WEST Cork’s Helen Wycherley, the new President of Network Ireland, wants to help women fulfil their potential by empowering them.
With that in mind the theme for her presidency for the year ahead is ‘Step Up.’
Speaking to The Southern Star about her appointment, Helen – a director of the family business The Celtic Ross Hotel – said: ‘It is my ambition in 2019 to help women fulfil their potential, and empower them to step up.’
As the head of Ireland’s largest women’s business network, Helen, a qualified chartered accountant, said: ‘I believe Network Ireland is ideally placed to encourage women to put themselves forward more, and to set more ambitious targets.’ The organisation, which was established in 1983 and has over 1,200 members nationwide, got a boost in March 2018 when Cork became the only county to have two branches, following the establishment of the West Cork branch.
Since then, the West Cork branch has almost 100 members. Helen attributed its popularity to the fact that it has ‘filled a niche in West Cork.’
She said: ‘There clearly was a need for such an organisation in West Cork and we know, from experience, that the structure of Network Ireland – with its monthly meetings – works in terms of business development.’
Helen said it is inspiring in that ‘women get to meet like-minded women in business’ and it encourages women to not only set goals, apply for grants, and enter an awards scheme, it also demonstrates that by setting goals, female entrepreneurs get the confidence to grow and develop.
Helen, who is also a director of the Marina Commercial Park in Cork city, was previously President of Network Cork and also helped to launch that branch and mentor the committee members in their first year.
Speaking of her appointment, Helen, a mother-of-three, said: ‘It is an honour and a privilege to lead Ireland’s most dynamic organisation – an organisation that champions the personal and professional and development of women.’