Judging Panel

We are delighted to announce the 2016 judging panel.



Paula FitzsimonsPaula Fitzsimons is the founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting, which specialises in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth. A recognised expert on entrepreneurship, Paula Fitzsimons has been the national coordinator of GEM for Ireland since 2000.

Building on the findings of GEM research that fewer women start new businesses and of those that start, fewer have significant growth ambitions than do men, Paula designed and developed Going for Growth.

Going for Growth has supported over 450 women entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions and measures its success in terms of the participants’ increased turnover, additional employment created and the number of new exporters. Lauded by the OECD and the EU, Going for Growth was awarded the European Enterprise Award, Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills in November 2015.

Paula has recently completed the pilot of a new initiative ACORNS, which is designed to support early stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland. ACORNS is supported by CEDRA through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Paula was named the Boots WMB Empowering Women Award winner in 2014. We are delighted to have Paula on board once again as Chairperson of these Awards.



Patricia MonahanPatricia Monahan has worked for Newstalk 106–108 fm for 14 years, joining shortly after the station launched as a Dublin only service in 2002. Initially working as a researcher on Lunchtime with Damien Kiberd she quickly progressed to the role of producer on the Lunchtime News programme.

From there she went on to produce a number of key programmes across the schedule and was centrally involved in the station’s national launch in September 2006. She became Deputy Editor at the station in May 2010 and has since taken the lead on a variety of major projects at the station including the launch of The Pat Kenny Show in September 2013. She was appointed Programme Director at the station in May 2015.

Originally from Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Patricia has a BA in English and History from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in Journalism from Dublin City University. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two daughters.




Margot Slattery

Margot Slattery is the country president of Sodexo Ireland, part of the Sodexo Group, the world’s largest multi-services provider. It employs 2,000 people delivering a range of services that improve the quality of life to clients at 200 locations across Ireland. It serves 90,000 people daily and spent around €21 million in 2015 on Irish food products, which in turn supports some 18,000 Irish jobs. As well as multiple awards for in-house catering excellence, it also won the Overall Excellence in People Development Award at the 2015 NSAI Excellence in People Awards.

Margot is committed to furthering the diversity and inclusion agenda and Sodexo was a founding partner and signatory of Ireland’s first Diversity Charter. She was named Senior Leader of the Year at GLEN’s inaugural Workplace Equality Awards Index Awards in 2015. She also won the 2013 Management Professional of the Year presented by Image Magazine as well as the 2013 Empowering Women Award presented by WMB.

Margot also appears on the 2015 Financial Times’ list of Top 100 OUTstanding LGBT Business Leaders and the 2016 Out at Work/Telegraph list of Top 50 LGBT Executives.




Martha RyanMartha holds a key role within the leadership team of Boots Ireland which employs over 2,000 employees. She is passionate about the role of HR and believes that HR is central to the achievement of a successful business. In her time with Boots, Martha has been instrumental in developing the HR function within Boots.

An advocate for the role of Boots in the community, Martha has a strong focus on care for colleagues, communities and customers.







Ruth McCarthyRuth McCarthy is CEO of FEXCO Corporate Payments, part of the FEXCO Group, a financial services and outsourcing specialist employing more than 2,300 people worldwide.

FEXCO Corporate Payments is a payment institution that specialises in delivering bespoke payment solutions for large corporate and institutional clients, as well as giving consumers access to bank-beating exchange rates on their international transfers.

Each year FEXCO Corporate Payments processes more than €1 billion worth of payments for its clients in Ireland and the UK.

Prior to joining FEXCO Ruth worked with Arthur Cox where she specialised in financial regulation. Ruth is a qualified solicitor and holds a Bachelor in Laws (LL.B.) from Trinity College Dublin. She is a Licentiate of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland and holds a masters in Regulation from the London School of Economics. Ruth is also a director of Goodbody Stockbrokers.




Rosemary DelaneyRosemary Delaney has worked in the publishing industry for two decades. She represented Magazines on the Press Council of Ireland and was previously Chairperson of the industry body, Magazines Ireland.

In 2006, having reached the top tier in her industry, Rosemary took a leap of faith and launched WMB Publishing and the platform WomenMeanBusiness.com. The website is targeted at female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. WMB hosts the very successful annual WMB Conference & Awards, which celebrates the best female talent in the country.  WMB, which is celebrating ten years in business this year, also provides publishing consultancy to a number of blue chip clients.

In 2012, Rosemary’s first book was published by Orpen Press: Women Mean Business – One Woman’s Journey into Entrepreneurship. In 2014, she was appointed to the Board of InterTradeIreland – the organisation, which has been given responsibility by both Governments to boost North/South economic co-operation.