At UDG Healthcare, we're celebrating International Women's Day. We believe in creating an environment where all employees can reach their full potential.
Meet Fiona, Nagore, Deirdre, Nicola and Ripple, five women who exemplify the UDG values across the organisation.
We're proud to #BeBoldForChange
Name: Fiona McKiernan
Role: Group Tax Manager- UDG
My role, working with the Group Tax team, is to support the UDG Group companies with respect to all tax matters affecting their businesses. Our team combines technical tax expertise with in-depth knowledge of the UDG businesses to deliver efficient and robust tax compliance processes and appropriate solutions to tax issues raised, thereby reducing tax exposure for both the individual UDG companies and the Group as a whole.
I joined UDG in January 2014, having trained as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor in PwC in Dublin, working in their tax department for 4 years. On leaving PwC, I spent some time travelling and worked in Sydney, Australia on a number of tax and accounting projects for multinational companies. When I returned to Ireland, I worked in the tax function for Kerry Group, a global food ingredients company, before joining UDG.
I was a very young girl in 1990 when Mary Robinson was elected the first female President of Ireland.
In her victory speech, she famously spoke of the women of the country who “instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system” in voting for her and a new Ireland. A transformative figure for the presidency, she revitalised a previously conservative and low-profile political office.
She had always been a mould-breaker though. In her former life, as a lawyer and a Senator, she was at the forefront of some of the most controversial debates in Irish society, promoting progressive legislation and advancing the causes of women and the marginalised against the prejudices of the day.
“Without fear or favour, she stands up for what is right. As a woman in today’s world, I can’t think of a more inspiring legacy.”
In 1997, she took on the role of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and currently is one of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.
Though born into a successful middle-class family, Mary Robinson felt obligated to use her privilege - her education and intellectual steel - to defend those without a voice. Without fear or favour, she stands up for what is right. As a woman in today’s world, I can’t think of a more inspiring legacy.
Nagore Fernandez Dominguez
Name: Nagore Fernandez Dominguez
Role: Head of Clinical Services – Europe
Location: United Kingdom
In my role as Head of Clinical Services- Europe, I am responsible for developing the European Patient Services strategy for Ashfield and overseeing its implementation at country level, as well as market expansion. Our aim is to support clients in delivering multi-country and multi-channel patient end to end support programmes, while collecting and responding to real world data.
I joined the EUCAN team of Ashfield Clinical and Commercial in December 2016. I started my career as a Community Pharmacy Manager delivering pharmacy services to patients while studying for my Master’s in Clinical Research. I progressed into Quality and Compliance and then, thanks to speaking various EU languages, into International Programme Management of multi-country clinical services projects. Within international, I moved into senior management roles where I led the development of strategy and the execution of clinical operations and patient support services across Europe.
“I admire her for two reasons: she found her passion and vision and followed it through and she didn’t give up. She wrote: ‘I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.’”
A very inspiring woman for me is Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing, in the face of opposition from her family and the restrictive social code for affluent young English women. She was a strong woman with a passion and a desire to break the rules and codes. She was seen as an ‘unreasonable’ woman for her time, and she succeeded in changing and shaping what today is one of the most respected careers of all. I admire her for two reasons: she found her passion and vision and followed it through and she didn’t give up. She wrote: ‘I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.’
Name: Deirdre McNally
Role: Procurement Analyst
In my role as Procurement Analyst, I work with various teams across the division to analyse Sharp’s overall supplier spend, look for opportunities to maintain and enhance relationships with our suppliers. I strive to ensure that Sharp receives the highest quality and value for the services and products we require.
I joined UDG in January 2015, as part of the Procurement Graduate Development Program. Within this program I spent one year with the Sharp Packaging Services business in Allentown, PA. I then spent a month with Ashfield’s Divisional Procurement team in Ashby, followed by seven months in Las Rozas de Madrid with Ashfield Iberia. After a fantastic experience in the Graduate Program, I was happy to re-join the Sharp team as a Procurement Analyst, this time based in Dublin.
My mother, Gráinne Keane, has been the most influential woman in my life.
She was self-employed in the construction industry in her 20s, where she had no prior experience and women were rarely seen in management roles. She taught herself all about the industry, and is often the first person in the office and the last person to leave. She will work until the early hours of the morning to meet a deadline and always delivers.
“She was self-employed in the construction industry in her 20s, where she had no prior experience and women were rarely seen in management roles.”
It’s most inspiring to see both sides of my mother. I have seen her bringing my autistic brother to therapy in the morning, then managing a supplier and dealing with crises that afternoon. She will always go out of her way to help people, but will hold her ground when the pressure rises. She draws a line between her professional and personal lives, and she balances the two constantly.
Watching her laid the foundation that I rely on in my role every day. I strive to emulate her strong work ethic. Originally from Ireland, her name is Gráinne, but in America she goes by the name of Grace. She conducts herself in the same way: with Grace.
Name: Nicola Burns
Role: Group Managing Director Ashfield Meetings & Events and Ashfield Insight & Performance
Location: United Kingdom
I became a member of the UDG Healthcare in 2005 when the Company that I was working for was acquired. At the time I was a Project Director, overseeing CSO teams working on behalf of our clients. Since then I have worked in many different roles within the Ashfield Division including HR and Integration, and for the last three years I have overseen our Meetings & Events and our specialist training business, Insight & Performance.
I support my teams to be creatively confident, to deliver ideas and solutions to our clients that move their businesses forward. They do all the hard work, travelling the globe and working very long hours to ensure that our clients are happy with the services Ashfield provides.
“I have always admired women who were able to excel in the field of science despite the opposition to their involvement.”
Being a science geek growing up, I was disappointed to be told by my chemistry teacher that girls struggled to cope with 3 sciences at A level.
I have always admired women who were able to excel in the field of science despite the opposition to their involvement. Rosalind Franklin is one such individual. She was equally responsible for the discovery of the structure of DNA but never received the same recognition or glory that Crick and Watson did. Posthumously, she has been widely recognised for her contributions to science, with several scholarships and awards set up in her name to honour women’s achievements in the field.
Name: Ripple Patel
Role: Software Engineer
I joined KnowledgePoint360 in March 2007 as a member of Business Systems Team. After the UDG acquisition in 2014, I have become part of the Ashfield Healthcare Communication Business Systems Team. As of 2015, I am a part of the Ashfield Healthcare Communication Infrastructure Team, responsible for managing and supporting all AHC business applications.
As a Software Engineer, my main responsibilities are to ensure that appropriate programming solutions are developed in order to meet business requirements, deliver programming development and serve as a maintenance resource within I.T. Services that support the global Business System strategy for the group.
“Women today would not have the privileges that we have now without her courage.”
One woman who has inspired me is women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony. Susan not only fought for a woman’s right to vote, but also in support of women’s labour organizations and for women’s right to own property. Women today would not have the privileges that we have now without her courage.
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.