IFTA Hosts Inaugural Women in Focus

| October 5, 2016 | Comments (0)




The Irish Film & Television Academy – in association with Matheson and Google – hosted their inaugural Women in Focus; Media, Influence, Empowerment Conference with Ireland’s top influencers in The Foundry at Google HQ this morning. Miriam O’Callaghan, Elaine Crowley and Vogue Williams, along with representatives from Matheson, Google, RTE and IADT, took to the stage this morning in front of an audience of up to 200 attendees from the world of technology, media and business – including 50 EMEA Google invitees – to discuss their success stories, the landscape for females in a leadership role and what the future looks like for young women in media and tech.


The early start in the state of the art venue, followed by some power networking, saw some of Ireland’s top companies gather under one roof to take on the subject of women in leadership roles and the impact that women in tech and media can have on the next generation. Miriam O’Callaghan opened the morning to speak candidly about her journey in the media industry in Ireland and the changes she has seen, stating that,


Miriam O’Callaghan said, In my entire career, whether as a lawyer or as a broadcaster, no one ever discriminated against me. But society discriminates against us.  Have your children when you want to have your children. Everyone said my careers would implode…that didn’t happen.  Go through life and do what you do best, treat people with kindness [and] be incredibly positive; positivity can be a great force.”


Elaine Crowley of TV3, Chaired a panel discussion on The Influence of Female Voices on Society & Young People, with panellists vogue Williams, Sarah Byrne (Google), Anne-Marie Bohan (Matheson) and Aine Mulloy (co-founder of Girl Crew).


The second panel exploring the Film and Television Industry was chaired by director Neasa Hardiman, and panellists included Dr Annie Doona President of IADT and Chair of the Irish Film Board, Michelle Spillane, Director of RTE Global, and Aine Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Film & Television Academy.


Aine Moriarty, CEO of IFTA, commented on the importance of an event such as this in highlighting female voices and roles in media; “While diversity is key in all industries, we are delighted at The Academy to host today’s conference and discuss important topics facing women in media, TV, film and technology. We have brought together some of Ireland’s leading individuals in these areas to hear about their journeys, where they are going and how they, and IFTA, can make a change for the next generation through female voices.”



Matheson partnered with IFTA and Google in supporting and championing the conversation today.


Annemarie Bohan, Partner at Matheson said, “As a leading Irish law firm, the inclusive and diverse environment at Matheson is key to our ongoing success. The importance of diversity at Matheson ensures that we continue to grow and develop our workforce and to continue to attract top talent – a key business priority for us.


“With regard to social media interaction, it is important to remember that what you write is permanently there, so pause and think before engaging online. I recommend for people to educate themselves on their legal rights and be aware of the actions that you can take in the face of adverse online conversations”, said Ms Bohan.


Sarah Byrne, Head of New Business Sales Google Russia, south East Asia, Africa said “We still need more diversity in the tech industry – we need more women coming into the industry in creative, innovative roles and we need a stronger pipeline still to out more women in senior roles. We need it not just because it’s right and fair to have an equal representing of the world but also because if technology is to develop as an industry we desperately need to recruit new talent from new pools. We need to check and challenge our unconscious bias and put ‘bias busting’ in the water. Improving diversity is not a HR problem, it’s for each and everyone of us to own.”



For further information on this event, log onto www.ifta.ie/womeninfocus


Category: Events

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