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Managing Director of Twitter Ireland Sinéad McSweeney has been awarded 2019’s Women of Concern award.
The honour, launched by Concern Worldwide to highlight the drive towards gender equality and recognise those who display extraordinary leadership in this area, was presented at a special luncheon event at The Shelbourne Hotel on Friday, October 11.
The award luncheon – organised in partnership with Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PWC – was hosted by Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley with broadcaster Anton Savage as Master of Ceremonies and guest speaker Amina Abdulla, who runs Concern’s operations in Kenya.
Cork native Sinéad is Twitter’s Vice President of Public Policy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as serving as the Managing Director of Twitter’s operations in Ireland, which employs hundreds of people.
Sinéad studied law at University College Cork and qualified as a barrister in 1993. She began her working life as a parliamentary transcriber in the Dáil debates unit of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
It didn’t take long for Sinéad to rise through the political ranks, landing several senior positions such as Special Adviser to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and, prior to that, at the Attorney General’s Office.
From 2004 to 2007, Sinéad worked as Director of Media and Public Relations for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), followed by Director of Communications for An Garda Síochána from 2007 to 2012.
Sinéad was amongst the first to join Twitter Ireland in 2012 as Head of Public Policy, before taking the top spot in 2016.
She receives this award for her commitment to gender equality and her beliefs in respect, empathy, honesty and resilience as fundamental business principles.
Praising the impact that Concern has had on the lives of millions of people over the last 50 years of operation, Sinéad said: "The strong values that guide and inform Concern's work are values which we would all do well to live our lives by".
“By focusing on compassion, respect and courage as we interact with other people would mean that we can all leave the world a better place than when we found it,” she said.
“It is an honour to receive the Women of Concern Award in Ireland, and join the ranks of incredible leaders who have received this honour before me. The achievements and ongoing dedication of Concern teams right around the globe serve as an inspiration to us all.”
Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley says the Women of Concern award provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the work and inspiration of women such as Sinéad, who he says is “used to dealing with difficult situations and standing her ground”.
“As Managing Director of Twitter Dublin, Sinéad remains committed to promoting diversity, equality and gender empowerment,” he said.
“She is a passionate believer in childhood education, and in particular, working to ensure girls have access to learning from a young age. Sinéad is a true inspiration and we are delighted to honour her as this year’s Woman of Concern.”
“It is vital that we all not only embrace a more radical push for real gender equality, but that we harness this moment to ensure it reaches women in all regions of the world where it is needed most.”
Guest speaker Amina Abdulla - who specialises in food security, social protection and resilience building - said she is proud to work with an organisation that is part of the worldwide movement for gender equality, which is something no country has to date achieved.
“Some of the communities we work in still view the role of women as homemakers and nothing more. It is such attitudes and practices that Concern is working to address, so girls are accorded equal opportunities with the boys,” she said.
“Concern is proud to be a part of this global movement, supporting thousands of the world’s poorest women and girls each year to achieve their goals and ambitions – ambitions and attitudes they will pass on to their daughters, and their daughters’ daughters. All the best stories start with strong women.”
Concern is Ireland’s largest humanitarian aid agency with more than 3,900 staff worldwide and operations in 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Haiti.
Concern has held the Women of Concern Awards in the US for the past 20 years. Previous honourees include actress Toni Collette, former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and world-renowned architect Aine Brazil.
Last year’s inaugural Irish recipient was Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland Cathriona Hallahan.
For media queries contact Jason Kennedy, Media Relations Officer, Concern Worldwide, at 01 4178022, or by emailing Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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