Mairead Divilly, daughter of the late Willie and Anne Divilly of Dunlo St has been shortlisted for the 2ND Irish Women’s Awards 2020, in the Services to Accounting & Finance category. Her parents set up business in the late fifties, with a rented grocery store, prior to purchasing the current building and in turn opened the first town’s supermarket which has been in business for over 60 years. After attending St Joseph’s NS and Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, she had originally wanted to pursue a career in Music and Mathematics so she applied to UCD to undertake a B Mus degree but changed to a B Comm degree. Following this, she joined PWC under a three-year training contract to pursue a qualification as a Chartered Accountant. Since then she has been a partner in Mazars International accounting firm, which has over 500 staff in Ireland and operates in over 90 countries globally. She is specifically responsible for the Outsourcing and Compliance Division and expanded the services last year to Galway and Limerick.
Some of her favorite memories growing up in the area were marching in both the St Patrick’s Day and the October Fair parades as part of Mrs Gilligan’s band, playing the accordion. She also enjoyed being taught the clarinet first by John Gilligan and then Noel Madden in the Town Band. Her mother was very involved with the Salesians and for their annual dinner dance one year, she needed a band. She formed a band called Ceathra Rua. It consisted of herself, her brother, Seamus Feerick and Pat Geraghty who quickly got together to meet the demand.
Mairead has been a director of Skillnet Ireland for many years as a nominee of the Small Firms Association. Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency dedicated to workforce development and has been in existence for 20 years and it was a very special moment for her when she received a Special Contribution Award at their annual conference dinner last September.
Ballinasloe is still very close to her heart and she tries to get back to visit regularly as the family business is in the town. She believes the town has changed over the years, losing significant employers such as AT Cross, Square D and St Brigid’s She believes that by attracting more investment into the town to improve employment opportunities will help sustain the local community. She also welcomes the new look of the town streets but there are many premises which need to be incentivised to re-open and /or upgrade to put vibrancy back into life in the town centre. Her advice to leaving cert students is that the workplace is ever changing due to technological advances, globalisation, new ways of working, changing consumer demands and an array of competitive forces which are combining to disrupt the workplace to an extent that is unprecedented. “They’re different technologies performing ever more complex tasks that were once thought to be the sole domain of humans. Some jobs are disappearing entirely, but new technologies are also unlocking immense pent-up potential within businesses, bringing with it new jobs, many of which never existed previously. The very nature of employment itself is being redefined, with the rise of the gig economy, portfolio careers, virtual and remote working, and extended working lives” explains Mairead.
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