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‘Women@SIMI’ grab opportunities with both hands


The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) hosted its sixth annual Women@SIMI event in conjunction with its sponsor Bank of Ireland, recently in the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge.

The event had its largest attendance to date with over 160 professional women from a variety of different sectors within the motor industry in Ireland. Delivering an impressive panel of guest speakers, Mary Kennedy, Master of Ceremonies interviewed Breege O’Donoghue, former Primark board member and group director, a pioneer of the retail world and champion of women in Business. Along with Alison Comyn, award winning TV and broadcast journalist and expert in effective communications.

Pictured L to R: SIMI President Gabriel Keane, Guest Speaker Alison Comyn IFTA-Winning Journalist and Broadcaster, Breege O’Donoghue, Former Primark Board Member & Group Director Chair-Business & Human Rights Implementation Group, Real World Analytics, Design & Craft Council Ireland, Mary Kennedy, Master of Cermonies.

Breege O’Donoghue, former Primark board member and group director, chair-business and human rights implementation group, real world analytics, Design & Craft Council Ireland said: “In whatever role one plays in leadership be true to oneself show courage independence initiative, appreciate the need to recognise, respect and value differences, blend passion, persistence and tenacity. Know right from wrong be ethically aware, be satisfied with only the very best. Do not be clouded in power and status but generous in heart and spirit and yes, it is encouragement and love that inspired people to success and be happy the world over.”

Alison Comyn, IFTA-Winning journalist and broadcaster, shared her passionate insight into the world of media with over 25 years of experience in the business. Speaking on the difficulties of journalism today, Alison felt that it is still a worthwhile and necessary job.

She said: “As a journalist you have a responsibility to tell a story and write the truth. The two tenets I like to live by is integrity and principle and it is very hard to fine in journalism these days. Fake news is possibly the worst phrase that we will ever hear in our life time because where is the integrity and what do you leave. Hopefully there are people trying to pass on to a new generation these principles, of truth and morality as they really do matter.”

Alison’s advice to all present was to there is no such word as can’t. “Always be as true to yourself as you possibly can, don’t be afraid to take chances, if the opportunities are there grab them with both hands and take them if the opportunities aren’t there make them for yourself.”

Gabriel Keane, President of SIMI addressing attendees stated: “While there are many challenges currently facing our Industry, we must not lose sight of the contribution made by the 47,300 people that work in the Irish Motor Industry that continue to keep Ireland moving. I am proud to be a part of our dynamic Industry and to be here today to support women in business.”