Archive for the ‘Gender equality’ Category

The voices of some special women

March 8, 2022

On this, International Women’s Day 2022 I would like to put a spotlight of some of the fantastic women that have been wonderful guests on my Win Happy podcast over the last six months.

I have chosen twenty one different women for this post, all very diverse in terms of what they do and their stories, all interesting in their own right.

A huge thank you to each of them for their time and their passion.

To these, my special female colleagues in Fuzion Communications and all of my fantastic female friends, my daughter, my mum and of course Dee, have a great day ….I salute you!

I hope you click and enjoy some of these special conversations.


1. Michelle the vintage shop owner in New Jersey who I ended up getting a very rare book that was written by a special friend of ours called Jane Maas, the author of the book ‘Mad Women’

The note in the 2nd hand book from the Bad Reputation Boutique!

2. Jude Sherry who has worked tirelessly in Cork with her partner Frank O’Connor to put a spotlight on all of the derelict properties that could be rescued and put to great use

Solving city dereliction and creating homes, creative spaces, startup hubs and removing eyesores in the process – a Win Win discussed with Frank O’Connor and Jude Sherry of Anois

3. Saoirse Trought is a very clever, special young woman who chatted to me about the tough Covid student years and much more

Perspectives of our bright, young generation with 3rd year college student, Saoirse Trought

4. Joanne Hession a friend and Dublin Chamber colleague believes we can all be a leader in our own right and make this world of ours a better place.

Everyone can be a leader regardless of their role says Joanne Hession of LIFT

5. Maria Walsh MEP and former Rose of Tralee and my Fuzion colleague, Ciara Jordan joined me to chat about PRIDE.

PRIDE – All you need is love with Jack O’Rourke, Maria Walsh and Ciara Jordan

6. Elizabeth Adeyemo shared her courageous young story about what it was like living in Direct provision for 7 years and how it nearly crushed her

Elizabeth Adeyemo – Exhausted in the limbo of uncertainty

7. The very lovely Heritage Officer from Monaghan, Shirley Clerkin shares her passion about nature and our heritage.

Less screen time and more green time says Shirley Clerkin

8. Aideen Quirke, CEO of Cork Printmakers explains exactly what they do!

Making art accessible with Aideen Quirke of Cork Printmakers

9. The passionate artist Elizabeth Cope unveiled her exhibition about the horror that was the Magdalene Laundries

The “9,000 babies?” exhibition with renowned Irish artist Elizabeth Cope 

10. Why not start a new festival that celebrates design and creativity – meet architect Amy McKeogh!

Design Pop Festival 2021 with Founder and Creative Force, Amy McKeogh

11. I just adore Sinead Cabot, the winemaker and her attitude towards life

Riding the waves and trusting where they take you with winemaker and lover of life, Sinead Cabot

12. Jacqui Taaffe helps to empower people who have suffered an awful personal experience in their lives

Inspire, Heal, Empower – How to take back control with author Jacqui Taaffe

13. The rough and tumble about the music business with Suzanne Rhatigan – hits or misses?

“What do they say” about singer, songwriter Suzanne Rhatigan – Hits or Misses?

14. Fiona Descoteaux of Innovate Communities believes in solving deep problems in society and doesn’t walk away.

“I don’t walk away” says CEO of Innovate Communities, Fiona Descoteaux

15. All the way from the USA, Washington based Mary Jane King incredibly witnessed both 9/11 and January 6th.

Witnessing both 9/11 and the Capitol Riots – life and business in Washington DC with architect Mary Jane King

16. Author and journalist Mary Ann Sieghart wants to close “The Authority Gap” one man at a time!

“Changing the world one man at a time” with author of best seller The Authority, Mary Ann Sieghart 

17. Singer and songwriter Grainne Hunt finally gets to have the career she wants

From Tax Returns to Lilacs – the life of a singer songwriter with Grainne Hunt 

18. All the way from California, Jen Hajj took a while to get to her music career.

There are lots of paths to happiness says singer / songwriter Jen Hajj

19. Noreen Coomey guides us to making those small and big changes in our lives

From “Happily Pissed Off” to Winning Happy with coach and psychotherapist Noreen Coomey

20.. Who else could have pulled off a “Red Head Festival” and made it a huge success other than Joleen Cronin!

When a quirky idea becomes a crazy reality

21. Dr. Sarah Barry of Trinity college has a big conversation about our health system and which country is the best to get sick in

The accidental academic, Dr.Sarah Barry on the health system in Ireland and much more 

Is age diversity the biggest opportunity?

October 28, 2017

Fintech 20

I was thrilled to be the moderator on one of the discussion panels at the fantastic FinTech conference at UCD organised by Simon Cocking and his team from Irish Tech News.

There are clearly many opportunities in this dynamic sector and the jam packed agenda featured startups in the space, established businesses, financiers and angel investors as well as sponsors with a vested interest in the sector.

One of the observations that was made on the day was (as usual) about the gender mix in the room, which was I’m guessing, about 75/25% male versus female.

This probably reflects the tech sector generally as it just seems to attract more males than females – the event was a free to attend event.

Mary McKenna, an Angel Investor and a great person into bargain, shared her philosophy about how she chooses projects to invest in. While the project or idea always has to be great and have an element of ‘doing good’ she looks for great, committed people in that business to drive it forward.

Her other critical criteria is that the founders must be female!

A few (including me!) immediately questioned her logic for taking this position – were females better, could they be trusted more, did they bring special qualities to the table? Why Mary??

Mary’s answer was really simple – it’s my money and I can do what I want with it. I’m choosing to invest in females and that’s that! There was a collective shrug of the shoulders in the auditorium. Fair enough….

Mary might miss out on great projects and bigger opportunities, that also do good because of her narrow criteria, but it is her money and her prerogative.

If the gender equality police had their way this would be a crime – if it was a stated preference for male founders I’m guessing there would be total outrage!! (equality must play both ways people).

Age Diversity

On one of the panels, which was discussing the challenge of attracting talent, inevitably the topic of male versus female was raised. One of the panellists changed the diversity focus to age instead of gender, which they felt was a more relevant one worthy of more discussion.

To emphasise the point he went on to explain a recent recruitment experience that he had in their company. He was explaining the value of recruiting older people instead of the obsession about millennials – recently they employed an older person and I sat up to hear a little more…

Someone in their sixties maybe? – he was trying to make a point, after all.

It was someone in their forties!!

As a 52 year old I was shifting uneasily in my seat as I reckoned if I was not self employed, many would not even consider me for a job.

I’ve been seeing quite a few revealing articles on this topic recently – one in particular makes some great arguments for the importance of age diversity in business,

An article on the Chron, tech website says: “Companies that employ workers in wide ranges of age have the advantage of creating a dynamic, multi-generational workforce — with a diverse range of skill sets — that is beneficial to the company”

Specifically they list the following advantages:

Diverse Skill Sets – Each age group brings their own unique skills and talents. Young employees are likely to have a strong grasp on the use of high-tech business mediums and more mature professionals often have exceptional interpersonal skills and perform well in environments where traditional in-person communication is used.

Technology – While the younger generation have grown up with technology all generations are using it.

Business Skills – Just as younger generations are credited with having good working knowledge of business technology, more mature members of a workforce have the advantage of traditional business skills.

Mentoring – Employees of all ages have the opportunity to teach, share and learn from one another.

Continuity – A mix of maturity and experience with the vitality, energy and rawness of youth is likely to create a strong mix that ensures a strong identity and culture that protects continuity of the business

So..while we are all getting quite obsessed about the boys versus girls, please don’t forget about the old fogies in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond – we have a lot to offer!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland





Macho politics and the need for femininity

April 8, 2016

Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin

If you mention gender quotas to me you will probably sense my temperature rise and start to notice the steam emerging from different parts of my body!

I want the best person to get the job but I do absolutely believe that we need to do everything to make sure this can be a woman or a man with no disadvantage to either.

However (this is huge coming from me!) watching the political standoff between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the independent candidates and the other parties as Ireland struggles to form a government reminds me of some of the key messages I heard recently at the Network Ireland, International Women’s Day event.

At the conference Gabrielle Motolla (a very impressive American photographer who lives in Iceland) spoke about the worldwide economic crash and a profound comment that was made at the time that “the banking systems lack of femininity caused many of the problems

It wasn’t that there were too many men involved but the point was there was too much “masculinity” in the mix – too much testosterone, too much macho stuff, too much bravado, too much risk taking, too much ultra competitiveness and too many egos recklessly driving the banking system off the cliff.

All of these characteristics can be demonstrated by men or women but they are typically masculine traits so a gender balance could provide some protection against the potentially dangerous excesses of these traits.

This point really impacted on me – I understood exactly what she was saying and I can see the danger myself of too much of any particular trait in an organisation.

I met a Canadian woman at the same conference who operates a large energy company in Canada and we spoke about this issue. She’s not in favour of quotas but she explained that in her business it would be virtually impossible to manage a team of all men and it would be just as difficult with a team of all women.

In her experience the guys are just too macho and the women are too passive and cautious – she reckons a balance works best and in her industry she reckoned 60/40 works best and this is what she strives for when assembling teams.

With our political impasse at the moment I notice that nearly all of the posturing, which is getting us nowhere is very masculine.

We desperately need to sort this out and get our country back on track – maybe we should introduce some femininity and get this process moving?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork