Curiosity didn't kill the cat: Denise McQuaid

Denise McQuaid joins Susan to discuss the power of embracing change, cultivating a global network through curiosity and the necessity of diversity in business.

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Cultivated from a passion for reading and a love for magazines and books, Denise followed her passion for publishing through to Dublin Institute of Technology where she studied Printing Technology and Management. She wore and continues to wear her "Irish badge very proudly" embracing the opportunity for change as she followed her curiosity from Boston to China and now London. Denise continues to drive the necessary change to grow businesses and improve their performance by focusing on people and the diverse thoughts and opinions they bring to the table.

"If your not open to the opportunity that change can potentially present, you'll never know"

Denise claims that "curiosity is a skill", along with bravery and being able to take risks, it is one that is so important to the process of change. Your passion for knowledge, a curiosity about the world can lead to incredible experiences both personally and professionally. Whether it be the "minor changes that make a fundamental difference" in business, the ever-changing technology that affects every industry and sector or the ability to embed yourself in a new culture, Denise attributes her adaptability to her curiosity about the world.

"From a global perspective, relationships and people are incredibly important, both professionally and personally"

When it comes to building a network of connections, Denise explains how it all boils down to the personalized connections you make with individuals. By spending the time to cultivate and grow a relationship with people "from a cultural, country and industry point of view" you will naturally build a diverse global network. Again, Denise draws on her curiosity about the world and explains how it leads her in to "different networks, different sectors and different learnings all the time".We can see how, in following your passions, you will build strong networks of people that will lead to many exciting opportunities.

"Sometimes taking a risk, making a bold decision and backing yourself is okay"

Regarding the D&I (Diversity and Integration) agenda, Denise explains how women can often feel like they do not have a place in senior positions. Through supporting women in business and driving the change towards diversity, Denise explains that we can"empower young women to know that they have a right to have a voice and a place at the boardroom table". Diversity means that there is not only one voice in the room, but an array of voices, perspectives,thoughts, and opinions that can work together to improve businesses from the inside out.

"There is an assumption in society that you need to have children, and that it makes you whole and it fulfils you"

In referring to an article she wrote following the passing of her father, Denise opens up about her experience with the power of choice and challenges the expectations that women face across the country about their decision not to have children. In a brave move to break the silence that so often accompanies women's reproductive choices, Denise expresses her concern that these assumptions within society can often affect women professionally;"I think I've probably been overlooked for certain positions because they've made the assumption that I'm at that age that in eighteen months after I join the organization, I'll be off on maternity leave".

Whether it be a passion you have to follow, a possibility of building your global network through platforms such as LinkedIn, or an assumption that needs challenging, embrace the change that comes your way. You never know where it might lead!

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Yes, I am forty and no, I didn't forget to have children: Read Denise's full article here, where she opens up about her personal experiences of the societal assumptions and expectations placed on women."The right to this choice is equally significant as the fight for equal pay and a place at the board table".

Balance for Better Business: Brid Horan: Denise is not alone in her passion for empowering young women. In this podcast, Brid Horan discusses how she pushes Irish businesses towards achieving gender equality by holding them accountable with inclusivity targets.

LinkedIn: the effective networking opportunity at your fingertips: Whether you are just starting in your career, or starting a new phase in your business, LinkedIn is the tool for you. With a personalized message and a couple of taps of the keyboard, you could be making global connections in minutes.

Denise McQuaid Final Podcast June (45.13 Mb)Denise McQuaid Final Podcast June (45.13 Mb)


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