Gerardine Doyle, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School – A Finalist in the WMB Empowering Women Award Category

4th April 2022

Over the coming weeks, we will be introducing you to our WMB Award Finalists.  Ultimately there will be one winner in each of our five Award categories, to be announced at our Conference & Awards on May 16th.  If you’d like to attend our Conference & Awards, you can book now>>

Here, we introduce you to Gerardine Doyle, UCDa finalist in the WMB Empowering Women Award category.

Title and Company Name

Director of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and Associate Dean of the UCD College of Business

Sector and size of operation

Third Level Education Sector

Total staff of 221, comprising 100 professional staff and 121 faculty.

You originally hail from

I was born at home in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary arriving in Dublin at age 5 years.

Single or relationship

A wonderful partner and two amazing daughters.

What is the best part of your job

The best part of my job is the people I interact with each day, which includes students, faculty and staff within the UCD College of Business, as well as colleagues across the university from other disciplines and with members of our EU and US research teams. Each week I have conversations with partner universities across the globe and with key employers of our students.

No two days are ever the same which makes every day interesting and exciting.

And the most challenging

The most interesting and simultaneously most challenging aspect of my job is the variety of matters I could be working on in any one day from strategic planning and strategic partners, to leading a research project, supporting a new student initiative to academic matters, designing new teaching facilities, new study spaces to mentoring colleagues, recruiting new faculty and staff and other human resource matters.

Your definition of success

My definition of success is to make a difference in a positive way to the lives of others – to our students, to my colleagues and through my research to positively improve the daily lives of patients by influencing national and international health policy through evidence-based research.

As a leader I seek to nurture talent, build teams and inspire staff and colleagues to be empowered to optimise their capabilities.

Best trait

My best trait is having a strong sense of service and being of a positive disposition, believing there is always a solution to be found or consensus to be reached and in a collegial manner through empathy and understanding the views of others.

Worst trait

Another overriding trait which may also be my worst trait is that I am curious and open to new ideas – new research ideas, new ways of doing things, new opportunities and so I find it difficult to say no to being involved in such new ventures so that I find myself over-committed at times. I am improving on this front!

Biggest ‘win’ to date

To date my biggest ‘win’ has been appointment to Full Professor as it enables me to be a role model for other women academics and to empower the next generation of academics to be promoted earlier in their careers.

Being a Full Professor alongside my leadership roles enables me to positively influence university policy and decision making, supporting greater diversity and inclusivity in all that we do – within and beyond the classroom, in our research endeavors and having societal impact.

Who inspires you most

My Mum and my daughters are my inspiration. My Mum was a very intelligent, strong and resilient woman, ahead of her time as a feminist (making sure my three brothers did as much of the housework as I did) with a strong sense of the importance of education for women. Since my daughters were born, they have inspired me to be the best mum I can be each day, the best teacher I can be each day and they have supported and encouraged me all the way to reach my full potential. They have rejoiced in each of my successes.

Name two things on your ‘bucket list’

•To spend an afternoon in conversation with Michelle Obama over tea and delicious cake.

•To be appointed to the board of Women’s Aid to help break the silence on men’s violence against women and to ensure data driven metrics are implemented to track progress. The new partnership between Allianz Insurance and Women’s Aid is inspirational.

What does it mean for you to be a woman in business today

The growing discourse and importance being placed on all organisations to promote a demonstrable culture of improving equality, diversity and inclusion and on closing the gender pay gap means that it is a good time to be a woman leader in business today. Organisations that have policies supported with practices and tangible data driven metrics on these matters are being showcased and recognised and will be the organisations to attract the best talent. Being a woman leader in this context empowers us to have a voice and to co-create a better future for younger generations of women and other minority groups.

Best advice to pass on.

As women it is critical that we support each other, to lift each other up. My advice to my younger self and to my daughters is believe in yourself, in your potential and in your capabilities and be ambitious for yourself, your loved ones and for your colleagues. This can all be achieved through kindness and empathy whilst maintaining our femininity.