We are delighted to invite you to celebrate International Women’s Day with us!

The theme of this year’s IWD is: #choosetochallenge

The aim is to open a conversation about what each of us can do to challenge the status quo to ensure gender-balance across all aspects of society, from government to the media, boardrooms to the sports field.

See the stellar line-up of speakers we have to address us on this theme below.

Thanks to the generous support of Diageo we will also be outlining how the Female Futures Fund programme is being updated for 2021.

The objective of the bursary remains the same. It is designed to ensure that we retain our best female talent by helping women realise their full potential whilst also achieving a life balance that may include family and/or other lifestyle priorities. We also believe that this will continue to help close the gender gap at leadership level in our industry as it will empower women to become the leaders of the near future.

Given that everything has changed significantly in the last 12 months, we believe that this programme needs to broaden its reach and so, it is our intention to reach more high potential women with our 2021 bursary. To find out more about how you can apply or nominate your high potential female colleagues, please register to attend the event on 5th March.

Event Running Order
Event Running Order

With the event introduced by IAPI CEO Charley Stoney. We'll then proceed to our two keynotes delivered by Cormac Bourke and Grainne Wafer.

Cormac Bourke, Editor, Irish Independent and Independent.ie will share his own challenges and ask questions of our industry on how we can reach our goal of true gender equality. The media industry is also known for its creative, yet high-pressure working environment that usually means working unsociable hours. So, the challenges faced by women in media, trying to balance their home life with their career, are similar to those in the commercial creativity sector.

Cormac knows that the media industry has a long way to go. He believes the only way to make lasting progress is to face up to – and challenge – the practical obstacles to gender equality, particularly now, while we have already accepted new ways of working and are in a change mindset.

Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director, Guinness spoke at the IAPI International Women’s Day event in March 2020 when we launched Female Futures Fund, generously supported by Diageo, and, she will once again address our industry on the importance of gender equality.

The recipients of last years’ bursary, Eimear Fitzmaurice, Folk Wunderman Thompson and Ciara Markey, Mediaworks will be given the opportunity to share the impact the programme has had on their development. We will also hear from Jill Walker, who provided the executive coaching programme and Danica Murphy, who will provide the Female Futures Fund workshops for 2021.

Moderating this discussion will be Stha Banks, Head of Paid Social, Core and also now leading the Diversity & Inclusion Council on the IAPI Board.

Cormac Bourke
Cormac Bourke
Editor, Irish Independent and Independent.ie
Gráinne Wafer
Gráinne Wafer
Diageo Global Brand Director, Guinness
Stha Banks
Stha Banks
Jill Walker
Jill Walker
Executive Psychologist
Danica Murphy
Danica Murphy
Founder and Director of PRISM
Eimear Fitzmaurice
Eimear Fitzmaurice
Strategic Planning Director, Folk Wunderman Thompson
Ciara Markey
Ciara Markey
Business Director, Mediaworks
Keynote Speakers Bios
Keynote Speakers Bios

Cormac Bourke, Editor, Irish Independent and Independent.ie

Cormac Bourke is the editor of the Irish Independent and Independent.ie. Under his editorship. Independent.ie launched a pay wall for the first time, under a hybrid strategy to combine audience reach with a subscription service which delivered over 30,000 digital subscribers in its first year. He believes in the importance of high quality engaging journalism - and in the importance of the team of people who create it. A native of Athy, Co Kildare, he is a married father of four and holds a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University.

Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director, Guinness

Gráinne is responsible for the Guinness brand globally, accountable for strategy, commercial, quality, marketing /consumer performance in both developed and emerging markets. Gráinne also is joint lead of Diageo’s progressive gender portrayal programme globally and is the Diageo representative for the UNstereotype Alliance, a UN and industry wide platform which seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in advertising.

Stha Banks, Head of Paid Social Media, Core

Stha Banks is the Head of Paid Social Media in Core. Stha has over 12 years of experience in the Advertising industry, specialising in digital media. She has worked for IPG Mediabrands, Mediacom, Spark Foundry and now Core leading a team of social experts. She is also an IAPI Board Member and head of the D&I Council.

Jill Walker, Executive Psychologist

Jill Walker is an executive psychologist and coach who works with CEOs, Business Founders and Global Brands to deliver highly bespoke and personalised premium coaching support. Jill has worked with organisations such as Google, Dropbox, Coca Cola, the European Central Bank, LinkedIn, YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and the Irish Stock Exchange and specialises in the areas of resilience, personal growth and success. Jill provided the coaching for last year's two successful candidates

Danica Murphy, Founder and Director of PRISM

Danica Murphy, founder and director of PRISM, is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of executive coaching, high performance team development, training & design, and facilitation.

Danica is a highly regarded executive coach and business consultant who works with the client teams and senior management of blue companies both in Ireland and internationally. Danica has co-authored books and training resources on Myers Briggs Type Indicator MBTI©). She contributes to a variety of training and business publications and is regularly invited to speak at conferences on many aspects of leadership- in particular “Living Your Leadership Brand.” She designed and delivered and award winning Women in Leadership programme, an area of deep personal passion, across the United States, Caribbean and Central America for a 3 year period, profoundly enhancing the lives and ambitions of many of the c. 800 participants, as well as the business results of the contracting company.

Danica is a member of the Institute of Directors of Ireland, the Irish Institute for Training & Development, the Association for Coaching and is a frequent guest speaker or contributor on Irish Management Institute (IMI) programme.

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