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International Women's Day

Diversity and Inclusion

International Women's Day - 8 March 2022

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. International Women's Day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

Uisce Éireann is committed to gender equality, with 40% of our senior management team being female. In order to encourage more women to progress within the organisation, Uisce Éireann, launched its Diversity and Inclusion Programme in 2019. The program has continued to grow and evolve and now includes a number of support groups, including the iBelong Women's Network.

To celebrate IWD, Uisce Éireann is proud to introduce you to some of our colleagues to find out about their roles in Uisce Éireann and why IWD is important to them.


Profile image of Anna Brosnan

Anna Brosnan, Wastewater Non-Infrastructure (Above Ground) SLA Lead

Anna lives in Co. Limerick with her husband Steven and 3 teenagers. She is a chartered member of Engineers Ireland and is a keen supporter of STEM subjects for students through involvement in ‘Limerick for Engineering’ and other engineering related events. 

“There is a great sense of achievement in working as an engineer. There are loads of opportunities and you can go in many directions. Engineers have the ability and opportunity to protect, shape and improve our world. The best advice is to find your niche, what you’re good at and really go for it. It’s so important to enjoy what you’re working at, as life is short.”“

Anna Brosnan, Wastewater Non-Infrastructure (Above Ground) SLA Lead

Profile image of Emily Kavanagh

Emily Kavanagh - Project Engineer Ringsend WwTP Upgrade Project

Born and raised near Moate, Emily now lives in Dublin with her engineering husband and three young children. Having studied Civil Engineering in UCD, she went on to gain a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, before enjoying a very varied career working in the water industry.

“No two days are the same and I enjoy the challenge of working to solve different issues that arise on a daily basis that require collaboration with a variety of people from many backgrounds and skillsets, including contractors, consultants and internal stakeholders to progress the project.“

Emily Kavanagh - Project Engineer Ringsend WwTP Upgrade Project

Profile image of Lisa Garrett

Lisa Garrett, Health and Safety Officer

A decision to switch careers has seen Lisa Garrett experience one of the greatest gender equality shifts in engineering and construction in recent years. The Attymass native is the first to admit she never imagined herself donning a high vis jacket and hard hat for a day at work on site, but the 32-year-old is playing a leading role as the industry evolves.

“I was lucky to work on some challenging projects and learned a lot along the way. It’s a nice feeling when you are travelling around the country and you can point out the projects you worked on. It’s a great sense of achievement.“

Lisa Garrett, Health and Safety Officer

Profile image of Maura Joy

Maura Joy, Programme Delivery Manager Ringsend WwTP Upgrade Project

Maura Joy is an Uisce Éireann engineer and Programme Delivery Manager for the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project, one of the largest engineering projects in the country and the recently completed Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project, which was voted Engineers Ireland Engineering Endeavour of the Year 2021.

“Don’t be afraid to do engineering – give it a go. If you enjoy maths and science like I did, it would be fair to say you would have a natural capacity for it. If you are interested in big infrastructural projects, and how things work, you will really enjoy it. It also provides an excellent basis for careers in business, management and industry, so it is a very practical and flexible qualification.“

Maura Joy, Programme Delivery Manager Ringsend WwTP Upgrade Project

Two profile images of team members put side by side

Teamwork flowing through Galway’s water services

With Galway City’s population expected to grow by 50% in the next 20 years and the county proving a popular spot to set up home, Uisce Éireann’s engineers are working with their local authority colleagues to ensure water services are ready for the surge in growth.

“It’s about thinking ahead and planning for the future as much as the current situation. We’re working on plans for the future of wastewater with the Galway Drainage Area Plan and the Greater Galway Strategic Drainage Study underway. In the meantime, we’re doing our best to make sure we can accommodate development. We’re advancing projects to accommodate growth,“

Profile image of Yvonne Harris

Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations and Connection Developer Services

As we celebrate IWD, Yvonne’s advice to young women looking to emulate her success is to celebrate their strengths, while also recognising and addressing any weaknesses they may have.

“It’s really important that we acknowledge what we do well, celebrate it and do more of it, but also to understand areas for improvement. In order to really understand how effective we are as individuals, and how we are perceived by others, we need to have honest and open conversations with our managers, mentors and trusted individuals who will give us honest feedback. Without this feedback loop we may continue on a certain path or continuously display a behaviour that could limit our opportunities.“

Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations and Connection Developer Services

Profile image of Aisling Buckley

Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Specialist

Aisling, mum to two girls Finley and Jules and an Environmental Engineer and communications specialist, shares with us her love for her job.

“I love my job. I get to meet so many different and interesting people and work on a wide variety of projects too, albeit virtually for the moment. I’ve worked on so many great projects in my career. My first job was on the Kinsale Road Landfill project and it was fascinating. Working on large infrastructure projects and being a part of a huge team is really rewarding. I feel the same way working here in Uisce Éireann, we are doing something positive for the country, safeguarding our water for our future and protecting our environment. The beauty of working in communications is that I can bring my technical knowledge to the table and help people understand projects that affect them.“

Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Specialist

Profile image of Aphra Leavy

Aphra Leavy, Process Optimisation Manager

Aphra is a Scientist and an Engineer and this IWD she wants to highlight STEM as a career choice for girls. For Aphra, a busy mum of three girls.

“Science and engineering are about improving our everyday lives and having a positive impact on the environment, our health, and our quality of life which is especially important now as we all try to navigate through a global pandemic together.” She added “I have three daughters and that is one of the reasons why I am keen to highlight the importance of International Women’s Day and the important role that women play in science and engineering in Ireland.“

Aphra Leavy, Process Optimisation Manager

Case Study

Lough Talt

In the North West Region, we partnered with Coffey Construction and Letterkenny Institute of Technology. An all-female line up of experts delivered a masterclass to students of the institute on the typical life cycle of an engineering project with a focus on the recently completed drinking water infrastructural upgrade at Lough Talt in County Sligo. Click below to find out more.