Gillian Horan, The Pudding – A Finalist in the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award category.

11th 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 Gillian Horan, The Puddinga finalist in the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award category.

Title and Company Name

CEO and founder of The Pudding.

Sector & size of operation

The Pudding is the inside out consultancy. Inside out consulting is the practice of beginning from the core of the organisation –  people, culture and purpose – laying strong foundations here upon which we can then build strategies that drive growth, deliver impact. We embed the brand in the hearts and minds of employees, prospective hires, and customers. To deliver this impactful work to our clients and their people we have a hybrid model of full-time staff along with a core team of associates and partners located across Ireland and the UK.

You originally hail from

Limerick which I am very proud to say boasts some of the best connections across Ireland and beyond to Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. I split my time between Limerick and Dublin.

Single or relationship

Coming up to 10 years of marriage to my husband Mark. We have two children Camden (6) and Farrah (2).

What is the best part of your job

I love seeing the impact we make on the people we work with.

We don’t work with companies, we work with people. When we work with clients we are working with people who are looking to succeed and grow in their role which has a knock-on effect on their peers, their customers and their communities.

And this is not just about our clients, for me it starts with my own team, a lot of my day is spent with my team where I have the pleasure of helping them grow and develop.

I also must say I absolutely love when I convert a non-believer. I often stand in boardrooms filled with mostly men who think I am coming to talk to them about the fluffy stuff. My mission is to get Brand on every board agenda – because it is not about visuals or communications – it’s about who you are and why your company exists and the impact it has on the world. Which if built right leads to financial gains for all stakeholders. If you just take covid and the decisions that were made during the pandemic, those leaders that leaned into their values and purpose not only can sleep better at night they are more than likely watching their companies grow and thrive right now.

And the most challenging

The most rewarding thing is often the toughest thing. Relationships are the best thing about life but they are also not always easy. You need to work hard at them.

Your definition of success

When you are happy, healthy and enjoying the rollercoaster that life is. I have had a lot of personal challenges in life so I check in with myself regularly asking myself – am I happy with what I am doing/ not doing?  If I say no – I change something.

Success is living for today making the most of it so tomorrow and the next day are just as good if not better.

Best trait

I have been told I have the ability to get to the heart of a problem or challenge. I think this is because I am not only curious, I am also keen to really understand the person and the situation they are in. I always drill a little further and my brain works by thinking forward to solutions or possible scenarios. This has really allowed me to be the strategist and leader that I am.

Worst trait

I have inherited my high energy levels from my mother and my grandmother. They are / were forces to be reckoned with and I love what this energy does to my productivity but it can be hard for people that I always have bundles of energy. I have had to learn how to reign it in and read the room.

Biggest ‘win’ to date

Winning our first USA client was such a big win for us. It gave us a confidence we hadn’t experienced and it has had a snowball effect on our company.

Who inspires you most

I have been very lucky to be mentored by the fantastic Breege O’Donovan. She has inspired me to be a better leader by being brave and she has played a large part in encouraging me to confidently forge my own path to build a consultancy with global reach. She has spearheaded women in business in Ireland and across the globe and gives so much of her time to women like me who are scaling and growing their companies. I have learned so much from her – she is a force to be reckoned with.

Name two things on your ‘bucket list’

Swim in every ocean which means a trip to Antarctica.

Write two very different books.

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

I have both an opportunity and a responsibility as a woman in business. Now is the time for female leaders to really take hold of the opportunities available to us. There are still a lot of barriers and therefore we have a responsibility (to ourselves and each other) together to break down those barriers and help as many women along the way.

Best advice to pass on

Change is the only constant so be a changemaker. Never stop questioning, innovating and learning, it will not only open your world to the change that is inevitable, it will encourage you to be the catalyst for change.