WIF Awards Ireland: the inspirational shortlist is here

Check out the shortlist of nominees ahead of awards ceremony on December 8

The Women in Finance Awards Ireland, the ceremony that honours advocates, role models, and allies working to empower women in Ireland’s financial world, has released its 2021 shortlist – many congratulations to the finalists.

The shortlist categories include Advocate of the Year, Woman of the Year, and Next Generation Leader of the Year, to name a few. These are now available to view ahead of the awards ceremony taking place on December 8, 2021.

According to 2020 figures from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, women in the financial sector earn an average of €25,000 less than men.

While the Bank of Ireland has reported a gender pay gap of 23.8% in 2021, which is a 0.4% improvement over the past year, it’s clear that more needs to be done to advance women in Irish finance. An awards ceremony, such as the Women in Finance Awards Ireland, can elevate the conversation.

A closer look at some of the finalists

To improve the situation for women in finance, it’s important that women from within the industry step up and advocate for others like them. This is why the ceremony’s Advocate of the Year award matters.

The judges have described successful nominees in this category as “a role model” who has “gone out of her way to support the cause of getting more women into finance in the last 18 months.”

As part of the evaluation process, the judges would have examined the “initiatives the candidates has pioneered to inspire women to succeed in the industry” they have also assessed “their leadership and the initiative’s impact on, and integration with, the business.”

The finalists are:

Judith Kelly, FK International

Grace Hayes, Mastercard

Melissa Longmore, Bank of Ireland

Róise Cunningham, Liberty Insurance

Orla Collins, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Grainne Ryan, Sunrise Financial Planning Ltd

Claudette Whyte, Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland

The Woman of the Year award, sponsored by EY, is another important category due to its capacity to inspire women and their allies in the sector to lobby for gender equality.

The judges have described the 2021 Woman of the Year as “a woman who has demonstrated the highest degree of excellence, innovation, and leadership in their role in the last year and shone a light on the great things women in financial services can achieve.”

They said the winner will be an inspiring leader who “will have challenged, influenced or revolutionised the culture of the financial services sector.”

Successful nominees would have “not only have demonstrated outstanding business achievements but should also give examples of how they have actively sought to bring more diversity to the financial services industry.”

The shortlist for this category is below:

Lucky Akter, Verve the Live Agency

Breda McCague, Bank of Ireland Group

Chantal Brennan, Davy Global Fund Management

Schira Mullen, American Express

Deirdre Hannigan, AIB

Geraldine Casey, AIB

Samantha Greene, SaonGroup

Catherine Quirke, Taxback International

Suzanne Cashin, Brewin Dolphin

Commending younger women in senior finance positions helps identify the gender-diverse leaders of tomorrow, and the Next Generation Leader of the Year award exists for this purpose.

The judges have described finalists as “a woman under the age of 35, or who turns 35 in 2021, who has progressed rapidly through their career within financial services and demonstrated business value and innovation throughout.”

As part of the assessment process, the judges will have examined the last 18 months in each candidate’s career, including “looking at standout achievements and demonstrable contributions to successful projects.”

The finalists for the Next Generation Leader of the Year award are:

Aisling Doherty, Mercer Global Investments

Nargis Dewji, Davy

Aisling McCaffrey, Grant Thornton

Ifeoluwa Adesemowo, Investec

Neha Arora, CitiGroup

Ailbhe Doyle, IBI Corporate Finance

Franzi Warkotz, Square

Irina Bevza, Fineco Asset Management

Fiona Haughey, Davy

To view the Women in Finance Awards Ireland 2021 shortlist in full, click here.


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