Carlow Girls Takeover 2018

Girls Takeover Programme

Companies with three or more women in senior management positions are estimated to be more effective.

McKinsey & Company. Women Matter 2014.

When women adopt leadership roles, they contribute a unique set of skills, ideas, and life experiences that can broaden the entire company’s insight, strategies, and bottom line. Women are great at building relationships, empowering others, tuning into people’s needs, and balancing a staggering number of responsibilities — skills that are great assets in the workplace.  At Carlow Development Partnership, we want to contribute to the vision that it doesn’t matter whether a leader is female or male – we want to make a difference such that young women in Ireland are growing up in an environment where holding the most senior roles in an organisation is the norm.

Our CEO, Mary Lawlor is passionate about young people identifying and accessing opportunities in accordance with their priorities.  It struck Mary that, compared to some international situations, we as a society have made progress in the area of equality and equality of opportunity.  Not one to get stuck in the theory of things, and as a leader of an organisation for 18 years, Mary leveraged relationships from her own network and quickly assembled a panel of 10 mentors across a range of sectors in Carlow.  And it was very quick indeed – without exception all said yes immediately, and were eager to participate.  Approaching the largest girls school in Carlow, St Leo’s College, also proved successful with 70 transition year students applying for one of the 10 places on the mentoring programme.

Mary Lawlor said the programme is a “call to action” for young women.

“We have brought this initiative to the fore to get young girls thinking about their future and understand that being a leader is within their grasp,” she said. “We have a country full of strong-minded and ambitious young women and why shouldn’t they realise from a very young age that they are our future leaders? That’s the message this takeover is sending: that girls today can and will be the decision makers of tomorrow.”

The key objective of this pilot programme is to inspire girls to be trailblazers and set their sights on being future leaders in Ireland – in short, instil in every young woman a belief in achieving their dreams.

And so, for the 2018 ‘Girls Takeover Programme’ the selected candidates are Racheal, Emma, Alicia, Anna, Katie, Hollie, Sapphire, Lily, Lan and Niamh and on Tuesday, November 13 2018, these 10 students from St Leo’s College will takeover 10 top jobs in Carlow.

The Girls Takeover Programme has three key elements;

  1. Preparatory workshop where the students will participate in team games, take part in round table discussions and learn about the leadership role they will takeover.
  2. The takeover of senior roles where the student carries out a range of duties that she is interested in and which are within the remit of the mentor.
  3. A de-briefing workshop where the students discuss their experience of being a leader and where key learnings are highlighted and discussed.

On the day of the takeover, the girls – all transition year students – will assume the role of their matched mentor for one hour where they will have the power to make decisions and lead staff.

The mentors participating in the Girls Takeover Programme are;

  • Mary Lawlor – CEO of the Carlow County Development Partnership
  • John Purcell – CEO of KCLR 96FM
  • Dominic Hayes – Chief Superintendent of Kilkenny/Carlow Garda District
  • John Brophy – Manager of Fairgreen Shopping Centre
  • Conn O’Maoldhomhnaigh – President of Carlow College
  • Suzanne Pender – Editor of The Nationalist
  • Padraic Lalor – Principal of Lalor O’Shea Chartered Accountants
  • Dermot Geoghegan – Principal of Dermot Geoghegan Architects
  • Ann Mulrooney – Head of VISUAL, a Contemporary Art Gallery
  • Seamus Lancaster, Managing Director of DPF Engineering

Virgin Media Television invited Mary Lawlor on to Weekend AM on Sunday 11th November to discuss the Girls Takeover Programme. Mary was joined by  John Purcell, CEO KCLR 96FM and St. Leo’s College Transition Year Students Emma Mahon and Sapphire Gao. Click this link to view the segment 

For more information on the Girls Takeover Programme please contact us at 059-9720733.

Mary Lawlor – CEO of the Carlow County Development Partnership with Sapphire Gao – Transition Year Student, St Leo’s College Carlow.






Dominic Hayes – Chief Superintendent of Kilkenny/Carlow Garda District with Lan Gaffney – Transition Year Student, St Leo’s College Carlow.





Dermot Geoghegan – Principal of Dermot Geoghegan Architects with Katie O’Sullivan – Transition Year Student, St Leo’s College Carlow.








 John Brophy – Manager of Fairgreen Shopping Centre with Lily Gaffney – Transition Year Student, St Leo’s College Carlow.