Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Causeway embraces diversity within our network and encourages more businesswomen to consider joining our growing membership organisation.

International Women’s Day 2020 aims to forge a gender equal world and celebrating women's achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality, is key to achieve this ambition.

As a membership networking organisation, Causeway recognises that gender inequality still exists in the workforce and that more needs to be done to address the imbalance while encouraging more women into leadership positions. 

From running countries to managing companies, the world needs women leaders. Women’s presence and visibility matters in business, and in our society at large. Yet, even though women enter the workforce in relatively equal numbers as men, the rise to the top can be slower and harder for women. 

Although it is increasing year by year, women are still extremely scant at the top positions in companies, with women CEOs representing only 6.6% of the Fortune 500 list. It is clear therefore that a great deal more needs to be done to balance this inequality and enable more women to progress into leadership positions in business. 

Creating an empowering and uplifting culture 

Last November, we held a thought-provoking Empowering Future Generations of Women Leaders panel discussion at the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh, in which we showcased women of all backgrounds who dared to innovate, lead, and uplift others towards a more equal and inclusive workplace. Driving an inclusive empowering culture is essential to encourage a more equal working environment, as Causeway Director and MD of Represent Judith O’Leary explains:

“Company culture has one of the greatest impacts on workplace empowerment. If women are encouraged to speak up, and most importantly, if they are listened to, then they will be more empowered to reach leadership positions.

“If you are really serious about empowering women leaders, be honest with yourself about your company’s culture, and implement necessary changes. If you’re nurturing female talent, make sure you’re providing adequate training in both technical and leadership skills, or risk diminishing their experience.”

A supportive network for women in business

Describing more about the support and benefits the Causeway network can bring to women in business, Causeway member and Managing Director of Rainbow International Noreen Hughes says:

“I became involved with Causeway when I met fellow Causeway businesswoman and Board member Brigid Whoriskey at a Consulate St Patrick’s Day event and she told me what Causeway was trying to achieve. It sounded very interesting and I wanted to be involved. We all currently work together (Scotland / Ireland / Northern Ireland) however there is no formal / informal way for us to collaborate, so this is where I see Causeway bringing people together. 

“I see the current challenges for women in business are believing in themselves and being confident to stand up and be counted and not let themselves be bullied. The main benefits for women in business joining Causeway are networking with like-minded people and collaborating on business and social aspects.”

Networking with like-minded people

Joanne Hills is Solutions Delivery Manager with the Royal Bank of Scotland and joined Causeway through RBS’ corporate Causeway membership. Explaining more about her journey and experience with Causeway, she said: 

“In my position, I manage international trade within the Scotland and Northern Irish corporate teams for the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank Limited and my colleague added me to the Causeway corporate membership due to the nature of my role. For me, the main involvement is that I deal with clients in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the latter in particular have many business interests and/or clients & suppliers in Ireland.

“The main benefits of joining Causeway is definitely the opportunity to meet like-minded people and network in a targeted way; by that I mean the connection between the locations rather than other organisations that focus on international trade in general, but not always with any clear focus.  

“The events I have attended so far have all been interesting and that’s always a good incentive to attend more. I have met some impressive women at these events and that surely is a positive message for all other women.”

Causeway remains committed to supporting the growing number of women in our network, and we hope to run our Empowering Women into Leadership event again later this year. 

To help enhance the diversity within our network, we’d love more businesswomen to consider joining our membership. Our members are based throughout Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. We offer four membership categories including Individual; Corporate; Dual Corporate in partnership with BITA; and Young Professionals. Find out more and join us today

Author: Aoife O'Sullivan

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About The Author

Aoife O'Sullivan

Aoife is currently Business Engagement and Communications Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, supporting the Research, Innovation and Enterprise section of the university to showcase its research and expertise through its Innovation Hub, and helping to build business connections and collaborations between industry and academia that spark innovations and encourage industry growth. Focus areas are in the specific fields of: AI & advanced technologies; health; environment; and culture and communities.


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