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Diageos Siobhan Moriarty is a Women in Business champion

Diageo's Siobhan Moriarty is a Women in Business champion

Diageo's General Counsel, Siobhan Moriarty, has been featured in the 2017 FT and HERoes ‘50 Female Champions of Women in Business’ list.

Following her inclusion in this much admired listing, Siobhan was asked what being an effective leader means to her, to which she responded "Being an effective leader is really about being a master of building relationships with all levels of business. A strong leader stays true to who they are and recognises the strength in individuals’ differences. They also know how to bring the best out of these differences allowing everyone to grow and be themselves - that is when diversity and inclusion happens! One of my most significant achievements in business has been to be an effective female leader at Diageo and be able to contribute to and progress our diversity and inclusion agenda."

A pathway to success

Having started her career as a lawyer in Ireland, Siobhan joined Diageo in 1997 as a legal counsel on the Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merger.

"It was such an exciting time for the company. Since then, I have had a number of roles including General Counsel Europe, Regional Counsel Ireland and Corporate M&A Counsel," she explains. Siobhan was then appointed General Counsel Diageo plc in 2013. 

"My mother has always inspired me. She was a teacher back in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was part of the first generation of female civil servants who weren’t forced to retire when they married, so she didn’t. It was quite unusual for her day. I was one of six children and she continued to teach until she retired. She was definitely the only mother out of my group of school friends’ mums who worked. As a family, we accepted our situation as “the norm” and just got on with it."

Another person who really inspired Siobhan was her history teacher at School, recalling "He was so passionate about what he did that he taught us topics that weren’t even on the curriculum, like the Russian revolution. He later became an independent socialist TD (Ireland’s equivalent of MP) for inner city Dublin. I didn’t agree with his politics, but he really broadened my horizons and my interest in history, current affairs and politics."

Overcoming barriers to gender diversity

Throughout her career, Siobhan says she has seen alot of women who have not even put themselves in the running for leadership roles because they think they do not have the skills or experience needed. This was discussed in last year's Hampton-Alexander review which referred to it as a confidence gap, where men will be over confident and women under confident in their abilities. So how would a woman like Siobhan advise others to overcome this lack of confidence?

"Everyone, EVERYONE has a role to play in achieving gender diversity," states Siobhan." Business leaders and managers need to encourage women to take on bigger roles and provide them with the support they need. And we need to encourage women to be brave, back themselves and say yes more often!" she exclaims.

By instilling belief and encouraging women at primary and secondary age to put themselves forward, Siobhan believes that one day these very women could be leading FTSE 100 or even FTSE 10 companies. Offering advice to all those girls out there, Siobhan stressed "Be yourself and do something you really want to do, what gives you energy. Be courageous and aim high and turn the knocks along the way into lessons you can grow from," Sounds like good advice to us!

Great career options at Diageo

If you want to carve out an exciting career with the world’s largest alcohol company, apply now for one of these current vacancies. Diageo are always looking for exceptional people to join their team, so go ahead and take the first step towards a flourishing career!

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