Kroll Network of Women Event Held 

21st June 2021

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Sonya Lennon (pictured), fashion stylist and designer, joined Deirdre McQuillan, Irish Times fashion editor, and Courtney Smith, fashion stylist and creative director, for the Kroll Network of Women (NoW) event 2021. Kroll is the world’s premier provider of services and digital products related to governance, risk, and transparency. The fashion experts were led in a discussion by Anne O’Dwyer, Managing Director of Kroll Ireland, about sustainable fashion and the place of fashion in the post-pandemic world.

Sonya Lennon is the founder of Dress for Success Dublin, which aims to promote the economic independence of women and provides job support and career development services for women seeking to enter and re-enter the workforce. She said, “NOW was launched by Kroll in 2012 to attract, develop and retain women at all levels of the firm. This is the type of active promotion of women and their careers that I am very supportive of.  In companies that provide products or services traditionally associated with men—such as financial services firms, tech, engineering, and science—it is important that women know they have a valued place and that younger generations, both male and female, are able to see and experience those roles being modelled for them. I am delighted to participate in the discussion today and believe that fashion is as powerful a tool as ever in the workplace post COVID-19”.

Anne O’Dwyer, Co-Leader of the Kroll Ireland team and Managing Director in the Global Restructuring Advisory practice, said, “I have worked in financial advisory for over 20 years and have been fortunate to have had great mentors and fantastic work experience in good companies; however, not all women have the same opportunities.

We have some way to go before we can eliminate the gender pay gap and inequities in the workplace; in addition, we can do a lot more surrounding childcare.

I’m delighted to be leading an event like this, and it’s fantastic to have had such a strong panel of women business leaders with us today.”

As part of the event, Kroll carried out some research amongst the attendees.

Data showed that the biggest single factor currently influencing the wellbeing of Irish businesswomen is general Covid fatigue, with a further 19% reporting that their self-confidence was suffering due to the current lack of social opportunities.

Commenting on the discussion, Irish Times fashion editor Deirdre McQuillan said, “It is noteworthy that women’s attitudes to fashion were directly influenced by the pandemic. Working from home, constant video calls, and lack of routine were all cited as factors affecting the clothing choices being made. It will be interesting to see how the new future of workwear evolves.”

Courtney Smith, the fashion stylist who boasts over 70,000 Instagram followers said, “What is clear from the research findings based on this morning’s discussion is that Irish women are crying out for more sustainable fashion options. Investment pieces from ethical brands will be a major post-pandemic fashion focus, and Irish brands that can establish themselves in this space will find an eagerly awaiting market.”

Speaking about data which showed that 48% of women plan to continue shopping online despite the shops reopening, Anne O’Dwyer said, “It’s clear that the high street as we knew it is changed for good.  Retail businesses need to ensure they have robust, realistic plans to pivot to a model that will allow them to adapt to the new future of retail and that they put the supports in place to make this a permanent move.”