International Women’s Day is a United Nations–sanctioned global holiday that aims to celebrate women’s contributions to society and raise awareness to the areas of society that need to improve to reach gender equality. At No.1 Media we use it as way to amplify women’s voices and however you choose to celebrate it, we are here to listen and learn. This week we are spotlighting some of Irelands most beloved businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Each year has an official theme, but unofficially, many people use it as a day to remember all the women that have made an impact in their lives through sharing International Women’s Day quotes, thoughtful messages, and more. Right now, we are all apart so what better way to bring us together than engage some of our favourite most vibrant women in an interview.
|What does IWD mean to you?
IWD is an opportunity to celebrate girls and women all over the world, especially all the great women that have come before us and created the path we all walk today, their past sacrifices have made our lives better in various shapes and forms. It’s about encouraging and uplifting one another and providing support on our vastly different journeys. We need to remember that there is no competition, and we are all in this together. So, use your voice, compliment, uplift, and support women of all ages & backgrounds. We are not ageing ladies we are levelling up and evolving, be proud of who you are because you are unique and that is your superpower!
What does your role entail?
I have two businesses Personal Assistant.ie Business & Lifestyle Support Services & WestTech.ie which provides IT solutions such as Managed IT Services, Hardware & Software – Both businesses work well together as they tend to have a lot of the same client. I absolutely love what I do, and I can’t wait to get up every morning and seize the day! This has not always been the case and I have had to work very hard to get where I am today. In short what my role entails is finding solutions for people and businesses, teamwork, communication and getting stuff done.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
Keeping a consistent level of confidence, resilience and endurance is challenging and required constant effort. The amount of energy it takes to keep everything running well is immense. Finding a work life balance is difficult and maintaining it is even harder. I feel very encouraged by some of the changes that have happened during the lockdown, working at home has evolved the workplace massively, not just with the technology that we use, it’s also more acceptable to be real and occasionally have a bit of life going in in the background.
What skills are important to have in your sector?
Knowing how to hire the right people and letting them do what they do best is key. Although I have a plethora of IT & Technical skills in my armoury, I think it’s the basics that matter most, listening, positivity, understanding, interpersonal skills and a healthy dose of common sense. Relentless endurance is the attribute that serves me most. I never give up and if I can’t find a way to make something happen, I will make a way.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
Occasionally people might underestimate me before they see me in action and that is fine. The Tech industry is so vast no one knows everything, but I never go to a meeting unprepared or without the subject matter expert on the call or sitting beside me.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
I am not the first or the last woman to build a successful business and each generation is different from the next, It feels like time is moving faster the older I get, I can tell you one thing though, We have been working with a number of young women as part of our WestTech Technologies ‘The Next Big Thing’ Young Entrepreneurs Program as part of our charity initiatives, watch out for the next generation and what they are capable of, These young ladies are unreal. I’m blown away by their confidence, thrust for education, strength, willpower, spirit and drive. It’s a real eye-opener to be working with these young powerhouses. I can’t even comprehend the amazing things they are capable of. It’s going to be a whole new world.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
Endurance, Resilience & Patience. I have worked really hard to create a life I love, and I love my business and really enjoy my work.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
My Mother Connie Reilly is a born businesswoman and a force to be reckoned with. She has managed to run successful businesses throughout her whole life and raise a large family, while she has a lot of valuable advice, recently she reminded me that you have to fight for what you want and never give up and if you are relying on other professionals around you, they are only going to be as good as you hold them accountable to be. You only get one life and you’ve got to get out there and build a life you love.
What do you do on a regular basis to celebrate your woman self?
I Practice gratitude. I am so grateful for the life I am building every day, I’m grateful for my health, I’m grateful for Kenneth my business partner & husband, I’m grateful for my family, my home, my dogs, to be lucky enough to be successfully do what I love. I am grateful for my clients, I learn from them every day and they are fantastic. My story is one of a Phoenix rising from the ashes and in the last 3 years my life has completely changed and is totally unrecognisable from what it used to look like. I celebrate a lot through my wellness group on Instagram where I have a large following, we cheer each other on in business and life.
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
I have a lot of them, Sleep I get up early & go to bed early, Good quality sleep is important to me. Running and walking – I run every morning no matter what and if I can’t run, I walk. I take little breaks throughout the day to keep me refreshed.
What is something interesting you are currently working on?
Personally & professionally – I’m working on lots of interesting projects at the moment so its hard to pick one, so I’ll give you a few little snippets. In WestTech Technologies – We have just rolled out Managed IT Services to a nationwide firm of Solicitors which went well, they chose us as we could save them money and provide an exceedingly high standard of services. We are also working with a large building company that specialise in shop & office fitouts, we do all the IT work for them. I love it as I was a global workplace specialist in my former career. It’s amazing to be involved in every part of the project from inception to completion.
In Personal Assistant.ie we are working with a lot of amazing businesses and busy individuals, you never know what is coming your way with each phone call, its so exciting. This week alone the team have been working on personal shopping, helping people move home and office, online events, websites and social media work including rebranding and business strategy, systems and processes, decluttering and organising, Errand Running and of course Administration which is the basis of our business. We are lucky to be working with some amazingly talented and interesting people.