.ieWhat does IWD mean to you?
For me, International Women’s Day is a day for celebrating every type of woman, in every corner of the globe. It could be your own mother, a Fortune 500 company CEO, your child’s teacher or one of your best friends, on International Women’s Day, every woman and their achievements and stories, should be recognised and celebrated.
What does your role entail?
In my role as Senior Account Manager with TravelMedia.ie (Ireland’s only dedicated Travel PR company) I represent a broad selection of travel and tourism companies, in both the Irish and UK markets. I am lucky to work with an amazing team of people in a hugely collaborative environment. In a normal workday I could be doing anything from media relations to media monitoring and social media campaign planning to Facebook advertising. Pre-COVID I did large amount of event management, so I am looking forward to getting stuck back into the madness of that. We are currently working on some exciting virtual events, so they are keeping me busy.
What have been some of the biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
I am happy to say that something which was once a struggle for me, resulted in a triumph! I used to dread public speaking. I would feel sick to my stomach right before I was called to present and in the days leading up to the gig, I would lose sleep with the nervous energy that was bouncing around my body. Luckily, this is something I overcame through doing more and more speaking gigs at conferences. It’s cliché, but it’s true – practice makes perfect. By ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’ I was able to overcome this struggle and turn it into something which I now look forward to doing.
What skills are important to have in your sector?
Communication is top of the list. Having good communication skills will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to a career in PR – whether it be writing a press release or speaking with a client over the phone. Being organised and being able to stay calm under pressure are also important traits for anyone working in the PR and Communications sector to have.
What are the current challenges for women in your sector?
The current global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the travel industry and has resulted in a crippling amount of job losses. Unfortunately, recent reports have shown that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable than men’s jobs during this crisis. This is due to the current gender inequalities that exist in this sector.
I am very proud to be a founding committee member of the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) Ireland. We work hard, with our 100+ strong membership, to promote and develop the careers of women in the travel industry in Ireland. Through our annual series of events, networking opportunities and educational programmes we work hard to empower, encourage, and educate women in the travel industry in Ireland.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
I am a planner. I like to be organised and know what is happening for the weeks and months ahead.
I am driven. Once I knew what career path I wanted to take, I worked hard to get there. I did numerous unpaid internships, while at the same time working and going to college.
I have a willingness to learn. I am always on the lookout for an online course, book or even just a TED talk that might show me a new way of thinking or teach me something. I think it’s so important to keep educating yourself throughout your career.
What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what is one lesson she taught you?
In my first role, post-graduation, I was employed as a Communications Executive in Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. My manager, the head of the Communications Department, taught me so much during me time there. In particular, she taught me how to stay calm and collected under pressure. And that having a plan for handling things that might go wrong is invaluable. I think that has stood to me to this day. Starting my career in a ‘crisis communications’ type environment set me up for handling tricky situations in my future years.
What is a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
My morning ritual gets me set up for the day. I wake about 6:30am, get up, get dressed and go out for a run or do a home workout. (My fiancé is a personal trainer so I’m lucky that I have him to advise me when it comes to fitness!) Once I’ve showered and dressed for the day, I make a coffee, have breakfast and check in on the news headlines. I also like to have scanned through my emails on my phone before sitting down at my desk. Doing this allows me to delete any junk and make note of anything that needs to be actioned straight away.
What is something interesting you are currently working on? Personal or professional
At the moment, I am busy working on one of my favourite events of the year, Meet the Media. It’s a one day networking event for travel suppliers and media from the UK & Ireland. This year it’s virtual so it is slightly different, but it still has all the excitement and madness that comes with event management. Similarly, I am busy working on promoting some future events for AWTE Ireland. And for something random, I’ve just started an online ‘Flower Arranging’ course – something to keep me busy during lockdown!