Lord Mayor of Dublin with Claire Bohan and Christine O'Kelly

Operation Conversation - Talking about My Career

DCU’s Age-friendly Unit was delighted to host “Operation Conversation – Talking about My Career” organised in partnership with Third Age and the Department of Social Protection

The focus of the event was to inspire, inform and encourage women back into the workforce and also mark International Women’s Day 2023. The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is “Equity”. The conflict between work and family life has long been lamented as a key challenge that has held back real progress when it comes to gender equality. The battle working families, particularly women, face to bridge the work and caring divide continue to be an emotional and financial burden. Many feel alone and isolated despite incremental improvements to flexible work and parental leave policies. Our caring policies are falling short, are often tokenistic and fail to shift the emphasis on female workforce participation, pay parity or support men’s active involvement in sharing the caring load.

For those wanting to take on a new challenge, explore new roles, change direction, or broaden their horizons, the event provided an opportunity to learn about opportunities and approaches, tips and strategies to get their career kick-started again either in the workplace, training environment or returning to education.

The keynote address was delivered by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ms Caroline Conroy, who shared her experiences juggling work, family and being a public representative while completing a business degree and commented that equity isn’t just a nice to have, it must be in society’s DNA. 

It was followed by a panel discussion about “Recognising self-worth and the importance of women in the workplace”.

Contributors to a panel discussion included Ms. Siobhán Lawlor, Principal Officer of the Employer Relations Division from the Department of Social Protection, Ms. Angela Smith, CEO of Work Equal, and Ms. Anne Dempsey, Communications Manager & Training Facilitator of Third Age.

The event also included lightening talks from DCU experts in lifelong learning, careers and counselling, services and supports from Intreo and employers from transport, retail, hospitality, and local authorities showcasing a range of employment opportunities.


We would like to warmly thank everyone for participating to the event.

It was a great honour to host the Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy.

We would also like to thank all the contributors:

Siobhán Lawlor, Principal Officer, Employer Relations, Dept. of Social Protection,

Ms. Angela Smith, CEO of Work Equal,

Anne Dempsey, Communications Manager & Training Facilitator of Third Age,

Ms. Sarah Gibney, Careers Consultant at DCU Career Services

Dr. Helena Ahern, Psychologist/Psychotherapist Head of Service, DCU Counselling & Personal Development Service,

Ms. Eimear Hayes, Assistant Principle, DSP,

Ms. Christine O’Kelly, Age-Friendly Coordinator, DCU,

Mr. Shane Mulcrone, Social Impact Manager, Dalata Group,

Ms. Dymphna Farrell, Executive Manager, Human Resources Department, Dublin City Council,

Ms. Ciara Fitzachary, Talent Partner, Compass Group, and

Mr. Ruairí Hannon, Recruitment Planning Executive, Dublin Bus.


We hope everybody enjoyed the event as much as we did.


Keep an eye on our website and social media to be informed of future events!


To see more photos of the event, click on the file below. 


OPCon.pdf2.31 MB