Top politician and business leader Mary Harney to speak at Women in Business Awards

Mary Harney, who will be guest speaker at the Women in Business Awards on November 17
Gary McDonald Business Editor

FORMER Tánaiste Mary Harney, who twice led the Progressive Democrats party in the Republic, has been confirmed as the guest speaker at this year's Women in Business Awards on November 17.

A steadfast supporter of women in business (she was also Ireland's Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment from 1997 to 2004), she will deliver the keynote address at the event, held in association with Alexander Mann Solutions.

Harney will discuss some of the challenges and successes experienced during her lengthy career as one of the leading females in Irish politics, and more recently in the world of business, as well as impart some key words of advice for delegates that can be put to use within their own careers.

Having retired from politics in 2011 and now director of a number of private companies in pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology and financial services sectors, she was a member of the Irish Senate and Lower House for more than 30 years.

She was also the first woman to lead a party, the Progressive Democrats, and was Tanaiste from 1997 to 2006.

Women in Business chief executive Roseann Kelly said: "It's a genuine pleasure to have Mary as our special guest speaker.

“Her skills and leadership in both the world of politics and business are beyond doubt, and we very much look forward to getting an insight into what has driven and inspired her, and continues to drive and motivate her throughout a highly demanding career.”

Taking place on November 17 at the Ramada Plaza Belfast and compered by TV personality Pamela Ballantine, the sixth annual Women in Business Awards will bring over 450 of the cream of Northern Ireland’s professional community together to recognise the hard work and achievements of the north's most successful businesswomen.

Ms Kelly added: “In addition to hearing from our keynote speaker, guests will enjoy a sparkling reception, a magnificent four-course meal, prestigious awards ceremony and after-dinner entertainment.”


The 11 Award categories are Advancing Diversity in the Workplace, Best Customer Service (corporate and small business), Best Exporter, Best in Professional Services (corporate and small business), Best Marketing Campaign, Best New Start Up, Best Small Business, Outstanding Innovation, Excellence in IT, Outstanding Management and Leadership and Young Business Woman of the Year. A special award will also be presented to the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year, as voted for by the judges.

Tickets for the Awards ceremony are available at

Sponsors and partners of the Women in Business Awards 2016 include Alexander Mann Solutions, the Irish News, Department for the Economy, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Pierce Partnership, Danske Bank, Belfast City Council, Go For It, Diamond Recruitment, Progressive Building Society and QA Travel.

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