International Women’s Day is a United Nations–sanctioned global holiday that aims to celebrate women’s contributions to society and raise awareness to the areas of society that need to improve to reach gender equality. At No.1 Media we use it as way to amplify women’s voices and however you choose to celebrate it, we are here to listen and learn. This week we are spotlighting some of Irelands most beloved businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Each year has an official theme, but unofficially, many people use it as a day to remember all the women that have made an impact in their lives through sharing International Women’s Day quotes, thoughtful messages, and more. Right now, we are all apart so what better way to bring us together than engage some of our favourite most vibrant women in an interview.
What does IWD mean to you?
IWD to me is a recognition of the achievements of all women of all ages and from all walks of life regardless of creed or colour.
What does your role entail?
My role is one of leadership and guidance, of team building and sharing of my knowledge and expertise with my team, to assist them in, not only achieving my vision for my companies, but in developing themselves and achieving personal goals in their career. If they are not inspired, they cannot be creative, and I need creative people around me.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
Children are the greatest triumph I believe, in any aspect of life and they are a source of inspiration on a day-to-day basis. However, there is no denying, that the greatest struggle for a mother in business, is finding enough family time and dealing with the guilt associated with being away from your children quite a lot for business reasons. Anything else is negligible and short lived.
What skills are important to have in your sector?
Endurance, drive, tenacity, determination, stubbornness, self-belief; without these you will find it exceedingly difficult to survive.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
I think the challenges for women in the beauty sector are no different to the challenges for anyone else. We must remove the rose-tinted glasses and knuckle down to hard work. Leave the excuses at the door. If you want it badly enough and work hard you can earn it.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
Breaking into an industry that is already satiated with products will become more and more difficult but never impossible if you have the right work ethic.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
Determination to succeed, ambition, self-belief.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
My mother is a very inspirational woman who loves to see people succeed. She instilled in me a brilliant work ethic and taught me that hard work reaps rewards; she was so right. She taught us all the importance of being independent and allowed us to make our own mistakes but guided us through the decision-making process of finding our own path in life.
What do you do on a regular basis to celebrate your woman self?
I love to celebrate with my 4 sisters. Just getting together with them is what I probably look forward to more than anything else. A good chinwag, plenty of belly laughs and just being our silly selves is a very grounding, enjoyable and stress relieving act; we can be children again for a while.
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
The one thing I try to do every week is get to the gym. I wouldn’t say I’m ritualistic about it but it is something that I do for myself as it keeps me positive and keeps my mind strong as well as my body and it takes both to maintain a business.
What is something interesting you are currently working on? Personal or professional.
I have several different collections and further collaborations in the pipeline, but I am not ready to reveal these just yet. I am also working on a totally new brand.
by Mary-Jane O’Regan