Bank of Ireland launched a week-long series of events for its employees and customers to celebrate International Women’s Day.
More than 130 invited guests from the local business community gathered at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast for the bank’s first event of the week across the UK and Ireland.
It featured highly regarded explorer Rebecca Stephens MBE – the first British Woman to climb Everest and the Seven Summits – as guest speaker.
The event and Rebecca’s speech focussed on resilience, emotional intelligence and diversity in business, under the umbrella of the official theme of International Women’s Day for 2019, ‘Balance for Better’.
Organisers of the global campaign are calling on people around the world to strive for a more gender-balanced world.
Following the event, Ian Sheppard, Managing Director NI, Bank of Ireland UK, said: “Bank of Ireland is committed to promoting equality and female leadership across our business. We wanted to create a series of events to celebrate for a full week instead of just one day.
“As a business leader and also a father of three daughters, I know how important it is for businesses like Bank of Ireland to lead our industry in making sure women have the same opportunities as men.
“Our bank’s purpose is to enable our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive and promoting balance in business is crucial to ensuring a better banking industry and a better community for everyone.”
Guest speaker and leading explorer Rebecca Stephens, MBE, added: “I would like to thank Bank of Ireland for inviting me to speak at their event.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to speak to a group of leading business people who share my passion for promoting gender balance and equality in the workplace.
“My experiences as an explorer have taught me the importance of diversity and giving people of various beliefs, ages, genders and sexual orientation the chance to achieve and how this can help our greater community and our businesses.
“It is great to see Bank of Ireland highlighting the importance of balance in the workplace and promoting diversity, and I hope it inspires other businesses to join their lead.”
In addition to the event in Belfast, Bank of Ireland is hosting events in London, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Athlone and Kilkenny in celebration of International Women’s Day. The bank also sponsored the Bristol Women’s Voice event in Bristol.