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Meet the Women Pioneering Dublin's Finance Sector

July 5, 2019 | Daisy Bernard

We round up the individuals shaping the city's financial scene

In the last decade Dublin has risen to become one of Europe's financial hubs. Its consistent, liquid market and technological advancements has created dynamic clusters of business activity, with some powerful women making waves.

60 of these trailblazers will be speaking at Women in Finance Dublin, delivering inspiring keynotes, skill-building workshops and interactive seminars at CCD Dublin on 12-13 September 2019. Here's who to look out for.


Fiona Flannery, CEO at DEPFA Bank



Fiona Flannery is CEO of DEPFA Bank, where she is responsible for deleveraging the bank’s balance sheets and implementing a change management programme for the DEPFA Group. Fiona is a senior banker and leader with over 25 years’ experience in the finance industry across a broad range of risk and strategic functions. She has held several senior positions within DEPFA and previously worked at PFIZER International Bank Europe and IIB Bank.

Fiona holds a degree in Mathematics and English from National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master’s in Business from UCD Smurfit Business School. She also holds a Certified Diploma in Accounting & Finance from ACCA and is a Chartered Director. Fiona is a passionate supporter of the charity CRMF and works with the foundation to raise funds for paediatric research.


Rosemarie Wilson, Founder @ Pragmatica Coaching


Rosemarie Wilson is a Global Mindset & Leadership Coach, Speaker, Mentor and the founder of Pragmatica Coaching, a Coaching & Training Company.

Rosemarie’s background stems from Oil & Gas, with over 20 years experience in FinTech & Change Management. A certified Coach, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and professional member of the Association for Coaching, Rosemarie works one to one with women to build self-confidence from a place of values and authenticity, which enables them to nurture their talent and better enjoy their success. She is a workshop facilitator and speaks on moving past ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and developing Emotional Intelligence.


Dr Claudia Igbrude Manager, Technology Products, Platforms and Infrastructure for Learning at PayPal


Claudia is passionate about the potential of emerging technologies to create opportunities for participation in the global economy. Her experience with technology transformation spans across the corporate and higher education sectors. She is currently the learning business partner at PayPal with responsibility for product management of the technologies used for supporting the training and talent development of customer service operations teammates in all operations sites globally. Previously, she partnered with academic and non-academic staff at all levels in Technology University for Dublin to create the technology ecosystem for learning.

Her entrepreneurship experiences include creating a natural skincare range, building a language learning app, a just in time learning app for Accident and Emergency doctors and providing technology consulting services to SMEs.

Claudia holds a BSc in Industrial Mathematics and has completed several postgraduate programmes: PG Dip in Product Management, PhD in Computer Science, Certificate in Intellectual Property & Media Law and MSc Learning Technologies.



Liz Cunningham, Director, EMEA Finance at Google


Liz Cunningham is EMEA Finance Director at Google. In this role she is responsible for developing the strategic direction and future growth of the company as it relates to finance, investment and tax planning for over 100 entities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Liz sits on the Google Ireland Ltd board as well as the boards of Alphabet entities in Ireland. She also leads the EMEA Finance Leadership Team with responsibility for risk, compliance and culture. Liz is an active member of the Google Ireland leadership team where she contributes to numerous site wide initiatives such as holding the position of Executive Lead for the local Women@ chapter and Executive Sponsor of Dublin Business Development.

Liz joined Google in 2009. Starting out as a tax trainee with Arthur Andersen (and later KPMG), she was admitted as a Chartered Accountant Ireland member in 1997 and subsequently as a member of the Irish Taxation Institute in 1998. Liz is a graduate of DCU holding a First Class Honours degree in Accounting and Finance and a Masters Degree in Accounting.


Mary Hynes-Martyn, Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking Operations & Technology Strategic Initiatives at Deutsche Bank


Mary is an Operations professional with 16 years of experience across the retail and banking industries. In both sectors, she has demonstrated the ability to set-up greenfield operations and transform organisations.

Mary has spent the past 13 years in banking working in Dublin, Frankfurt, and New York. In her current role as head of Strategic Initiatives, Mary is responsible for driving the execution of large-scale change programs within Deutsche Bank’s Transaction Banking Operations & Technology units globally.

Mary graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and holds post graduate degrees from University College Dublin’s Smurfit School of Business and Columbia University, New York. Mary is married and a proud mum to two girls, Ailis and Doireann. In her spare time, she enjoys singing with Dublin’s The Line-Up choir.


Breda McCague, Co-Founder and Chairwoman at Lean-In-Ireland


Breda McCague is Co-Founder and Chairwoman of the Lean-In-Ireland organisation. Lean-In is an international organisation (founded by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook.Inc) that empowers Women to achieve their ambitions. The Lean-In model is one of peer mentorship for members that form small circles/groups.

Breda mentors women, and men, coaching women in particular, in the areas of networking, realising their value and accelerating their career paths. She is extremely passionate about the nature of her work and is determined to ensure an even playing field exists for the female gender and their career paths.

Also a Transformational Change specialist, having worked in Financial Services for almost 20 years, Breda has driven, embedded and overseen extensive change programmes across a number of large financial institutions in Ireland and the UK. She specialises in Technical, Innovative and Cultural change.

Breda’s professional speaking style is often found to be focused but fun. She concentrates on the career gender divide and suggests ways of improving the current imbalance.

She shares many tips and tools for working parents to manage a quality work life balance. She is a seasoned musician playing with two different bands, has spent 20 years in the Reserve Defence Forces having been the first female to be commissioned as an Officer in her unit. She is a full time worker, a mum to three young boys, and enjoys networking & researching using social media platforms.


Eibhlin Johnston, Founder at Odd Socks


Eibhlin Johnston has thirty years’ financial services experience. She left JP Morgan in 2018 to establish her consultancy business and now provides a range of services from strategic projects to business development and Leadership coaching. Eibhlin has been exploring Leadership styles with a number of international trainers and coaches. She believes that true leadership happens in the split second before thought and thinking takes over. She launched Odd Socks in May 2019. Odd Socks is a range of initiatives designed to prolong the split second - Odd socks Mentoring (Reverse Mentoring), Odd Socks Leadership and Odd Socks Works - challenging the way we work and the Busy concept; disrupting the normal. Her first book, Gut Throat Leadership is due to be published in Autumn 2019.


Geraldine Gibson-Dautun, CEO and Founder at AQMetrics


Geraldine founded AQMetrics in 2012. Before creating AQMetrics, she worked at BAE Systems, Susquehanna International Group, Oracle and ICL Fujitsu.

It was during her time with Susquehanna International Group that Geraldine first worked on the trading floor - an experience that exposed her to the workings of capital markets, from both a business and technology perspective. As a result of this role, she became curious about how to combine risk management and regulatory compliance in an integrated software platform for both the buy and sell side: the result of this curiosity was AQMetrics.

Geraldine graduated with a degree in History from Trinity College Dublin and the Sorbonne University Paris. Post- graduation, she studied computer science and technology management, before receiving an MBA from University College Dublin.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Fast Track to IT, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to get long-term unemployed people back to work through re-education in STEM subjects.

Network with Ireland's most influential women at Women in Finance Dublin

Join 500+ industry professionals for two days of career-boosting workshops, dedicated networking events and thought-provoking seminars. Book now to secure your place!