The 2015 Winners

We are delighted to announce our six WMB Award winners, who received their awards during the ceremony at the WMB Conference & Awards 2015 on October 5th.

Pic shows; Caroline O'Driscoll KPMG, WMB Empowering Women Award winner 2015, Michaela Blott, Xilinx Ireland, WMB Women in Technology Award winner 2015, Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown, WMB Entrepreneur Award winner 2015, Julie Currid, Initiafy, WMB Female Newcomer Award 2015, Niamh Townsend, Dell Ireland, WMB Businesswoman Award 2015 and Amy Smith on behalf of Mairead Healy, Future Voices Ireland, at the Women Mean Business Conference and Awards 2015 at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin today 5th Oct.

L-R: Caroline O’Driscoll, KPMG and it@cork, WMB Empowering Women Award winner 2015; Michaela Blott, Xilinx Ireland, WMB Women in Technology Award winner 2015; Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown, WMB Female Entrepreneur Award winner 2015; Julie Currid, Initiafy, WMB Sodexo Female Newcomer Award 2015; Niamh Townsend, Dell Ireland, WMB Businesswoman Award 2015; and Amy Smith on behalf of Mairead Healy, Future Voices Ireland, the Newstalk WMB Social Entrepreneur Award 2015 winner.


The WMB Businesswoman Award 2015 Winner

Niamh Townsend

Niamh Townsend, GM, Dell Ireland

Niamh joined Dell in 2010 in the role of technical sales manager for UK Small Medium Business, and in 2012 moved into the role of senior sales manager.

Most recently, she held the role of leader of Dell’s Enterprise Solution Team, where she was responsible for leading and motivating a team to grow Dell’s Enterprise Solution business in Ireland.

As of June 2015, Niamh was promoted to General Manager and is now responsible for driving Dell’s business on the island of Ireland, delivering services, solutions and products to its clients in the public and private sector.

Niamh is a member of the Ireland Leadership Forum, a group that provides strategic direction and governance to Dell’s sites in Cork, Limerick and Dublin, and employs more than 2,300 people across the three campuses.

Niamh is also a leader of Dell’s internal WISE network which aims to create a stronger gender balance across Dell and provide opportunities for women in the workplace.

Read our interview with Niamh here>>

Niamh Townsend







The WMB Female Entrepreneur Award 2015 Winner

Marissa CarterMarissa Carter, MD, Cocoa Brown

Marissa Carter launched Cocoa Brown three years ago when the first Cocoa Brown products hit the Irish pharmacy shelves in November 2012.

By March 2013, approximately 97% of Irish pharmacies and over 300 beauty salons stocked the brand. In April, Cocoa Brown became available in Penneys Ireland. By July, the products had entered the UK Market and were available in Superdrug and Lloyd’s Pharmacies.

With 8 products firmly on the shelves in the UK and Ireland, Cocoa Brown is now available in the USA and Australia. Marissa recently secured a listing with retail giant Wal-Mart, which will see her products widely available across the States. As of last week, Marissa launched two more products in her range – both Instant Tan Bronzing Gels.

Read our interview with Marissa here>>







The Newstalk WMB Social Entrepreneur Award 2015 Winner

mairead photo_websiteMairead Healy, Founder, Future Voices

Future Voices Ireland was founded by Mairead Healy in 2012. It focuses on working with teenagers attending DEIS schools, particularly those DEIS schools with the lowest numbers of students progressing to third level education.

Mairead wanted to create a programme where the most deeply marginalised in society could be nurtured towards a different path and empowered to change their lives. Future Voices has gone from strength to strength and now has a full time staff team operating three separate programmes.

Mairead is an Ashoka Fellow and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee 2014. She serves as a Director of Clubs for Young People NI and is a One Young World Ambassador.

Read our interview with Mairead here>>

Mairead Healy







WMB Woman in Technology Award 2015 Winner

Michaela BlottMichaela Blott, Principal Engineer and Engineering Director, Xilinx Ireland

Xilinx, Inc is an American semiconductor company with over 3,000 employees, which established a Dublin operation in 1995 (currently employing over 300 people). Michaela leads the Research Labs team, reporting into the CTO office at the San Jose HQ.

She is responsible for strategic thought leadership, de-risking of new projects and building technology leadership through vision.

Michaela was a member of the team who won the overall prize at the inaugural US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards 2015.

She heads large-scale international collaborations with leading universities such as Stanford and Cambridge. She is an industry advisor on the council for the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC).

Read our interview with Michaela here>>

michaela blott







The Boots WMB Empowering Women Award 2015 Winner

Caroline O'Driscoll_websiteCaroline O’Driscoll, Partner, KMPG and Vice-Chair, IT@Cork

Caroline provides corporate and international tax advice to multinational companies in the sectors of Pharmaceutical, Technology and Food/Drinks.

She sits on KPMG’s national Technology group (“TMT”), which leads the firms strategy for this sector. Last year Caroline co-founded ‘I wish’, a not for profit, to inspire women in STEM. With 4,500 open ICT jobs, half the talent pool is being left behind as female participation in STEM remains at critically low levels.

Caroline is Vice Chair of it@cork, European Tech Cluster, a not for profit organisation supporting the technology community in Cork. She leads the ‘Women in Tech’ programme to highlight and promote talented female role models in the technology sector.

Read our interview with Caroline here>>

Caroline O'Driscoll







The Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award 2015 Winner

Julie CurridJulie Currid, Co-founder and COO, Initiafy

Coming from a marketing background, Julie gained insights into the HR and training needs of multinationals from her previous employment. As a result, Initiafy was set up in 2012.

Julie and her co-founder sought out a technology solution to a problem: Initiafy is orientation software (SaaS) for contractors and temporary workers – it allows the induction of temporary employees before they start their contracts.

It manages the workload for companies, saving them time and reducing risk on site.

The company is three years in operation and is experiencing fast paced growth – they started with two people in a garage and now have 25 people in two offices. Initiafy recently set up an office in New York where early indicators show great opportunity for expansion.

Read our interview with Julie here>>

Julie Currid