Five Irish women leaders and founders win big at Dublin awards

16 May 2022

Image: © Abdullah/

Rhonda Doyle of Schneider Electric Ireland received the overall WBM Businesswoman Award 2022 at the Women Mean Business conference.

Five Irish women have been awarded at the Women Mean Business conference for their success in leading businesses and start-ups in Ireland.

Women Mean Business (WMB) is a business platform for women founded 16 years ago by managing editor Rosemary Delaney. It organises an annual conference and awards ceremony to recognise successful Irish women business leaders and founders.

After a two-year hiatus, WMB held it annual conference today (16 May) at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, with Rhonda Doyle of Schneider Electric Ireland getting the overall WMB Businesswoman Award 2022.

Doyle serves as the director of operations, services and projects at Schneider Electric, a role she took on in January 2021. Before that, she held various executive roles at eBay in Ireland for 17 years.

Niamh Parker, co-founder and chief legal officer of Altada, bagged the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award for her role in leading the fast-growing deep-learning and AI start-up. Earlier this month, she was a finalist in the running for EY Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Akara Robotics co-founder and chief robotics officer Niamh Donnelly, who is part of the team behind the creation of senior care robot Stevie, received the Expleo WMB Woman in Technology Award for her role in growing the Trinity spin-out.

Eimear Michaels of Microsoft Ireland and Deirdre Lyons of Dublin-based online learning start-up Examfly bagged the WMB Empowering Women Award and the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award, respectively.

“After a two-year hiatus, being here today in front of a room full of inspirational voices, I am reminded of why I started WMB 16 years ago,” said Delaney, who has previously been chair of Magazines Ireland.

“For me, it has always been about having choice – the choice to follow a career you’re passionate about; to launch a start-up; to be a changemaker. Our finalists and winners are each ambassadors for positive change and role models for a better and fairer future and I salute you.”

Dublin was ranked the fifth best European city for women tech leaders by a Startup Genome report in December.

In March, figures released in a TechIreland report also showed that women-founded tech start-ups and scale-ups in Ireland raised a record €230m last year – more than double the amount raised in 2020.

“It’s so important to have platforms like Women Mean Business, which put a spotlight on the impact made by businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in Irish Society,” said Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, at the opening of the event.

“As a father of four – three of whom are girls – it’s exciting to see so many female role models who will help inspire the next generation into business and to take on leadership roles.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic