Dr Tara Shine from Change by Degrees who won the STEM category and was the Overall Winner at Network Cork’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021. Photo: Darragh Kane

STEM advocator shining bright with new accolade

The winners of the 2021 Network Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards have been announced, with one winner shining a little brighter than the rest.

Dr Tara Shine, Co-Founder of social enterprise Change by Degrees, was named as the overall winner as well as scooping the award for STEM Businesswoman.

Dr Shine, who has spent 20 years as a climate change negotiator and adviser on environmental policy at international level, was announced as the 2021 winner at a virtual awards ceremony held last week.

Change by Degrees works to inspire people to live and work more sustainably through strategic sustainability advice, employee engagement and specialised sustainability communications.

The Power Within Champion award went to Miriam Bourke, the Corporate Lead in Invesco Cork who works primarily in a consultancy role for multinational pension schemes.

The Solo Businesswoman award was claimed by learning and development consultant and owner of Ardin Career Development, Michelle Dinneen, while Emerging New Business was won by Ingrid Seim, an accredited psychological coach and the founder of Avenues Consultancy & Coaching.

The award for Established Business went to Carol Brick, founder of HerMoney, who opened her business in 2016 to assist professional women in all areas of financial planning.

Creative Professional went to singer, guitarist, songwriter and recording artist Fiona Kennedy of Fiona Kennedy Music.

Elena Canty, communications executive with Event Plan scooped Rising Star Employee for her role in social media management, digital marketing and communications activities within the company.

Shining Star Employee went to Konstantina Stefanidou, a senior engineering materials leader with Depuy Synthes, Johnson & Johnson.

Judges at for this year’s awards included former Tánaiste Mary Harney, Sharon Corcoran, Director of Economic Development and Tourism at Cork County Council, and Vicki Crean, AIB Manager of Service and Sales, Cork city.

The category sponsors were DePuy Synthes, Grant Thornton, HerMoney, Kinsale Gin, Lady of the Valley, O'Flynn Exhams, Partnership International and Transilient Coaching.

The virtual event was hosted by Cork's 96fm presenter Keith Cunningham and guest speaker was Christine Armstrong, author of ‘The Mother Of All Jobs’.

The winners across all categories will go forward for the national Network Ireland Business Awards on 8 October in WIT Arena, Waterford.

Speaking on the winners, Network Ireland Cork’s president, Barbara Nugent said: “The 2021 winners of the Network Ireland Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards are hugely different, all operating across diverse fields, but are intrinsically linked through their exceptional leadership, creativity and resilience through crisis and uncertainty.

“They have used their knowledge, expertise and influence to shape their companies, and in some cases, the wider community for the better.

“Each woman is a truly deserving winner. We look forward to them representing Cork at the national finals in October.”

The organisation’s vice-president and awards co-ordinator, Maria Desmond added: “Thank you to Mary, Sharon and Vicki for what was surely a mammoth task of selecting just eight winners, and an overall winner, from an impressive list of nominees.”

Network Ireland Cork is a not-for-profit organisation and is the largest branch of Network Ireland in the country.

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