International Women’s Day 2021

Diversity and Inclusion

International Women's Day - 8 March 2021

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.

Irish Water 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, Irish Water, and its parent company Ervia, 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, Irish Water is proud to introduce you to some of our colleagues to find out about their roles in Irish Water and why IWD is important to them.

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. Yvonne highlighted “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.

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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 Irish Water, 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.

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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.

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To celebrate International Women’s Day and recognise leading experts, Irish Water presents Lough Talt case study to Letterkenny staff and students

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. The all-female line up of Diane Carroll, Olwyn James, Georgina O’Reilly, Toni Bourke and the Coffey Group’s Anne Marie Quirke delivered the insightful presentation. They also celebrated women's achievements in engineering as well as showcasing the water industry as a prospective employer to young students.

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