Schoolgirls tasked with running event at ICC Belfast

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Julia Corkey Caoimhe Roe and Oonagh O'Reilly Julia Corkey, Caoimhe Roe and Oonagh O'Reilly Photo Credit: Supplied

A group of schoolgirls in North Ireland has been selected to run an event at the International Convention Centre in Belfast - with more than 1,000 delegates expected to attend.

Through a partnership with Belfast-based SistersIN Leadership Programme, a charity which helps school pupils realise their full potential, ten female school students from different schools have been tasked with delivering a large-scale SistersIN celebration event on 24 March. 

The celebration event will be attended by more than 30 of Northern Ireland’s top companies in sectors including digital, pharmaceutical and financial services. 

The students have been preparing for the event since 2022 with the help of event professionals including, ICC Belfast’s chief executive, Julia Corkey, ICC Belfast’s director of sales and marketing, Oonagh O’Reilly, PCMA 20 in their Twenties Class of 2023 alum, Eimear Hone, and Laurel Gray who holds a place on the International Association of Convention Centres Future Shapers programme. 

Corkey said: “Our team has relished the opportunity to work alongside tomorrow’s future female leaders to plan the inaugural SistersIN celebration event. I’m certain that the hands-on experience the pupils have gained from shadowing our award-winning team will be really beneficial.” 

One student event organiser, Caoimhe Roe, said the process has made her feel more prepared for her future. “I’ve been really enjoying my scheduled visits to ICC Belfast where I’ve had the chance to learn from the team. They’re all really inspiring and it’s exciting to think ahead to the future and see myself becoming as passionate and successful as they are. The programme has helped me explore various career options, and have confidence in my abilities and skills.”

SistersIN launched in 2018 and ICC Belfast was one of the first businesses to sign up. ICC Belfast continues to enhance gender equality within the organisation, boasting a 50:50 ratio of male-to-female gender balance at executive level. Senior management roles throughout the business are also now approaching a 50:50 gender split.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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