Government’s Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025 reports and succeeded in delivering a number of instrumental initiatives for the Irish Food Industry under the ‘Pathways for Growth’ programme. She was previously Director of the Food and Beverages Division in Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board and has led a team of Senior Executives on the development of the seafood, dairy, prepared foods; alcohol and small business sectors.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn


Former EU Commissioner for Innovation & Cabinet Minister

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn was EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Sciences, a member of the European Court of Auditors and a TD for 22 years. She was the first woman appointed as Cabinet Minister since the foundation of the State and held a number of Ministerial positions including Minister for Justice.

On retirement from politics in 1997, she pursued a career in the private sector and was appointed to the boards of Aer Lingus and Ryan Hotels Group. She is a former member of the governing body of the National University of Ireland Galway and is a member of the Board of Trinity College’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) and the Advisory Board of RAND Europe. She also serves on the Board of Galway 2020. In 2015, on behalf of the Higher Education Authority, she chaired an independent panel of experts in a national review addressing systemic gender inequality in higher education resulting in a published report in 2016.

She holds honorary doctorates in Science (UCD) and in Law (NUIG) and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by French President Hollande in September 2014, the same year the European Institute in Washington DC awarded her the Transatlantic Leadership Award. She also wrote a weekly column in The Irish Times and co-presented a TV programme.

Emily Logan


Chief Commissioner, Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission

Emily Logan is the first Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission appointed by President Michael D Higgins on 31 October 2014, following an open competition.

In the decade prior to her appointment, she served as Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children and was also appointed President of the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children, across 47 Council of Europe member states.

Prior to this, she worked in senior public administration: Director of Nursing at Crumlin Children’s Hospital and at Tallaght Hospital Dublin, following her time as Directorate Manager in Great Ormond Street Hospital London.

Emily graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with an LLM in Human Rights Law, University College Dublin with an MBA, and from City University London with an MSc in Psychology. She was awarded honorary Degrees of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from University College Dublin and from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Francesca McDonagh


Group Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Ireland Group

Francesca McDonagh was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in October 2017. Bank of Ireland is a diversified financial services group established in 1783 and is one of the largest financial services groups in Ireland.

Francesca joined Bank of Ireland from the HSBC Group, where she held a number of key senior management roles over a twenty-year period including Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UK and Europe; Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Middle East and North Africa; and Head of Personal Financial Services, Hong Kong.

Francesca is a member of the PRA Practitioner Panel. She has previously served on the Board of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), where she was Deputy Chair and on the Board of the National Centre for Universities and Business in the UK. Francesca has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

Mark Redmond


CEO, American Chamber of Commerce

Mark Redmond is Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland. The Chamber is the leading international business organisation in Ireland and represents 700 companies with operations in the US and Ireland.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Mark was Chief Executive of the Irish Tax Institute and a Director with PWC. Mark has served on the Board of the Investor Compensation Company Ltd, the National Council of Ibec and the Governing Authority of University College Dublin. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. Mark has served on the Executive Committee of the American Chambers Europe Network and in October 2017 hosted the leadership of that network for a Best Practices Conference in Dublin.

Dearbhail McDonald


Group Business Editor, Independent News and Media (INM plc).

A global Eisenhower Fellow, the award-winning journalist, author, motivational speaker and broadcaster is the youngest recipient, in 2017, of the Mary Cummins Award for Women of Outstanding Achievement in Media. A Dublin City University Special Alumni Achievement honouree, and an Irish Tatler’s Media Woman of the Year, Dearbhail serves on the board of Fighting Words, Ireland’s national creative writing centre for children and young adults.

A director and trustee of the St Stephen's Green Trust, Dearbhail is also a member of the External Advisory Board of Maynooth University Department of Law. She holds an LL.B (Law) from Trinity College Dublin as well as a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Dublin City University.

Dearbhail plays violin and is currently trying her hand at the cello.



Barbara Harvey


Managing Director, Accenture

Barbara is the global lead for industry, strategic and survey research at Accenture. Barbara joined Accenture in 1997 to establish an advanced research capability. That team is now a global, end-to-end research capability of over 240 people. The research team has experts in every industry and all aspects of business (technology, digital, sustainability, etc) and has technical experts who provide expertise in, for example, statistics, economic modelling and survey research.

Barbara has BSc in Geography from Exeter University and over 25 years of experience in research, spanning quantitative techniques and statistical methods, qualitative research, mystery shopping and business research. Barbara ran the Accenture corporate functions Accent on Women initiative and is the sponsor for Accenture’s Mental Health programme in the UK. She is a ‘Straight Ally’ for Accenture’s LGBT community and actively promotes Accenture’s Inclusion & Diversity initiatives. She is leading research into gender equality and is a coach on Accenture’s Leadership Development Programme.



Zara Ilyas and Ruby Scott Kenny



European Digital Girl of The Year

In November 2017, Zara Ilyas and Ruby Scott Kenny were jointly awarded European Digital Girl of The Year in the under 10 category. Zara and Ruby are active members of Silicon Docks CoderDojo which takes place at Accenture’s The Dock. They share a love of learning and participate in a many CoderDojo events together.

Ruby is 9 years old and is in 4th class in St Brigid's National School. She has two younger brothers and has many interests, including ballet, athletics and guitar. She is also a keen Gaelic footballer.

Zara is also 9 years old and her favourite subjects include Maths, Science, Geography, History and Irish. She loves to make things with Lego, draw, read books, play games on the Wii U, Kung-fu and GAA.

Flossie Donnelly



Flossie Donnelly is a 10-year-old girl who has a passion for marine conservation. She first became aware of rubbish in the sea when kayaking in Thailand; she felt inspired to do something to clean up her local beaches and organised weekly beach clean-ups in Sandycove and Dun Laoghaire. To raise awareness of the current threat of pollution to our beaches, this “coastal crusader” set up a blog which has garnered a global following.

Flossie has been fundraising for the first ever Seabin, a machine which automatically extracts rubbish by the water pumping through it. After meeting with the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Flossie succeeded in negotiating the installation, operation and maintenance of a Seabin which will soon be installed in Dun Laoghaire harbour. For more information on Flossie's great work to date you can visit her blog here.


Andrew Hetherington


Chief Executive, Business to Arts

Andrew Hetherington is Chief Executive of Business to Arts and leads the organisation in the delivery of its mission to broker, enable and support creative partnerships between businesses, individuals and the arts. He has advised and helped project manage the Women on Walls campaign since its inception.

Prior to becoming Chief Executive, Andrew was Project Director at Business to Arts where he led on all sponsorship, philanthropy and art collecting/commissioning consultancy projects with corporate members and clients. He is also author of and contributor to many publications on arts fundraising, investment and policy.

Andrew is a double graduate of University College Dublin where he now regularly contributes as a guest lecturer on the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management. He is the Chair of the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny and a member of the Development Council of The Lir Academy.

Cathal Kelly


CEO/Registrar of Royal College of Surgeons

Professor Cathal Kelly took up the position of CEO/Registrar of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in December 2009. A Graduate and Fellow of RCSI, Professor Kelly was previously Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2006-2009.

Prior to his appointment, he was a Consultant General and Vascular surgeon with a special interest in endovascular surgery in Beaumont Hospital. He combined this role with chairmanship of the surgical division and an academic position in RCSI as vice Dean for curriculum change. In addition to completing his basic and higher surgical training in Dublin, Professor Kelly pursued a research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. Cathal was awarded the prestigious Patey Prize of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland.

Cathal holds an MBA from Institutio de Empressa (IE) Madrid, is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors and is an alumnus of the Stanford Executive Programme (SEP).



Sinéad Burke


Academic, Teacher, Writer, Advocate

Sinéad is currently undertaking a PhD on the topic of the voice of the child and the ways in which children have agency within the primary school classroom. On her website, Minnie Mélange, Sinéad facilitates interesting conversations with extraordinary women and uses social media to instigate important but challenging conversations on diversity, inclusion, design and disability. One of her proudest accomplishments is using social media to bring about the introduction of the word for little person / duine beag into the Irish language.

Sinéad is a TED speaker: her talk ‘Why Design Should Include Everyone’ has amassed over one million views and most recently, she addressed the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos on the topics of design, education and inclusion. Sinéad has written for Teen Vogue, the Financial Times and the Irish Times. She is an ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the 2018 ambassador for the Irish Girl Guides.

Roxanne Taylor


Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Accenture (2007-2017)

As a business leader, Roxanne Taylor is a game-changer across three forces at the heart of today’s economy: digital transformation of industries, the global workforce and inclusion and diversity. She is especially passionate about the power of technology to drive innovation to benefit businesses, the workforce and the next generation of innovators, particularly in promoting opportunities for women and minorities.

As Accenture’s Chief Marketing & Communications Officer from 2007 to the end of 2017, Roxanne’s accomplishments include the company’s growth into one of the world’s leading brands. From playing an integral role in Accenture’s public offering, to leading a team of 1100 marketers in 47 countries Roxanne’s role was pivotal in establishing and driving the company’s digital transformation and revenue goals.

A frequent speaker at conferences and events including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Roxanne was named by Forbes as one of the “World’s Most Influential CMOs” in 2017, and honored with a “Changing the Game” award by the Advertising Women of New York.

She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council, a member of the Marketing 50, Arthur W. Page Society, the Committee of 200, Women’s Forum of New York and the board of Only Make Believe, an interactive theatre nonprofit for children in hospitals throughout New York City.



Eímear Noone


Conductor and Composer

Eímear Noone is a California-based award-winning Irish composer and conductor. She has composed extensively for film and video games. She is responsible for some of the most enduring soundscapes on World of Warcraft and other best-selling video games. She has conducted with world-leading orchestras and performed at media concerts, such as The Legend of Zelda, Symphony of the Goddesses and Video Games Live. Through her music on World of WarCraft and the expansion, Warlords of Draenor, Eímear’s music has reached over 100 million people and continually inspires players to invent and build new worlds for nearly 15 years. She has conducted orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, Pittsburg Symphony and The Philadelphia orchestras and has worked on scores for directors such as Gus Van Sant and Joe Dante, orchestrating for Oscar nominee Javier Navarrette (composer of Pan’s Labyrinth) creating haunting music for thrillers Mirrors and The Hole. Eímear founded a major European game music festival in Ireland and is an advocate for and mentor to creative women in tech and music. Eímear also consults on Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle as coach to female lead, Lola Kirk.



Alastair Blair


Country Managing Director, Accenture Ireland

Alastair Blair is Country Managing Director for Accenture Ireland. Since joining Accenture in 1987, Alastair has fulfilled a number of senior roles within the company with a particular focus on financial services. He has worked with major banks and financial services organisations in the UK, Ireland, the Middle East and internationally on a broad range of strategic, communications, change management and execution initiatives. Prior to his current role, Alastair was based in London where he led Accenture's Financial Services business in the UK and Ireland.

SAlastair is a member of the Executive Board of the International Regulatory Strategy Group and sits on Accenture’s UK and Ireland Executive Management Team. He is a keen supporter of the company’s diversity programme including the LGBT Straight Allies programme and the “Accent on Gender’ programme which promotes gender equality.

 Michelle Cullen


Managing Director and Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Accenture Ireland

Dr. Michelle D. Cullen is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Global Enterprise Enablement. She is also Head of Inclusion & Diversity in Ireland and in AEE, which is our multi-function organization with operations across multiple countries, providing business services to Accenture.

Michelle has extensive experience in leading professionals across diverse functions, organisations and cultures. She is passionate about the business and social benefits of diversity and the power of diverse teams to create better, more inclusive solutions.

Michelle influences organisations and leaders to build a culture that develops and empowers leaders at all levels, including those in the early stages of their careers, and to drive gender equality and make women leaders more visible as role models to inspire the next generation.

She holds a Ph.D. in Semiotics and Communications, and regularly engages as a speaker in academic and business settings in Ireland and abroad.



Accenture’s employee choir concentrates on developing vocal ability, confidence and having fun. The brainchild of Catrin Prys-Cummins, Senior Legal Counsel, Accenture Ireland, it was established in 2014. The choir is composed of people from all areas of Accenture’s business and perform at numerous events throughout the year, bringing music and joy wherever they perform. The choir has performed alongside Julie Feeney, Duke Special and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and have become an annual highlight at our celebration of International Women’s Day

International Women's day