The diversity journey – creating impact and achieving results

17th May 2017 Facebook HQ, 10 Brock Street, Kings Cross, London, NW1 3FG


Studies clearly show the value of women’s equitable participation in organisational leadership. Increasingly gender equality is viewed as a business issue. CEO’s globally say they are actively focused on talent diversity and inclusion, however, scarce representation of women at senior levels in businesses remains a global phenomenon.


While there have been significant improvements in the last few years in some countries, still in the UK, only 26% of the directors of the FTSE 100 companies are female and an even smaller proportion, 12.5% of women, on Irish Plc’s.   The World Economic forum predicts we won’t see gender equality achieved in the global workforce for another 170 years!


We chat to three female leaders on their own exceptional careers, challenges faced and how diversity on boards and in management can enable companies to thrive in the future.



Meet our Panel

Anne O'Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland

Anne O’Leary was appointed CEO of Vodafone Ireland in February 2013, having spent five years as Enterprise Director. She joined Vodafone from BT Ireland where she was Managing Director for six years and was previously Regional Director with Esat Telecom.

As CEO of Vodafone, Anne has committed to investing in Ireland’s telecommunications infrastructure, resulting in Vodafone's nationwide rollout of 4G. She is also overseeing SIRO, Vodafone’s joint venture with the ESB, who   are investing €450m in the roll out of high speed fibre broadband across Ireland.

Additionally, Anne is championing the gigabit society agenda in Ireland. A gigabit society is one where everyone has access to world class connectivity of 1 gigabit, whether they live in a village, town or city.

A Cork native, Anne champions wellbeing and diversity in the workplace and has spearheaded Vodafone securing a position as one of Ireland’s top ten Great Places to Work.

Anne is married to Nick and both are keen triathletes who compete regularly. 

Marie O'Connor - Partner at PwC and Country Lead for the 30% Club in Ireland

Marie is an audit and assurance partner at PwC Ireland. She led PwC's Irish Asset Management practice for 12 years until 2007 and led the Financial Services practice for four years.

Marie is the country lead for the 30% Club in Ireland, a member of the Irish Chapter of the Ireland-US Council for Commerce and Industry and of the University College Dublin President’s Advisory Board. She recently was appointed to the Council of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in Ireland. She has formerly been a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the ESRI, The Children’s Hospital and other organisations.

Marie has been appointed as non-executive director by the Irish Gov’t over the last twenty years. Appointments included Dublin Airport Authority, IDA Ireland, Irish Life, National College of Art, Top Level Appointments Committee.

Marie qualified as a Barrister and was the first woman to be admitted as a partner to Price Waterhouse in Ireland. She was the first female student accepted to the Business Studies Diploma at DIT where she achieved first place overall. She received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Ireland-US Council in June 2016 and in July 2016, was honoured by Irish America Magazine as one of its Inaugural Top 50 Women.

Streisan Beavan - Product Marketing Manager, Facebook and co-CEO of Women @ Facebook London

Streisan leads the Customer Immersion team in London where she is focused on elevating the voice of the customer throughout the product development process. Streisan is also the co-leader of the women @ London employment resource group focused on key initiatives to connect, empower & inspire the Facebook women of London. She started at Facebook in 2009 and has been there longer than 99% of the company!

Streisan has 15+ years’ experience working in the digital space. Originally from Toronto, Streisan has lived in the UK since she moved to Scotland to do an MSc in Marketing at University of Stirling in 2004. She joined Facebook London in 2009 as the first Client Partner of the Pan European Sales team. Previous to that she was part of the startup monetization teams at (acquired by AOL in 2007) and Microsoft.

Moderator - Deirdre Veldon, Deputy Editor of The Irish Times


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