Dr Mary Ryan at the Empowering Women conference with TV presenter Lorraine Keane
Nenagh medical doctor Mary Ryan organised a highly successful conference on empowering women in University Concert Hall Limerick last weekend.
Among the speakers were TV presenter Lorraine Keane and Limerick woman Trish Long, vice-president of Walt Disney.
The conference was opened by UL president Prof Des Fitzgerald, who was followed by the chairperson of the UL foundation and philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucks
Endocrinolist Dr Ryan, who chaired the final panel of the day, spoke on empowerment, hormones and lifestyle, touching on diabetes, obesity, infertility, the menopause, osteoporosis and pituitary and chronic fatigue.
Others speakers included Labour TD for Limerick Jan O'Sullivan; Michelle Finan Johnson, Tony Brazil, Limerick Travel; Prof Colette Cowan, CEO UL Hospitals Group; Mary O Donoghue, sociologist, UL; Dr Julie O Brien consultant radiologist; Anne Marie Gill, chairperson, Rape Crisis Centre; Prof Helen Phelan, UL Music Department, and Nenagh native Prof James Gleeson, UL Maths Department who got a healthy debate going on gender equality in applied maths and maths. Ann O'Dwyer, who leads the Kerry Education Department, spoke of the audit in Kerry which changed their focus to ensuring a gender balance among principals.
Dr Deidre Fanning spoke on health issues and about the need to take away the shame from speaking about what is normal for all women, while Dr Blathnaid Murtagh spoke on women and heart disease.
Prof Maeve Houlihan, Head of Business in UCD, spoke on the gender imbalance in business while Fr Fennelly, headmaster, Glenstal Abbey, spoke on the economy and the Church and what they need to do.
Nenagh fashion designer Marion Murphy Cooney was joined by Carmel Breheny, marketing director, Marks and Spencer, and Aoife Gilmartin for a discussion on the importance and need for gender equality.