Delegates battled the snow and ice, to join us at a packed auditorium at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, on Tuesday 7 March, for an extraordinarily uplifting International Women’s Day Conference, hosted by Caroline O’Neill, founder of The Digg Podcast.

For the past 20 years (with exception of the covid years), there has always been a celebration of IWD for Female Entrepreneurs. However, this year saw a much wider collaboration of local stakeholders, who were committed to expanding the celebration to all women right across our community.

Embracing the theme – Making a Difference, leading inspirational keynote speakers and panellists shared their stories, experiences and challenges across their respective communities.

Opening our minds to new opportunities, challenging negative mindsets and finding our tribe to offer that critical support so that we don’t do it alone were some of the favourite take aways of the day.  Another key theme that we loved was the challenge for us all to unlock opportunities for others to make a difference!

Delegates also welcomed the opportunity to connect over coffee and the networking sessions with exhibitors from the community, voluntary and educational sectors, highlighting the fantastic support and work being undertaken throughout the region.

Commenting on the importance of the conference, Event Organiser, Jayne Taggart, CEO of Enterprise Causeway noted:Despite many positive advancements within the last decade, women still face far too many barriers to progression in the workplace, in  business and within politics”.

“Whilst it may only be celebrated once a year, International Women’s Day allows us the chance to come together, to highlight the successes and achievement alongside the inequalities and biases still faced and reflect upon how best we can continue to move forward and champion progress”.

“This wonderful event had us challenging our perceived limitations, harnessing the power of our diverse accomplishments and encouraging us all to be strong role models for the next generation, enabling them to reach for their goals and to continue the fight for gender equality.

“We celebrated loud and lifted one another up! It was an incredible event and I thank all involved (partners, speakers, and attendees) for making it a truly special event.”

The event was delivered in partnership with Enterprise Causeway; Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Ulster University; Causeway Coast and Glens Labour Market Partnership; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Enterprising Women; and Causeway Chamber.

Pictured at the ‘Making a Difference’ conference are event partners from (L-R): Professor Odette Hutchinson (Pro Vice Chancellor for Academic Quality and Student Experience at Ulster University); Kelli McRoberts, Manager, Carrickfergus Enterprise Agency; Jayne Taggart, CEO, Enterprise Causeway; Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Deputy Mayor, Councillor Kathleen McGurk; Anne Marie McGoldrick, President, Causeway Chamber; and, Conference Host Caroline O’Neill, Founder of Digg for Success, The Digg Podcast, Digg Deep for Kids and Cofounder of the NI Social Media Awards.

Caroline O’Neill, Founder of Digg for Success, The Digg Podcast, Digg Deep for Kids and Cofounder of the NI Social Media Awards (pictured right) hosted the 2023 Making a Difference conference at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine. Pictured with Caroline is Jayne Taggart, CEO, Enterprise Causeway.

The ‘Making a Difference’ conference aimed to explore how women can work together, to make a real difference within their communities and saw over 200 delegates, from across the community, business, political and education sectors attend the event, held in the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine.