W-Power Panel Discussion: Female Role Models and Peer Networks

What makes a good role model? There is no picture-perfect role model, but there are several common criteria that make a good one.



W-Power Panel Discussion: Female Role Models and Peer Networks


              What makes a good role model? There is no picture-perfect role model, but there are several common criteria that make a good one.


At the W-Power Ireland event, our panelists identified many key attributes that they believe a good role model possesses. While a stereotypical role model is identified as the most successful person in the room, as you mature your perspective shifts with the understanding that a role model has less to do with success and more to do with how they overcome challenges and hardships. To watch the full conference summary, click the link below.



The panellists agreed that an ideal role model is someone who is inspiring, someone who they can learn from, someone who sets the standard for you and your values, and someone who has accomplished the goals you wish to accomplish. Companies with at least one female founder outperformed all-male founding teams by 63% over the past 10 years, showing not only how important role models are, but how impactful female role models are.


      You can't be what you can't see. By taking away the question of "if" you can do it, you have more time to focus on "how" you will do it.


Women in Influence



View our panellists' LinkedIn profiles below:

Maria Staunton, Katarina Spik Skum, Satu Koskinen, Caitriona Watters- Crehan, Sara Connolly


      In addition to the topic of role models, we invited a panel of network leaders to have a discussion about peer networks. There are a plethora of benefits to peer networking such as connectivity, support, and cultivating a sense of community. 86% of people surveyed by one of our panelists, Helen Fullen, said that peer support was very important, that they liked to work in groups and peer support significantly reduces a sense of loneliness.


View our panelists' LinkedIn profiles below:

Helen Fullen, Evelyn Mc Glynn, Caroline Kirrane, Mary McKenna, Oonagh Monahan


Peer-to-peer support can be facilitated in a variety of different ways based on resources and working environments. Some examples discussed by the panel were: monthly events, roundtables, international conferences, mentoring, and coaching. Read the W-Power report for more examples of ways to peer network. The most efficient way to figure out what strategy is best for your group is to survey your members to get a better idea of what they need.


Peer to Peer Networking


Here is a summary of a very insightful, honest conversation I moderated for WestBIC W-Power Irish Thematic Week focusing on role models and peer networks.

"A role model is somebody that's inspiring and who I can learn from", Satu Koskinen

"If you give role models visibility, leaps of progress can happen quickly", Maria Staunton

"Role models show you that the unthinkable is possible", Katarina Spik Skum

"Leadership should be strong and gentle", Caitriona Watters- Crehan

"Seek out a role model that sets a standard for you and your values", Sara Connolly

"A network should offer connectivity, support and a way to do business between members", Caroline Kirrane

"Be a peer-to-peer builder and cultivate a spirit of camaraderie", Mary McKenna

"86% of people surveyed said peer support was very important", Helen Fullen

"Survey your members to find out what they need", Oonagh Monahan

Thank you for the opportunity Helena DeaneAlison McGonagle and Teresa O'Hara.


Peer networking is a continuous effort. Adaptivity is necessary, for the needs of your peers will constantly change. If you remain proactive in peer networking it is amazing what can be achieved.

Optimize your professional experience by joining a peer network and seeking out a role model. If you already have role models, become one for someone else.


For more content visit the Positive Economist website

Visit the W-Power Website for more information about the event

Listen to the W-Power podcast

Join the W-power network on LinkedIn

Follow the W-Power on Facebook  


Thank you for the opportunity Helena Deane, Alison McGonagle and Teresa O'Hara.


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