SIMI President Gabriel Keane, Alison Comyn, Breege O'Donoghue and Mary Kennedy pictured at the Women@SIMI event
SIMI President Gabriel Keane, Alison Comyn, Breege O’Donoghue and Mary Kennedy pictured at the Women@SIMI event

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) hosted its 6thannual Women@SIMI event in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The event is sponsored by Bank of Ireland and brings together over 160 women working across the motor industry in Ireland.

Mary Kennedy was the MC for the event while this year’s guest speakers were Breege O’Donoghue, former Primark Board Member and Group Director, and Alison Comyn, journalist and communications specialist.

Speaking at the event, Breege O’Donoghue said: “In whatever role one plays in leadership, be true to oneself; show courage, independence, initiative; appreciate the need to recognise, respect and value differences; blend passion, persistence and tenacity. Know right from wrong; be ethically aware; be satisfied with only the very best. Do not be clouded in power and status but generous in heart and spirit and yes, it is encouragement and love that inspired people to success and be happy the world over”.

Alison Comyn, IFTA-winning journalist and broadcaster, shared her insight into the world of media with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Speaking on the difficulties in journalism today, Alison felt that it is still a worthwhile and necessary job. “As a journalist you have a responsibility to tell a story and write the truth,” says Alison. “The two tenets I like to live by is integrity and principle and it is very hard to find in journalism these days. Fake news is possibly the worst phrase that we will ever hear in our life time because where is the integrity and what do you leave? Hopefully there are people trying to pass on to a new generation these principles, of truth and morality as they really do matter.”

Alison’s advice to all present was that there is no such word as can’t. “Always be as true to yourself as you possibly can; don’t be afraid to take chances; if the opportunities are there, grab them with both hands and take them; if the opportunities aren’t there, make them for yourself.”

Gabriel Keane, President of SIMI said: “While there are many challenges currently facing our Industry, we must not lose sight of the contribution made by the 47,300 people that work in the Irish Motor Industry that continue to keep Ireland moving. I am proud to be a part of our dynamic industry and to be here today to support women in business.“