• Deirdre’s Diary

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Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman

Deirdre’s Diary

Deirdre McGlone

Happy Hotelier – Deirdre McGlone

As the song goes; “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”. And it can also be said that sometimes it’s hard to be a woman in business!

There are well-documented challenges such as gender discrimination, limited access to funding amongst others, not to mention balancing business and family life. However, we must also look at the many positives that are there for us in the world of business. We are naturally skilled at negotiating, delegating and multi-tasking and it is these life skills that help us overcome obstacles and deal with the ups and down of life as a woman in business.

Having been part of the Harvey’s Point story for almost thirty years, I have, like many women, been on a journey of learning, trying, failing, trying again and generally looking to find my way in business. Parallel to that, I have been raising a family over the past fifteen years, (with lots of help from darling husband Marc and my own family). During this time, I have become older, and maybe wiser, but still learning, trying, failing and trying again.

At times I found myself at what I call a ‘catering crossroads’, and what really helped me was to engage with other like-minded women who shared similar challenges, even though they may have had different businesses. Over the past few years, I have been involved in the Going For Growth programme, which is an initiative to support women entrepreneurs in achieving their business growth ambitions. I am also proud to be a mentor on ACORNS, which is an innovative programme funded by the government to support early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland.

Currently, I am involved in the Donegal Women in Business Network (DWBN) and this provides a strong forum for women in business in the county to share their experiences, network and to discuss topical issues. The DWBN runs seminars / workshops throughout the year based on the identified needs of the members. We are passionate about providing high quality events, which deliver information, education and support services. It is our Vision to have a voice for Donegal businesswomen regarding business issues. We also recognise the importance of links with the Local Enterprise Office and other agencies, whose support to the DWBN has been greatly appreciated.

Collectively within the DWBN we have a huge knowledge and expertise and our unique quality is the blend of professions; business owners, entrepreneurs, managers and business minded women who have joined, or hope to join the organisation. In doing so, we hope to make a contribution towards developing the next generation of women in business in Donegal.

We work hard, but we also like to enjoy a number of social events, which are great fun. This builds relationships and friendships with fellow members, which in turn can lead to driving more revenue to our businesses. I can highly recommend joining the Donegal Women in Business Network for all Donegal women in business, or with an interest in business. Members benefit from meeting and collectively motivating each other while encouraging inter-trade among their businesses.

The DWBN is proud to present our Annual Conference on Wednesday, 13th September in the luxurious surrounds of the new Garden Suite at Harvey’s Point. With the tagline ‘Connect to Grow’, this event is a wonderful opportunity to network with like-minded people and get advice on how to grow their business. The conference will headline several local and national motivational speakers who will deliver talks on entrepreneurship, financial growth and personal development for women in business. There will also be a panel of businesswomen who will be sharing their story and inspiring others to tell theirs. Many of us intend to make a night of it and attend the Cabaret Dinner Show. For further details on the conference, and tickets to the Cabaret Dinner Show, check out www.donegawomeninbusinessnetwork.com or register on this Eventbrite link.

So, is it “hard to be woman” in business? Sure. Sometimes it is. But as I have found out in my journey so far, the key to success is to build a support network, ask for help when you need it, keep learning and keep trying. The rewards are certainly worth the effort!

Deirdre

August 2017

Connect to Grow Conference

Wednesday, 13th September

The Garden Suite @Harvey’s Point
Tickets includes coffee breaks & light lunch
10am to 4.30pm

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