Last week I had the pleasure to attend an event organised by Women@Google in Google HQ in Dublin – in The Foundry. Entitled Women in Digital there was an impressive lineup of speakers there set to inspire the invited Digital Leaders, as we were dubbed by John Herlihy, Head of Google Ireland, who welcomed us to the event. He introduced the remarkable Eileen Naughton, Managing Director of Google’s UK & Ireland operations.
Eileen really engaged her audience as she spoke very honestly of her personal experiences of a career in media and digital. She covered the highs and lows and took us all through a range of emotions as she proceeded. Her take home recommendations of “how to thrive as a woman in this industry” included:
- Tackle hard problems for your company
- Be ruthlessly prepared, then jab them with the data!
- Choose your boss
- Be polite!
- Be a snob for talent – hire people that are sharper than you
- Work Life balance is a myth – you need to manage disequilibrium
- Follow your tropism – play to your strengths and work will be more enjoyable
So then it was time for a panel discussion. Cecile Van Steenberge – Google Director of Online Sales, Benelux very ably and wittily chaired the panel discussion. The panel consisted of Mary Moloney, CEO CoderDojo Foundation, Orlaith Blaney, CEO McCannBlue Dublin and Aoife Desmond, Industry Manager at Twitter. It was lively and informative and there was plenty of audience participation courtesy of the green furry Android roving mike! There was discussion about how female representation on boards should be actively encouraged and its of importance not only in terms of diversity of logic and thought but also in terms of results. When women are on boards, company results on average perform 10 points better than companies with all male boards. All in all it was a really enjoyable evening at Google and a fantastically well run event.