I have over 20 years’ experience in union training and development, equality, and employment law. I am a National Officer at the Communications Workers’ Union Ireland (CWU) which represents members in the Postal, Telecommunications, Tech, and Call centre sectors. I have over 20 years’ experience in union training and development, equality, and employment law. However, my greatest passion is for promoting diversity and inclusion as well as enhancing the gender equality agenda. Because of the sector that we operate in, the CWU is made up of predominantly male members with only approximately 25% being female, however I was very fortunate to become the Union’s first female National Officer and it is a role that I have both grown into and developed down through the years. Despite our high male population this has never inhibited me from progressing our aims towards gender equality. In fact, I would say that the opposite is true as down through the years we have ensured that our male counterparts are fully included in all initiatives that we develop to encourage female participation particularly around mentoring and women in leadership. I became a trade union leader as I saw huge gaps in the diversity and equality agenda that needed to be filled. I also realised that unless my voice was heard around the negotiating table those gaps would remain where they were. In many instances this has involved me stepping well out of my comfort zone, however I sincerely believe that there is a need for a trade union voice to be an advocate for gender equality in the workplace. I always focused on what my aim was and why I wanted to achieve it, and this has always been based on improving the lives and working conditions on behalf of our members. For me being a female trade union leader has been a very gratifying experience. I have managed to build a very powerful network of other trade union leaders with whom I liaise and share ideas. I have also learned to accept setbacks as a necessary part of pushing forward to achieve goals. To be a trade union leader does involve specific skills, one is to be able to communicate effectively and the other is to have empathy. Very often these attributes that many women have are overlooked however in my view they are the essence of being a successful trade union leader.