News & Events


Building Better Boards Panel Discussion - Diversity on Boards

The second Building Better Boards event for 2017 will focus on Diversity on Boards. The importance of having a diversity of perspectives in a boardroom is increasingly recognised as one of the keys to business success. The panel members for this Building Better Boards discussion are all experienced directors. They will share their insights on how diversity can help create more successful boards and what steps should be taken to achieve a more diverse board. They will consider diversity in the boardroom beyond gender and the impact of voluntary targets against mandatory quotas for board composition.

The discussion will also focus on how the drive for board diversity is impacting non-executive recruitment in the corporate, state and not-for-profit.

 The Building Better Boards Series 2017 is kindly sponsored by Diligent.

Registration, tea, coffee and pastries from 8.00am with the panel discussion beginning at 8.30am sharp.

This event is open to IoD members only and attendance is free of charge. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

IoD events may be eligible for CPD, including Chartered Director CPD, please check with your relevant professional body.

23 May
Eilish Finan C Dir , Chartered Director and Chartered Accountant | Padraig McManus , Chairman, Eir | Aileen O'Toole C Dir , Non-Executive Director and Digital Strategist | Mark Fenton , CEO & Founder of MASF Consulting Limited | Kevin Rafter , Facilitator
08:00 - 09.30
Free to IoD Members
Minerva Suite, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Sponsored by Diligent
Fully Booked

Eilish Finan C Dir

Chartered Director and Chartered Accountant

Éilish is a chartered director and a chartered accountant with 27 years' experience in the financial services industry. Éilish is an experienced board director and board chairman. She serves on a number of boards which include: JP Morgan Bank Ireland, New Ireland Assurance Company, MetLife Europe, Social Finance Foundation. Éilish served four years on the board of NAMA from 2009-2013. She spent 17+ years as an executive director with AIG Global Investments. Éilish trained with KPMG and carries an electronic engineering degree and a BA in mathematics from Trinity College Dublin. She holds a professional diploma in corporate governance from the UCD Smurfit Business School. She carries a diploma in company direction (IoD) and was awarded the Chartered Director designation. She holds the designation of Certified Bank Director issued by the Institute of Banking in Ireland.


Padraig McManus

Chairman, Eir

Padraig McManus joined EHIL (Eircom Holdings Ireland Limited) as non-executive chairman in January 2013. From 2002 to 2011, he was chief executive and member of the board at the ESB Group. Padraig is currently on the board of the Photonomi Group, Bhsl and chairs the boards of ESRI and Mincon International, and has recently been appointed to the council of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He has previously served for two terms as a board member of the Conference Board of the United States. Padraig McManus took ESB through its successful acquisition of Northern Ireland Electricity Limited in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from University College Dublin.



Aileen O'Toole C Dir

Non-Executive Director and Digital Strategist

Aileen O’Toole is a chartered director and a digital strategist, who advises CEOs and senior management teams on digital transformation to achieve commercial objectives.  

She is a co-founder of The Sunday Business Post newspaper, and was a member of the team responsible for building one of Ireland’s leading media brands and its subsequent sale.  She was the first woman to edit a business publication in Ireland.  In 2000, she left traditional media and established a digital consultancy business.

Aileen is a non-executive director of the Road Safety Authority, the State agency responsible for road safety education, licensing, testing and research.  She also sits on the board of Business in the Community, the not-for-profit organisation which helps businesses develop, manage and measure corporate social responsibility (CSR).  She is a former director of Chambers Ireland, the country’s largest business network, and of ASH Ireland, which championed the introduction of the workplace smoking ban.

In 2012 she was awarded a fellowship by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, in recognition of her contribution to the marketing profession.  Aileen is a committee member of the Irish chapter of the International Women’s Forum, a global networking body which aims to connect “the world’s most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement.” 


Mark Fenton

CEO & Founder of MASF Consulting Limited

Mark Fenton is the CEO and founder of MASF Consulting Limited, a specialised advisor on inclusion and diversity. Mark might not be who you would automatically consider as a campaigner for inclusive workplaces. He is Irish, white, middle aged, middle class and married with two kids and a dog. But that’s the point!

Mark has over 20 years’ experience in global financial organisations, with a proven track record in finance, audit and business strategy. So yes, he is a “finance guy”. However, more recently, Mark has run global diversity and inclusion programmes for the world’s most valuable insurance brand, AXA.

He has lived and worked in several global capitals (including nine years in London and five years in Paris) and knows what it is to both feel excluded and included in different communities and workplaces and has experienced the good and the bad of this.

Mark understands business, but also understands what it takes to be an “inclusive” business, and why it is so valuable.


Kevin Rafter


Kevin Rafter is Professor of Political Communication at Dublin City University and an experienced non-executive director. A former political journalist he is a leading authority on topics related to media and politics. His independent external perspective has been acknowledged by invitations from a leading financial institution to represent the ‘customer voice’ in its independent mortgage tracker appeals process, from the government to chair an independent review of the Civil Service and through his membership of the disciplinary tribunal for solicitors. Kevin is a non-executive director at Dublin Bus and Oxfam Ireland. He has a BA (Mod) and MLitt in economics and an MA and PhD in political science, and recently completed a diploma in corporate law and governance.



The Building Better Boards Series 2017 is kindly sponsored by Diligent. Diligent is the leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and senior executives. Over 4,700 customers in more than 70 countries and on all seven continents rely on Diligent to provide secure, intuitive access to their most time-sensitive and confidential information, ultimately helping them make better decisions.