- Held at Crowne plaza, Blanch just before TI AGM

- Panel of women in Leadership roles - either in TI or ITU or in business + Bernard Hanratty - who's on TI Board and on ITU Womens' Committee ( for sake of gender balance there!)

- Moderated by Marie Crowe - a sports journalist with UTV. 

Each panellist introduced themselves, and answered the question how had they come to leadership roles as women

Aoife of Ennis Tri is a legal professional, did PRO/Train officer/Chair of Ennis Tri Club. And VP of Tri Ireland came up, and a male colleague from Triathlon said - ' You should go for that  ' 

Doubted herself, but this guy encouraged her. So she went forward, was 1 vote short. Then asked to contribute to ITU from legal standpoint. 

Mary Dunne - Chair of Swim Ireland - was and is a parent heavily involved with her children coming up thro Swimming competitions. 

She rep'd Ballina club at regional swim level, on committee, and that prep'd her to take on chair eventually of Swim IRL. 

She is practice manager of a GP practice, she helps care for her aging mother, & has 2 children. 

She believes you can do anything if you are organised. She never in her wildest dreams aimed to be Chair of a National Organisation - but she got more belief in self as she came thro'

Sinead was the first female partner in Grant Thornton, the accountancy firm. 12 yrs ago. Now there are 8 out of 51. She talked about pressure to hold it together after maternity leave, and prove she could do everything. A Career coach recommended she take up sport - triathlon - to manage the work -life balance. She also got support from a male mentor in work so she coped better after 2nd child. 

She believes you have to focus on what you want mainly. And that you can''t have it all, really! 

Helen, Chair of Belpark Tri, came up thro' committee positions in Belpark. Has v. Female work environment ( physio), and feels has always been encouraged by male colleagues, and men in club.

All agreed: 

Women doubt their abilities

Can be seen as "pushy" if they want to improve things

At Club committee level, women's and men's skill sets should be acknowledged and developed

Role models in leadership really help - in Tri, or in business

Need to encourage women to get involved

Idea of a 'heavy' committee role - train someone else up to assist with the position,  and they  will have possibly learnt enough to take over, and later mentor another woman e.g. To learn that role. 

Quotas can be helpful

Sarah Keane as OCI president is fantastic - as role model

Women lack confidence, men bravado it out

If a guy has 6/10 skills for a job - he'll go for it. A woman has 9/10 - but feels she shouldn't! 


If get push - JUMP - go for it. 

Step out of comfort zone

If you 've passion for something, you'll make it happen - but get help , lean on others

Can do anything with support

Bernard H: Feels need specific programmes & pathways - in UK ' This Girl Can ' - to up Tri /sport participation. 



Get more Comms up on TI site, featuring women . 

Report their race results first some times

Feature 100th woman home - put up stories from women at various levels in Tri


Develop a programme


For committees - build up female participation & confidence thro' training  day


Make pathways to be on TI Board, ITU, TO etc clearer


Develop more female coaches - support, subsidise, encourage

Recognise - female coaches will coach in a different way.