Moneypenny tells businesswomen to make more bonds

Fri, Oct 19, 2012, 01:00

HEATHER McGREGOR, otherwise known as Mrs Moneypenny, knows how to make an entrance.

The investment banker turned columnist flew herself into Dublin yesterday in her leased aircraft, landing at Weston Airport before taking a taxi into the city centre.

“I got my pilot’s licence at 47. It’s a fantastic way to get around. I had meetings in London all morning and drove straight to the runway at Oxfordshire. It’s certainly more congenial to my spirit than taking a Ryanair flight,” she beamed over a quick glass of champagne, before taking to the stage at the Mansion House.

Financial Times columnist Mrs Moneypenny was in town to address attendees at The Gloss magazine’s Look the Business event. Run in conjunction with Vodafone, Look the Business is a fashion and networking event aimed at women working in business.

Addressing 600 attendees at the event, Mrs Moneypenny outlined her views on the issues facing women in the workplace.

Pointing out that Ireland has “some of the best-trained, best-educated women in the world”, she stressed the need to build relationships and contacts. “Many people make claims for meritocracy – it’s about what you know, not who you know. You could be a fantastic tax lawyer but no one might know about it. You need to do something for other people. If you’re not helping someone, you will not really be successful.”

Mrs Moneypenny, who began her weekly column 13 years ago while an investment banker in Tokyo, writes a non-fictional column about her life juggling her roles as wife, successful owner of an executive search company, and self-confessed pushy mother of three sons, referred to in her columns as Cost Centres 1, 2 and 3.

Anne O’Leary, enterprise director at Vodafone Ireland, also outlined the importance of networking, and highlighted the issue of female representation at board level. “Companies with more than 30 per cent women in top management outperform companies with fewer women on the board, in terms of operating results and stock price growth,” she said.

Pointing out that the introduction of quota systems in France had already resulted in 20 per cent female representation at board level, she said that, while people might not be in favour of female quotas, the system generates results.