Fresh from being announced as the new president of Network Galway, Sharon Egan sat down with the Galway Advertiser to chat about her work, the importance of being a member of Network Galway, and what she hopes to achieve in the role for 2020.
“Being in business can be a lonely place, particularly if you are self employed so having a support network around you is vitally important. We can all learn from each other whether you are a one woman show, a small SME business, professional, in the arts, social enterprise, or a public sector employee, we all bring something to the table,” is what Sharon Egan says she would advise anyone starting out on a new business venture. The Mayo woman’s thoughts of support and learning for one another in business perfectly encapsulates what Network Galway is all about, an organisation which named her as its president for 2020 after serving as vice-president throughout 2019.
Speaking about the honour, Sharon says 2020 will prove to be an exciting year for the network and Galway as a whole and she hopes in her term as president she can inspire each member to “ignite their fire” and “step outside their comfort zone”. She says; “I am very honoured to be taking up this position as the 30th president of Network Galway and what an exciting year ahead it will be with the 2020 celebrations in Galway. Our organisation has grown over the years to become a very strong support to women in business who share their experience and knowledge with each other. I am really looking forward to working with these women to encourage everybody to develop a support system around them forging collaborations between members, building strong business contacts, and making new friends. #igniteyourtribe is my theme for this year.”
“I also want to create awareness for my chosen charity which is Rainbows Ireland which is a voluntary organisation that supports children and young people who have experienced significant loss through bereavement, separation, or divorce. This charity is very close to my heart as it helped my children in the past and I would like to give back to them to support their hard work.”
A proud Mayo woman at heart, Sharon moved to Galway 27 years ago. Having worked with AIB Bank for nearly 30 years, Sharon wanted to explore new avenues and with a passion for property, she joined Sherry FitzGerald Galway in January 2018.
“I am delighted to be part of the fantastic team at Sherry FitzGerald Galway. We have lovely new offices at One Galway Central on Forster Street. I work closely with the negotiators on all sales activities, learning on the job towards my qualification. Sherry FitzGerald has developed MySherryFitz which is an online portal to book viewings, make offers, and track the progress of your purchase which has brought transparency to the industry which we are very proud of. I am currently studying at Technological University Dublin for my PSRA Licence to be a qualified auctioneer with final exams in May of this year.”
For Sharon, Network Galway is important for business women in the city as it offers the opportunity for them to access support for their professional development as well as showcasing their business on a city and national stage.
“Two really relevant ways Network Ireland support professional development are once you become a member, you have access to our ‘Mentoring for success’ programme which provides 43 mentors across a range of business areas free of charge and our annual Women in Business Awards which is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business and makes you sit back and really evaluate your worth. We also partner with AIB Bank nationally and the Local Enterprise Office which provide great support.
“If you are thinking of joining Network Galway, just do it. Check out our Facebook page and come along to our open evening in the Clayton Hotel on Wednesday January 22 at 6.30pm [to register, go to Eventbrite].”
About Network Ireland – Galway branch
Network Galway is a branch of Network Ireland, a national organisation for women in business, the professions and the arts.
With 15 branches and more than 1,200 members across the country, Network Ireland provides a forum where women can exchange ideas and increase their business contacts. Whether you are the owner of an established business, just starting out, or working for an employer, the network can help you develop your career and promote your business locally and nationally.
Its membership is diverse and welcomes women from the public and private sector, entrepreneurs and employees, professionals, and artists in all sectors.
Members of Network Galway avail of many benefits, including:
- Monthly networking meetings (first Wednesday of every month ).
- Breakfast and lunch events.
- Branch ezine newsletter
- Branch and national directory and website.
- Member Spotlight on Social Media to promote your business.
- A mentoring programme ‘Mentoring for Success’.
- Access to 43 mentors.
- Mutual business support among members.
- Open invitation to attend any Network Ireland meeting nationally.
- Eligibility to enter the annual Network Business Woman of the Year awards, with Galway winners going on to national finals.
- Collaboration with other networks to provide training in business and management as well as the area of personal development.
The network is unique in its ability to offer members a noncompetitive and supportive environment where business acquaintances become firm personal friends.