Women in Leadership


Near FM are delighted to present a special programme to celebrate International Women’s Day. In collaboration with Co-operative Housing Ireland you will hear two panel discussions recorded as part of the Women in Leadership forum, held in Wood Quay venue, Dublin on International Women’s Day, March 8th 2023. Both panels are chaired by Near FM broadcaster and Trade Unionist, Sabrina Ryan.

Panel 1

Mamy Nzema Nkoy holds a BSc from TU Dublin in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences and a level 8 degree in Analytical Chemistry (Environmental, Forensic, and Pharmaceutical). She is highly involved in her community and was awarded leader in the community by the Ballyfermot Chapelizod partnership for promoting education.

Caoimhe McCarthy is the owner and creator of Sitto Z, a small family-run business making their own signature artisan chilli sauces, dry rubs and juices. The inspiration for Sitto Z came from a passion for good food, fascination exploring culinary culturalism and the amazing individuals Caoimhe has met along the way.

Marianne Ward-O’Leary Maughan is married with five kids and two adorable grandkids. Marianne moved from a halting site to her forever home in Kilcronan Court in 1996. Being a Traveller, she says she will always have her sense of culture and traditions but she chose to live in a house for her family. Marianne was recently voted onto the national board of CHI and is the chair of the Members Association in Kilcronan Court.

Panel 2

Rosemary Kunene is a community activist and a social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Dignity Partnership, a work integration social enterprise delivering personal development programmes that foster integration for people from a refugee and asylum-seeking background.

Sharon Hughes is manager of The Leadership Academy, run through The Wheel, Ireland’s association for the nonprofit sector. The Leadership Academy is a dedicated space for leaders from Irish charities, community organisations and social enterprises.

Bernie Walsh is the founder and Board Member of Sunflower Recycling and founder of Eco Mattress recycling. She is a community development activist who has been involved in setting up cooperatives and Social Economy business for more than 30 years. She was a founding member of Sunflower recycling and although retired now is still very active within the community and Social economy supports.

Linda Blake
Linda is the Chief Executive Officer of Aspire, with over eight years’ management and leadership experience within the Charity, Education, Homeless Residential and Family Support Sectors.

Aoife Smyth
Aoife Smith is CEO at The Great Care Co-op (GCC) Ireland’s first homecare workers cooperative. GCC was established to provide better terms and conditions of employment for women working in care and to tackle discrimination of migrant women in the sector by creating a radically new approach from a human rights and equality perspective.

This radio programme is made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Social Benefit initiative.