Five questions with Jennifer Richards, GlobalWelsh Dublin
During Women's History Month GlobalWelsh is running #WonderfulWelshWelsh, a campaign that aims to shine a light and celebrate the stories and acheivements of Welsh women, in Wales and around the world, past and present. As part of this campaign we are showcasing the wonderful women behind GlobalWelsh!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to Wales...
I'm Jennifer Richards. I was born and raised in Ammanford in South Wales, I went to university in Aberystwyth and then moved to Dublin, Ireland for work in 1994 and haven’t left yet! I have spent the last 27 years working in the investment management industry being responsible for growing businesses in Ireland and across continental Europe. I love many things about working in Dublin - the people, the business opportunities, the ‘can do’ culture - but my best working day is when I can go into the office (remember that?) after Wales have beaten Ireland in the 6 nations, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like unfortunately!
I became the first female board director of GlobalWelsh a number of years ago and worked with Ram and the team to bring to life the Investor Portal. I have stepped back from the Board but not away from my strong support of GlobalWelsh. I have hosted a number of Live Pitches for the Portal and, alongside Evan Aitken, run the GlobalWelsh City Hub in Dublin.
What has Wales given you personally and professionally?
Growing up and being educated in Wales means that I have a strong sense of social justice and I understand the importance of working hard to achieve your goals. Those two drivers mean that I am always trying to do more but to bring people with me too.
Why do you feel so passionately about the GlobalWelsh mission to connect Welsh people and friends of Wales globally?
As someone who has lived and worked in Ireland for over 25 years I know how powerful a connected diaspora can be for a country or a business. It just makes sense to connect with people who are already have an affinity with you and will therefore try to go the extra mile to help you, plus you build up some fantastic friends and insights along the way.
What role can the diaspora play in shaping Wales’ future?
We can actively think about Wales, Welsh businesses and its people when we are looking at new projects. We can actively reach out to mentor someone in Wales who is looking to learn and develop. We can shout proudly that we are Welsh and promote Wales’ many achievements so that the world begins to recognise the wonderful people and businesses that our nation is made up of.
What is Wales’ biggest challenge?
It is too often overlooked. People from Wales don’t make enough noise! I admire and respect people who do great things but don’t shout about their achievements, however by not sharing information about your success you miss the opportunity to inspire someone else to do something great. I would encourage successful Welsh people and businesses to be loud and proud in a bid to encourage others to do the same.
Name a Wonderful Welsh Woman who people may not have heard of before...
I have recently read about a Wonderful Welsh Woman called Margaret Haig Thomas. It seems particularly appropriate that GlobalWelsh should highlight her during Women’s History Month as one of her many achievements was to set up a business networking club for women. She clearly understood the power of likeminded people supporting each other, which is what GlobalWelsh is all about.
I encourage everyone to learn more about her life, she was a suffragette, she was a business woman, she was a peer who wasn’t allowed into the House of Lords because she was a woman, she was the first female president of the Institute of Directors and was passionate about increasing the number of people in the corporate world. She is an inspiration.
Join Jennifer and take part in our #WonderfulWelshWomen campaign throughout March across social media and by sharing your Wonderful Welsh Story and encouraging others to share theirs! Let's shine a light on the stories and achievements of Welsh women in Wales and around the world!
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