16th May 2018

The 6th annual Planet Woman Academy conference took place on Friday May 11th at the RDS, Dublin. Hosted by Norah Casey, the conference focused on empowering women in business through inspirational stories of growth and success. Cpl were delighted to be one of the sponsors for this event.

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The theme of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace was prominent throughout the day.

Below were some takeaways from the panel of speakers covering the subject of D&I in organizations:  

Evelyn O’Toole: Founder & CEO CLS

Evelyn emphasised the importance of female role models and how they create a domino effect. She encouraged us all to keep reinforcing the importance of diversity in order to strengthen and normalise a diverse, inclusive workplace.

Louise Phelan: Vice President of PayPal

‘It’s hard however it's worth doing’ Louise is a firm believer that companies need to start educating themselves and their employees about the benefits and importance of diversity and inclusion. At PayPal they do this through listening to their people and normalising diversity through shared  experience.

Sorcha McKenna: Partner at McKinsey & Company

Sorcha brought home the importance of demonstrating the value diversity will bring to your organisation. This message was strengthened with strong data, statistics and evidence. ‘The more gender diverse the company, the more profitable.’

Margot Slattery: Country president of Sodexo Ireland

Like Sorcha, Margot believes the key way to get leadership on board with diversity in the workplace is by showing the benefits through facts and figures. You need to demonstrate how diversity is essential for a company to succeed and ensure top management are involved.

Olivia McEvoy: Partner at EY

Olivia believes it takes a multi-faceted approach. Planning, setting goals and targets are all key to ensuring a company makes real progress.

Ken Scully: Country Manager ROI at M&S

Ken recommended making an effort to grasp a deeper understanding of what’s already going on in your organisation before proceeding with any new strategy. Ken also agreed that you need to sponsor diversity at high level.

Overall plenty of food for thought from the panellists. Buy in at the top and support throughout a business is key to success in respect of creating a diverse and inclusive culture. It’s not something that comes easily. However a recent EY survey demonstrated that there is almost universal acceptance that Diversity & Inclusion is ‘vital for business performance’ (98.4%).

From gender diversity to inspirational stories from a broad range of the over 30 speakers, the 6th annual Planet Woman Academy was a pleasure to sponsor and attend.

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