Today is Wednesday which usually means I do a cooking tutorial for my Woman Crush Wednesday series. I choose a female chef and recreate one of her recipes live on Snapchat. However, today is a momentous day around the world. It is International Women’s Day which is being played out in many different ways. Various events from marathons, marches, lunches and summits, all highlighting this year’s theme of #beboldforachange.
I am grateful to be a woman and have a voice in the conversation of humanity from a feminine perspective. Not better, nor less, but equal as all people ought to be. Mostly I am grateful that I have had the joy of being a mother to two children, one of whom is my daughter, herself a mother. I am currently visiting with them in America. Spending these precious moments with my two granddaughers makes me realize how times have changed. To see them grow up in a world where there is a day of recognition for the sisterhood is pretty awesome! And it is also a reminder that I have an important task as a role model to the young women in my life!
Speaking of girl power, I have been wanting to share a post with you for a while now. And today seemed an apropos time! I had the pleasure of being asked to speak at the National Women’s Enterprise Day in Galway, Ireland this past October. It was significant for me on many levels. First of all my Grandpa Geraghty hails from Galway. It was through him that I was able to get my Irish citizenship. Though he left for America at a young age, never able to return, I would like to think he was looking down from heaven with a smile during my speech.
As well the NWED fell on my mother’s birthday. Sadly it isn’t a time our family looks forward to since her disappearance in 1990. Each year on October 19th we have a moment of silence, light a candle and pray she is somewhere, someplace a bit happier than we ever knew her to be. We are relieved when we make it through another year without coming undone from the stress of not knowing what ever happened to her.
So imagine my surprise when Loretta Gavin of LorgMedia, the event producer and MC, asked me to speak on that particular date! It was a cosmic way to turn that day into something good and hopeful. And no matter where my mom is I hope that if she ever knew I was speaking at NWED, an event to celebrate women, she would indeed be happy.
For those of you not familiar with NWED, it is a nationwide event sponosered by the Irish government to support, inspire and encourage women in business. Through grants and mentor programs the Local Enterprise Boards are helping women entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses and develop products for the market place.
This particular event in Galway was one of seven around the country. A day of fun, learning, connecting and of course eating and drinking. The Galway NWED was the largest, with over 300 women in attendance at the gorgeous g hotel. Hubby and I were lucky enough to stay at the hotel, which was our first time. It was certainly handy as we traveled by car from London across the Irish Sea. Arriving a bit weary after a long journey to such a luxurious hotel (it’s 5 stars) afforded the opportunity of a good rest before the big day.
The NWED started off on a bright sun shiny day with coffee and mingling before the welcome by Breda Fox and Loretta Gavin. The keynote speaker Natasha Fennell of Stillwater Communications touched on the importance of telling our own story. She shared her own story of working in media and how she came to write her well received book The Daughterhood. Natasha also closed the day with the hero’s story from Joseph Campbell. I was familiar with it already but it was great to revisit it especially with her amazing insight into why this mythological journey of humankind is so important.
Throughout the day there were talks by amazing people such as Irish designer Una Burke, who like me is currently living in London. Her path to success has been phenomenal! There were fabulous panel discussions from Irish women already making headlines and tsunami waves in social media. From fashion to beauty and food these women are making their mark and were willing to impart tips, tricks, and hard earned wisdom.
There were even teenage twin sisters Mary and Sarah Murphy sharing their business acumen. They invented a paint marking device for livestock called “Make a Mark”. They placed in a country wide entrenprenurial contest and their passion for farming will surely get them far in business and life!
The g hotel served a most delicious high tea, complete with freshly baked scones, yummy finger sandwiches, gorgeous pastries and even French style macrarons! And the organizers of the event made sure to send us home with an awesome goodie bag, every girl’s dream! One of the highlights of the day for my Hubby (and me too) was getting to meet filmmaker Paula Kehoe and watch her film for Galway 2020 wearing the virtual headset!
And my part, well I spoke about my favorite subject, LOVE! Suffice it to say, I am already excited about the next National Women’s Enterprise Day. Whether or not I am asked to return as a speaker, I’d still want to attend, in a heart beat! Why? For one, there is so much to be learned from each and every person in attendance. Not only the distinguished speakers, but also the person sitting next to you. Because these fine women of Ireland are the back bone of every family, every church, every school and every business. I have always said Ireland is the true mother land. It is ultimately a maternal society and I love that. Still there are imbalances yet to be leveled, which is why initiatives such as NWED and International Women’s Day are so vital.
And finally I would return to NWED in a blink of an eye because the buzz on the day, the excitement and joy, was nearly palpable. The interconnectness amongst all seven national events sent energy vibes off the charts in Ireland that day! Even if that isn’t meansurable, social media was hopping and #NWED was indeed trending. But guess what my friends, it is still trending in my soul and will forever more! And that is only because of the goodness of Loretta Gavin for including me in this phenomenal experience. She is talented, humble and quite literally a creative genius. And to Breda and all the team at LEO Galway and the g hotel, well done!
LOVE and Slan!