Over 50 women gathered to take part in the second IMPACT INSPIRE event in Dublin last weekend. The training programme helps to build the confidence of female IMPACT activists, and give them the skills and insights that can help them take on leadership positions at various levels of the union.
Facilitated by IMPACT lead organiser Julie Healy, the training consisted of a wide range of expert speakers including ICTU president and teachers’ leader Sheila Nunan, Niamh Gallagher from Women for Election, and Siptu deputy general secretary Ethel Buckley.
IMPACT activists participated in a panel discussion featuring former INTO official Deirdre Gillane, who is now chef de cabinet with Fiannal Fāil, as well as IMPACT national secretary Angela Kirk and vice president Margaret Coughlan. They all spoke about their personal journeys as trade union activists.
The event also featured targeted sessions on confidence training, facilitated by Clodagh Hughes of Motive8, and communications, facilitated by Orlaith Carmody.
Speaking after the event, Julie Healy said: “The majority of IMPACT members are women, yet most of our senior decision-makers are men. As a union with a strong equality ethos, it’s important that we continue to address the low levels of female participation at senior levels. This programme is part of our effort to take a lead in promoting full and equal participation of female activists. We’ve received extremely positive feedback from participants.”
Last year, 40 women attended the training, and it is intended that this will become an annual event.
Photographed (left to right) Deirdre Gillane, Niamh Gallagher, Sheila Nunan, Margaret Coughlan and Angela Kirk