For the first time, industry leaders and competitors alike across the retail and FMCG sector have come together for an inspirational cause – to launch the first Ireland Chapter of the Leading Executives Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Network.
Coming to Irish shores for the first time, LEAD’s goal is to 'attract, retain and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industry through education, leadership and male allyship.'
Since originally being established in 2011, LEAD has grown 'astronomically' to more than 18,000 members, 10 country chapters, with over 200 manufacturers and in excess of 100 retailers who are 'all working to bring about gender equality at all levels of the industry.'
Allyson Zimmerman, CEO from LEAD, said, “The LEAD Network organisation has had an incredible impact across Europe so far, and I’m excited about the prospect of building upon the wonderful work that is already in place in Ireland.
"I know that together we can continue to serve as the voice of the industry and achieve our vision of a gender-equal future.”
LEAD Ireland Members
Membership to LEAD is free and members are invited to join a host of events, networking opportunities and best practise sharing designed to support peer to peer learning as well as ultimately achieve gender balance in the sector.
LEAD’s new Ireland chapter committee involves representatives from across the industry working together including Kellanova, Musgraves, Lidl, Unilever, P&G, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Bank of Ireland, Haleon, Danone and Valeo Foods.
Speaking about the launch, Sarah Ferguson, LEAD Ireland co-chair and head of Kellanova Ireland, commented, “This is such an exciting moment as we collectively come together across the Irish FMCG and Retail industries to drive the advancement of women.
"We want to create a network that effects change at an individual, company and industry level, resulting in a sector that represents the population that we serve, across all levels.”
Jane McEvoy, LEAD Ireland co-chair and multichannel manager, Musgrave said that it is a real privilege to be involved in launching the LEAD Network Ireland Chapter.
"It's a brilliant opportunity for companies and brands to come together and embrace the power of women in retail & FMCG and drive real tangible action," she added.
"I'm excited by what’s possible and really looking forward to leveraging best-in-class international practices and leading the way with a programme of innovative events and initiatives to help individuals to rise and lobbying industry leaders to commit to change targets.”
The LEAD Ireland chapter launch event will take place on 14 November from 2pm – 4pm hosted by LinkedIn and will include key speakers including Grainne Seoige, Allyson Zimmerman (CEO, LEAD), Deborah Somorin (People & Experience Lead, EY), Nelofar Pazira (Journalist & Filmmaker) and David McRedmond (CEO, An Post).
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