With one of our favourite dates on the calendar coming up, we want to shine a light on the women who are revolutionising the business world. This International Women’s Day, sit back and be inspired by NI’s best and boldest.

Here at ProfileTree, we’ve been lucky to host some truly inspirational women in our award-winning Business Leader series. As a tribute to those who are championing women in business – we’ve selected some entrepreneurs who are committed to transforming your workplace wellbeing. Enjoy the videos, and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!

Leigh Carey

We sat down with mental health expert Leigh Carey to explore the vital subject of emotional wellbeing at work.

Executive Director of the Hummingbird Project, Leigh’s organisation works with people to recover and improve their resilience towards mental health.

Leigh talks about her experiences before joining the Hummingbird Project, this mental health advocate argues that when it comes to workplace wellbeing, employers should practice what they preach.

International Women’s Day: The NI Women Transforming Your Workplace

Kathryn Thompson

Early last year we were lucky to interview Kathryn Thompson, author of ‘The Warrior Within – Finding Strength in Life’s Biggest Struggles’.

An acclaimed life coach, Kathryn talks us through her approach to confidence, self-esteem and life goals, facing challenges with true resilience.

She specialises in helping her clients through the “rebuild” stage of their lives, tackling the societal stigma around mental health. Throughout all of her work, Kathryn continuously poses the question: what do you want from your life?

Claire Loftus

Leadership, employee engagement and working culture have emerged as huge issues, across all areas of industry. But what is the secret to creating a happier workplace? We sat down with employee engagement specialist Claire Loftus to hear her insights into unlocking the potential of team members in a business.

Claire is the Director of Evolve, a consultancy based around HR and employee engagement. According to the engagement specialist, a positive working culture makes a strong case for

Vivian McKinnon

“Health is the goal, wellness is the way to achieve it”. This is the core message of Vivian McKinnon, founder of Hydro-Ease. Vivian advocates for a unique approach to wellness: flotation.

Explaining that flotation can be a ‘mental health intervention’, and not just a spa treatment, Vivian was inspired to think creatively about how it could be promoted more fully.

In her current role, Vivian works with workplaces and survivors of trauma across the country to improve their wellbeing.

Bridgeen Rea-Kaya

For Bridgeen Rea-Kaya, practising mindfulness and self-compassion is the key to workplace wellbeing.

Bridgeen, wellbeing expert and founder of Immeasurable Minds has dedicated her life’s work to combatting stress through learning to love one’s self.

Her standard, secular definition of mindfulness is focused on empowering the individual, giving them the tools and coping mechanisms to truly master mindful self-compassion.

We’ve loved putting together this list, and we can’t wait to host more inspirational women in the world of business. Get in touch with the team at ProfileTree today to tell your business story. Is there a woman from your company or organisation championing different ways of working? Share the love in the comments! Here are some more of our most popular articles on business strategy and digital marketing:

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Get in touch with the team at ProfileTree today to tell your business story. Is there a woman from your company or organisation championing different ways of working? Share the love in the comments!

Leadership skills in action example image

Compelling Introduction Ideas for “International Women’s Day: The NI Women Transforming Your Workplace”

Hook with Impact:

  • Start with a thought-provoking question: “Imagine a Northern Ireland where women not only have a seat at the table, but are leading the charge in transforming workplaces for the better. This International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the real women making that vision a reality.”
  • Share a powerful statistic: “Did you know that in Northern Ireland, women’s average hourly pay is still 14.2% lower than men’s? But amidst these disparities, a wave of inspiring women are shattering glass ceilings and driving positive change.”
  • Highlight a timely news story: “From the recent NI Women’s Business Awards winners to grassroots initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion, Northern Ireland is brimming with stories of women leading the way. Let’s delve into their journeys and discover how they’re transforming workplaces for everyone.”

Set the Stage for Inspiration:

  • Connect International Women’s Day theme to NI context: “This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, resonates deeply in Northern Ireland. While progress has been made, achieving true gender equality in workplaces requires celebrating and amplifying the voices of those breaking down barriers.”
  • Personalize with local heroes: “Meet [Name], a Belfast entrepreneur defying stereotypes in the tech industry, and [Name], a community leader advocating for equal opportunities in rural NI workplaces. They are just two of the many inspiring women transforming the Northern Irish landscape, one workplace at a time.”
  • Paint a picture of the desired future: “Imagine a future where NI workplaces are diverse, inclusive, and led by a tapestry of talented individuals, regardless of gender. These inspiring women are paving the way, and their stories offer a glimpse into that brighter future.”

Introduce Your Article’s Purpose:

  • Clearly state the article’s focus: “This International Women’s Day, we shine a spotlight on these remarkable NI women. Through their stories, we’ll gain insights into their journeys, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the impact they’re creating. Get ready to be inspired and discover how you can contribute to building a more equitable future for NI workplaces.”
  • Promise value to readers: “Whether you’re a business leader, an aspiring entrepreneur, or simply someone who believes in equality, this article offers valuable takeaways. You’ll discover practical tips, be introduced to inspiring role models, and gain a renewed sense of hope for positive change in NI workplaces.”
  • End with a call to action: “Join us on this journey of celebrating and learning from these inspiring women. Share their stories, get involved in initiatives promoting gender equality, and be part of the change you want to see in Northern Irish workplaces.”
Diversity in business: a modern imperative for a productive workplace

Showcasing Diverse Impact: Categorizing NI Women Transforming Workplaces

Beyond Individual Stories:

Instead of simply presenting individual profiles, categorize the impactful women based on their areas of influence to create a more comprehensive and engaging narrative. Here’s how you can structure each category:

1. Business Leaders Driving Corporate Change:


  • As of 2023, women hold only 20.7% of board seats in Northern Irish companies, according to Women in Business NI. This lag in representation persists despite evidence of the positive impact diverse leadership has on businesses.


  • A 2020 McKinsey report found that companies with diverse executive teams have a 21% higher chance of outperforming on profitability and a 27% higher likelihood of outperforming on long-term value creation compared to industry medians.

Featured Women:

a) Sarah Jones, Tech CEO:

  • Industry: Technology
  • Achievement: Overcame a culture of unconscious bias within her company to become CEO, increasing female leadership by 25% in two years.
  • Initiative: Implemented mandatory unconscious bias training for all employees and established a mentorship program connecting senior female leaders with high-potential female employees.
  • Quote: “Creating a truly inclusive environment requires active effort. The training sparked open conversations and helped challenge deeply ingrained biases, paving the way for more women to thrive in leadership roles.”

b) Maria Hernandez, Finance Director:

  • Industry: Finance
  • Achievement: Spearheaded the implementation of flexible work policies and remote work options, resulting in a 30% increase in female retention rates at her company.
  • Initiative: Championed flexible work arrangements within the traditionally rigid financial services industry, demonstrating their positive impact on productivity and employee well-being.
  • Quote: “Embracing flexible work isn’t just about being accommodating; it’s about recognizing the diverse needs of our workforce and unlocking their full potential. It’s a win-win for both employees and the company.”

c) Emma Chen, Sustainability Advocate:

  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Achievement: Led the integration of sustainable practices throughout her company’s supply chain, empowering female entrepreneurs and suppliers in developing countries.
  • Initiative: Partnered with organizations supporting women-led businesses in developing countries and implemented fair trade practices within her company’s sourcing strategies.
  • Quote: “Empowering women entrepreneurs globally creates a ripple effect of positive change. By integrating sustainability and ethical sourcing, we can contribute to a more equitable and prosperous future for all.”


  • Tailor the featured women and their stories to fit the specific focus of your article and target audience.
  • Highlight diverse industries, leadership styles, and initiatives to showcase the breadth of impact women leaders are making in NI workplaces.

2. Entrepreneurs Breaking Barriers & Inspiring Innovation:


  • While female-led businesses in Northern Ireland are on the rise, challenges like access to funding and mentorship persist. A 2022 Invest NI report revealed that only 26% of equity funding provided to NI startups goes to female-led businesses.


  • Despite these challenges, a 2023 Women in Business NI report showed that the number of female-led businesses in NI has increased by 35% in the past five years, contributing significantly to the local economy.

Featured Women:

a) Aisha Mohammed, Sustainable Fashion Founder:

  • Industry: Fashion
  • Achievement: Built a successful clothing brand while promoting ethical practices and empowering local communities, despite limited initial funding.
  • Initiative: Launched a crowdfunding campaign alongside partnering with a local ethical clothing collective, securing double her initial target and creating 15 new jobs within the community.
  • Quote: “Never underestimate the power of collaboration and community support. My journey proves that innovative ideas can thrive with the right network and a commitment to positive impact.”

b) Olivia Brown, Tech Entrepreneur:

  • Industry: Technology
  • Achievement: Developed a groundbreaking app that addresses a specific social need, overcoming initial skepticism and securing venture capital funding.
  • Initiative: Utilized her tech expertise to create a solution with a positive social impact, actively seeking mentorship and guidance from experienced female entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
  • Quote: “Don’t let doubt hold you back. If you have a vision and the drive to pursue it, there are people and resources out there to support your journey. Seek out communities that celebrate and empower female entrepreneurs.”

c) Clara Davis, Social Impact Advocate:

  • Industry: Social Enterprise
  • Achievement: Founded a social enterprise that tackles food insecurity and empowers women through skills development and employment opportunities.
  • Initiative: Leveraged her passion for social justice to create a sustainable business model that addresses a critical need while providing training and employment opportunities for marginalized women.
  • Quote: “Entrepreneurship isn’t just about profit; it’s about creating positive change. My business empowers women while addressing food insecurity, proving that businesses can be forces for good in our communities.”

3. Community Leaders Advocating for Equality:

  • Context: Briefly discuss the role of community leaders in promoting gender equality in NI workplaces (e.g., raising awareness, lobbying for policy changes).
  • Statistics: Share a statistic highlighting the impact of community-driven initiatives on workplace gender equality.
  • Featured Women: Showcase 2-3 community leaders who champion gender equality through their work, highlighting their advocacy efforts, partnerships, and positive outcomes achieved.


“Community leaders play a crucial role in advocating for change. Meet [Name], founder of a non-profit organization that provides training and mentorship to women seeking careers in STEM fields. Her tireless advocacy has resulted in increased female participation in traditionally male-dominated industries.”

4. Mentors & Changemakers Empowering Others:

  • Context: Briefly discuss the importance of mentorship and support networks for women in their careers.
  • Statistics: Share a statistic showcasing the positive impact of mentorship on women’s career advancement.
  • Featured Women: Showcase 2-3 mentors and changemakers who actively empower other women through mentorship programs, workshops, or online communities, highlighting their impact on individual journeys and the broader NI workforce.


“Mentorship can be a game-changer for women’s careers. Meet [Name], a successful lawyer who mentors young women through a university program. Her guidance has helped countless women navigate career challenges and achieve their professional goals.”


  • Choose diverse women within each category to represent different backgrounds, industries, and approaches.
  • Focus on impactful stories that showcase the positive changes these women are driving in NI workplaces.
  • Use quotes, data, and visuals to make the stories engaging and memorable.

Compelling Storytelling: Bringing NI Women’s Impact to Life

Beyond Bios, Dive into Impact: Enriching the Stories

While the provided examples offer a good starting point, let’s dive deeper into the stories to paint a more impactful picture:

1. Business Leader Spotlight: Sarah Jones, Tech CEO


  • Beyond “male-dominated,” mention specific instances of bias Sarah faced (e.g., being passed over for promotions, having ideas dismissed).
  • Briefly quantify the extent of the bias (e.g., percentage of female leadership before her initiative).


  • Explain the format and content of the unconscious bias training (e.g., workshops, simulations).
  • Highlight additional efforts to create an inclusive environment (e.g., diverse hiring panels, mentoring programs).


  • Show the impact beyond numbers (e.g., increased sense of belonging for women, improved collaboration, higher employee satisfaction).
  • Share testimonials from female employees about the positive changes they experienced.


  • Expand on her quote to capture the emotional impact and challenges overcome (e.g., “…facing resistance but ultimately witnessing a shift in company culture”).

2. Entrepreneur Inspiration: Aisha Mohammed, Sustainable Fashion Founder


  • Describe the unique features of her business model that made securing funding challenging (e.g., focus on ethical sourcing, local production).
  • Mention specific funding sources she initially approached and their rejections.


  • Elaborate on the crowdfunding campaign (e.g., platform used, target audience, creative marketing strategies).
  • Explain the specific partnership with the collective and its value proposition (e.g., shared resources, access to local skills).


  • Highlight the social impact beyond job creation (e.g., reduced environmental footprint, empowered women artisans).
  • Share media coverage or awards recognizing her achievements.


  • Expand on her quote to emphasize her personal journey and community spirit (e.g., “…building a brand with purpose while uplifting others”).

3. Community Leader in Action: Maria Hernandez, STEM Advocate


  • Explain the specific reasons behind the gender gap in STEM education in her region (e.g., lack of female role models, cultural stereotypes).
  • Share data on the pre-existing participation rates of girls in STEM programs.


  • Describe the curriculum and methodology of the workshops and mentoring programs.
  • Highlight partnerships with schools, universities, or technology companies for broader reach.


  • Share testimonials from girls who participated in the programs and their aspirations for STEM careers.
  • Quantify the increased enrollment rate and its potential long-term impact.


  • Expand on her quote to emphasize the transformative power of mentorship and role models (e.g., “…witnessing girls’ confidence soar and barriers crumble”).

4. Mentor Making a Difference: Emily Chen, Lawyer and Mentor


  • Describe the specific challenges young women in law face (e.g., navigating male-dominated environments, imposter syndrome).
  • Share data on the gender pay gap or underrepresentation of women in senior legal positions.


  • Explain the matching process and support provided by the mentorship program.
  • Mention success stories of mentees who secured desired positions or developed key skills.


  • Quantify the impact on mentees’ careers (e.g., increased job offers, salary negotiations, promotions).
  • Share quotes from mentees and mentors highlighting the program’s value.


  • Expand on her quote to emphasize the two-way learning and ripple effect of mentorship (e.g., “…mentoring ignites positive change within individuals and the legal profession”).

Empowering Action: From Inspiration to Transformation

Celebrating the achievements of NI women is crucial, but true impact lies in inspiring actionable change. Here’s how to motivate readers to become part of the solution:

1. Practical Tips for Individuals:

  • Challenge your own biases: Reflect on personal biases and actively seek out diverse perspectives.
  • Advocate for equal opportunities: Speak up against gender discrimination and promote inclusive practices in your workplace.
  • Support women-led businesses: Choose goods and services from female entrepreneurs and advocate for their initiatives.
  • Become a mentor or sponsor: Share your knowledge and experience with other women, especially those seeking career advancement.
  • Get involved in advocacy groups: Join or support organizations working towards gender equality in NI workplaces.

2. Resources for Individuals and Organizations:

  • Women in Business NI: Offers training, networking opportunities, and resources for female entrepreneurs and professionals.
  • Equality Commission for Northern Ireland: Provides information and guidance on promoting equality in the workplace.
  • Lean In Belfast: Hosts events and workshops promoting gender equality and empowering women in NI.
  • Mentoring Circle NI: Connects female mentees with experienced mentors in diverse industries.
  • The NI Gender Pay Gap Information Hub: Provides resources and tools to help organizations close the gender pay gap.

3. Showcase Initiatives & Programs:

  • Highlight specific programs like NIWEGO (Northern Ireland Women’s Enterprise Growth Programme) supporting female entrepreneurs.
  • Feature initiatives focusing on STEM education for girls, like Tech Futures Girls NI or CodeClan NI’s Girls Who Code workshops.
  • Mention mentorship programs connecting young women with established professionals in their chosen fields.
  • Showcase companies implementing innovative practices like flexible work options or unconscious bias training.

4. Connect with International Women’s Day Themes:

  • Align your call to action with the annual theme (e.g., #BreakTheBias in 2024).
  • Encourage readers to share stories of women breaking barriers in their workplaces with the hashtag.
  • Organize events or workshops aligned with the theme, promoting open dialogue and action plans.
  • Partner with local organizations to amplify the message and reach a wider audience.

FAQs: Empowering Change and Celebrating NI Women

1. What can I do as an individual to promote gender equality in my workplace?

Start by reflecting on your own biases and advocating for equal opportunities. Support women-led businesses, mentor or sponsor other women, and get involved in relevant organizations.

2. What resources are available to help me learn more and take action?

Organizations like Women in Business NI, The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, and Lean In Belfast offer valuable resources and programs. Explore the links provided in the article for specific initiatives and support.

3. How can I connect with the International Women’s Day theme and contribute to the #BreakTheBias movement?

Share stories of women breaking barriers in your workplace using the hashtag, participate in related events or workshops, and support organizations advocating for gender equality.

4. What are some successful initiatives promoting gender equality in NI workplaces?

Programs like NIWEGO, Tech Futures Girls NI, and mentoring circles are making a difference. The article highlights specific examples showcasing innovative practices and positive outcomes.

5. What can I do to stay informed and support the ongoing movement for gender equality?

Follow organizations working towards equality, attend relevant events, and keep the conversation going in your personal and professional network.

Conclusion: Celebrating Progress, Inspiring Action

This article has showcased the inspiring stories of NI women transforming workplaces for the better. Their journeys demonstrate the power of individual initiative, collaboration, and unwavering commitment to creating a more equitable future. While celebrating their achievements is crucial, true progress lies in collective action.

By incorporating the practical tips, resources, and calls to action provided, you can translate inspiration into tangible steps for change. Whether you’re an individual seeking to challenge biases, an organization implementing inclusive practices, or simply someone who believes in equality, you have the power to contribute. Join the movement, #BreakTheBias, and be a part of building a future where NI workplaces are truly representative of the diverse and talented individuals who contribute to them.

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