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Simmons International Leadership Conference 2018

  • 30 November 2018

Congratulations to all at the Simmons International Leadership Conference for a wonderful two days in Dublin on 13, 14 November 2018. This was the third international conference for SimmonsLEADS. This year's conference theme, Disrupt the Ordinary, centred on the need to change how we think, behave, and do business in an era of accelerating innovation.

One of the key elements of the SimmonsLEADS mission is to support and develop women leaders to make a positive contribution within their organisations, their communities and the world. This it certainly did here in Dublin.

WITS was delighted to be invited to partner with the conference. We spread the word about the conference through our website and newsletter, hosted a WITS stand at the exhibition and shared our 2018 WITS brochure with the conference participants.

It was a packed schedule and we enjoyed the amazing speakers and panels. At the stand we met so many interesting women leaders from Ireland and the world; it was good to share WITS’s mission and vision with them. We met the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) Dublin and collaborated with them over the two days.

As part of the partnership we were delighted to offer a ticket to the conference to our members through a draw. Emer O’Brien was drawn to attend the conference. Read her report of the conference below.

Thanks to Nancy Leeser Simmons Director Corporate Relations & Business Development and all her team, especially Georgette Arato and LT, for the amazing organisation and a great conference. It was a pleasure to partner you on the conference. We look forward to welcoming you to Dublin again in November 2019.

Emer O’Brien writes

My Simmons Leadership conference journey started with an email from WITS informing me I had won a ticket for this event. As I entered the CityWest Hotel I was blown away by the number of people attending this great event and the number of Technology sponsors each with their own stand including the WITS stand being promoted by both Julie Hogan (WITS Chair) and Dr Marion Palmer.

The Simmons leadership conference is regarded for its focus on women’s leadership. In 2018 the conference theme, Disrupt the Ordinary, centred on the need to change how we think, behave, and do business in an era of accelerating innovation.

Day 1 speakers included Nely Galan - Becoming Self made, Latina media dynamo Nely Galán, dubbed the "Tropical Tycoon" by The New York Times Magazine, is one of the entertainment industry's savviest talents. Look at her
website where you can watch her free webinars on becoming selfmade and her empowering message that any women can turn her dreams of self-sufficiency into reality.

An interesting panel on Day 1 was a men only panel called ‘ Men who get it’ where three male leaders from Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and United Technologies gave their perspective on how we need men as allies in an organisation # diversityallies . Other topics discussed were unconscious bias’, pipe lining the talent rather than gender quotas, pick the right person for the role... “Emotional intelligence comes more natural to women than men….we should all advocate for people generally to be what they need to be “

Day 2 highlights were the afternoon keynote speaker Lara Logan, 60 Minutes correspondent and CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent, has been covering war zones for more than two decades. Her speech was so emotional and there are no words to describe her experience in her extremely difficult and dangerous role as correspondent. What a courageous woman - “I’m just a girl that has a gift”.....”My parents never put limits on me.I grew up thinking there was nothing a man could do that I couldn’t do.”

The closing keynote speaker was Malala Yousafzai , an educator and activist from Pakistan who was attacked by the Taliban for her work. Malala spoke via satellite from the UK and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai was in Dublin. She addressed issues such as sexism, equal pay and gender stereotypes. What an inspirational lady.

Such inspirational women over the 2 days and a fantastic opportunity to network, share opinions and get different perspectives. Roll on Simmons Leadership Conference 2019.

Date for your diary
November 5 & 6, 2019: International Simmons Leadership Conference, Dublin, Ireland