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“Celebration of International Women’s Day – Galway BWN”

Breakfast Launch on Friday, 7th March 2014

We, the Galway Chapter of the SAP Business Women’s Network, decided to kick-start International Women’s Day on Friday, 7th March already. We hosted a BWN breakfast at our Galway office to launch our 2014 plans and to increase awareness of our existence amongst our fellow colleagues at SAP in Galway.

For this breakfast session, we organized breakfast delights (sausage rolls, muffins, scones with jam and cream, yoghurt-fruit dishes) from our on-site catering service, Sodexo. Of course, we had coffee and tea to accompany these as well. Over 20 colleagues showed up (all female, alas no men appeared).

Valerie Maybin from the Galway BWN committee started the session by welcoming everyone. She went on to explain that BWN at SAP was established to bring women from all lines of business in SAP Ireland together, to support each other, and to achieve personal success for each of our members. She also outlined our primary goals:

  • Provide support and increase awareness of challenges that women can face in their work environment
  • Support the passions of SAP and the diversity goals, including increasing the percentage of women in management
  • Provide an outlet for our members to share their personal experiences and best practices working and succeeding in their working environment
  • To offer a learning platform with different streams of workshops that can be tailored to the area of interest for each member


After this introduction, Valerie gave a brief talk on International Women’s Day itself – explaining the purpose of this day and highlighting some unique aspects of women in today’s world (including the fact that women use three times as many words in a day as men J).

Finally, Valerie outlined the 2014 plans of the Galway BWN chapter. These include: quarterly internal networking breakfast meetings with a “themed open discussion”; a quarterly external networking event; Public Speaking and NLP workshops with external facilitators (6 and 7 weeks each); a global mentoring programme; and “A Day in the Life of” coffee corner sessions (x 7).

When Valerie finished, two other members of the committee introduced themselves to the group – Michèle Coghlan and Frederique Loiseau. The idea behind these introductions was to give all those in attendance some insight into the personal and working lives of the committee members. Michèle and Frederique also wanted to give everyone a chance to get to know the committee a little better and also encourage others to introduce themselves at future sessions.

Before everyone returned to their respective offices, there was ample time for networking and enjoying the breakfast goodies. And the great news is that a few new members joined BWN Galway on the day !

                 AllGoodies.jpg VM&M.jpg

                    The “Goodies” Table                                                LtoR: Valerie Maybin, Frederique Loiseau,
                                                                                                                  Mi
chèle Coghlan                                                        

External Meeting of BWN Members at the “Secret Garden” Café in Galway
Saturday, 8th March 2014

The Galway BWN committee extended an invitation to all BWN members and interested colleagues to come join them for an afternoon “tea/coffee meeting” at a venue in the heart of Galway’s “Latin Quarter”. The café known as “Secret Garden” is no longer a secret in Galway, but a well-known venue for those who are seeking a café experience that is both unique and exquisite. The café has a vibrant but sombre ambience and also probably the most extensive range of teas served anywhere in Ireland (over 100 different types of tea !).  

Teapot.jpg

A group of ladies turned up for a 2-hour session of chat and lively discussion. The core idea was to celebrate International Women’s Day and the wonderful idea of creating a day dedicated to women. One of the main discussions centred on the history of International Women’s Day itself – how and why it was founded back in the early 1900’s, which was a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies, but also increased unrest and critical debate amongst women concerning their oppression and inequality. This, of course, spurred women on to becoming more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Hence, the very first International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March 1911.

While the ladies discussed all of these issues, there was no shortage of tea and coffee, chosen from the absolutely amazing choice of beverages served at the “Secret Garden” café. It goes without saying that there were some sweet treats to accompany the teas and coffees – orange and lemon cake, chocolate biscuit cake, and so on…..

One of the ladies shared a link to an interesting Website that provides statistics on levels of violence towards women within Europe, issued by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: http://fra.europa.eu/DVS/DVT/vaw.php

The ladies present were unanimous in their view that International Women’s Day is a very special day and one that deserves our full support – both as women and as citizens of the World we all share.

And here are two photos to show how much we enjoyed the 2-hour session:

CoffeeAtSecretGarden.jpg       BWN-Secret Garden-8-3-14.jpg

   Secret Garden Teacup                                                     LtoR: Stefanie Kraus, Michèle Coghlan, Georgina Drew, Anikó Tasnadi
                                                                                                                            and Nadine Stille

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