IBM’s Deborah Threadgold wins Women Mean Business award

9 Oct 2023

IBM Ireland’s Deborah Threadgold with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in 2022. Image: Naoise Culhane

Threadgold was one of five women to win big at the Women Mean Business Awards, including Sandra Healy of Inclusio.

Deborah Threadgold, country general manager for IBM Ireland, has been recognised for her achievements with the overall award at the Women Mean Business (WMB) Awards this year.

At a ceremony in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel today (9 October), Threadgold was one of five women to be presented with awards at the annual business conference aimed at highlighting the achievements of women in business and entrepreneurship across Ireland.

The other four awards went to Oonagh O’Hagan of Meaghers Pharmacy (Compass Female Entrepreneur Award), Una Fitzpatrick of Technology Ireland – Ibec (Fidelity Woman in Technology Award), Maeve McMahon of OFX (Empowering Women Award) and Sandra Healy of Inclusio (Female Newcomer Award).

The theme for this year’s awards was “What is your why?” and speaking at the ceremony Frances Fitzgerald MEP said that her “driving force in life has always been value-led”.

“The values of equality and opportunity for all have guided me throughout my political career and personal life – they have yet to lead me astray.”

Threadgold, one of the most recognisable women business leaders in Ireland, has been country manager of IBM Ireland since early 2021. Prior to that, she held various positions at IBM, including as vice-president of system integrators and next-gen ecosystem in the EMEA market.

WMB managing director Rosemary Delaney said that there remains a “wide gender gap” in business and that we need to ensure a “strong pipeline of women who can move up the ranks and not feel that they must choose between career and caring responsibilities”.

“We need supportive networks so that we don’t alienate our most promising talent; mentors and sponsors who will champion women, and investors who will back our pioneering female entrepreneurs,” Delaney said.

“I was bowled over by the applicants this year who work across all sectors from agritech to medtech and every sector in between. Our finalists know exactly what their ‘why’ is and display a real sense of purpose. The women here today, really do mean business.”

The WMB awards come just 10 days ahead of National Women’s Enterprise Day, which aims to promote women in entrepreneurship by hosting talks and discussions on a range of topics, from leadership and developing a strategic mindset to meeting the challenges of digitalisation.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic