IN A speech designed to encourage women to become members of a new mentoring and networking organisation, the West Cork branch of Network Ireland, Dee Forbes, the director general of RTÉ, said her first mentor was her mother, and that her career has been shaped by mentors.
At the family business, a bar in Drimoleague, Dee said her mother taught her ‘how to stocktake; how to do the books; how to sort out the pub; and how to interact with customers.’
She said she is still networking. Today, at RTÉ, Dee has a staff of 1,800. She said they all know her, but she is still getting to know them.
Dee Forbes urged all of the women in the room at the Ludgate digital hub in Townshend Street, Skibbereen – a room that offered standing room only – not to be daunted by the very act of networking because ‘life is one big network.’
Dee was the guest speaker at the official launch of the West Cork branch of Network Ireland – an historic event because it is the first time in its 35-year history that there are now two branches in the one county.
Ludgate chief executive Adrienne Harrington got the West Cork Network Ireland ball rolling just three weeks ago with a committee including Maeve Buckley, AIB Skibbereen manager, and Ruth Field of Field’s SuperValu. Ms Harrington spoke about how Network Ireland supports the professional and personal development of women.
Although it was obvious, because there were women from all over West Cork from Bandon to Beara present, Adrienne said the membership is made up of a diverse group of women including budding entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprise owners, professionals and leaders in both indigenous and multi-national organisations, as well as the non-profits, charities, the arts and the public sector.
Helen Wycherley, a director of the Celtic Ross Hotel, and incoming National President of Network Ireland in 2019, extolled the virtues of an organisation that is voluntary and not-for-profit.
With eight-day-old Kate in her arms at Monday night’s event, Helen spoke of how hugely supportive the organisation has been for her and she urged other West Cork women to become members; to attend the monthly meetings and promotional events; and to enter the organisation’s annual awards competition, which is open to everyone including employees.
To join the branch, potential members are uged to log on to Network Ireland’s website at networkireland.ie. Adrienne has organised for a reduced membership fee of €125 to be available until Sunday March 18th. To avail of this, new members should use the discount code ‘WC25’.