“Collaboration and open conversations where we are all equal are the main pillars of inclusion”

Network Ireland’s Emma Earley Murphy discusses her role as national chair of the business network and diversity in the workplace.

Emma Earley Murphy is National Chair of Network Ireland 2023, a business network for women that helps foster leadership and collaboration opportunities between members who offer each other support both professionally and personally. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate and SME sales, customer service, marketing, change management, leadership and business development, working across a range of industries.

Early Murphy is also the owner and creative director of event design agency Balloon HQ, which she founded with her husband Noel in 2017. Balloon HQ provides branded decor, gifts and event solutions for clients nationwide. He also founded The Power of U, a business training and mentoring service in 2022.

Speaking about her business coaching and mentoring business, Emma said: “In my coaching position, I support those who want to change and empower them to look within to unblock and move forward.

“In my role as a mentor, I support business owners and businesses with issues that directly impact their business growth progress. We identify their issues and put measurable action plans in place that will deliver results.”

“Putting education and diversity and inclusion on the agenda from the top down allows for great success for future generations.”

What are the biggest challenges facing your industry and how are you overcoming them?

With Network Ireland, we continually strive to ensure that key opportunities are presented to women, whether they are employed or self-employed. The tide is turning when it comes to equality in the workplace, but there is still a way to go and at Network Ireland we are constantly looking for ways to challenge the status quo and embrace fairness for our members, which was an important message. International Women’s Day this year.

One of our biggest challenges with Balloon HQ is understaffing, which I think is a problem in many industries. Another challenge we have to overcome is the supply of quality products. We pride ourselves on producing a high quality service for our customers, so we must ensure that the products we use match that quality. We try to support local where we can.

I created The Power of U last October and am currently trying to raise awareness of the importance a coach/mentor can provide to you and your bottom line. Sometimes people can get overwhelmed by the challenges they face in business and this is where a coach/mentor can help break things down and see things more clearly.

What are the key industry opportunities you are capitalizing on?

As Ireland’s largest women’s business organisation, Network Ireland capitalizes on national reach and collaborative opportunities for our members.

At Balloon HQ, we’re capitalizing on the resurgence of in-person events while continuing to focus on delivering superior customer experiences with our clients, which is key to our continued growth and success.

Covid has changed the world and changed how we do business, so with The Power of U there are huge opportunities in this space across all sectors.

What put you on the path you are on now?

Failure, experience, ambition, and also a great mentor. Feeling the fear, embracing it and wanting to create a legacy.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Leaving a secure, corporate, retirement job many years ago to follow my dreams. It was scary at the time, but I was also really excited about the prospects and knew that if I didn’t follow my heart, I would always regret it. And I haven’t looked back since.

How do you get the best out of your team?

First and foremost, trust is essential to any successful team.

Empower them to manage their core workflows and listen and support them with action, not just words. At a very basic level, understanding their needs, why they do what they do and supporting them to achieve their goals.

Have you noticed a diversity problem in your industry?

As a member of Network Ireland, I have observed that diversity is really important to our continued growth. We are supported and partnered with many inclusive organizations that bring important skills and cultures to the table.

If I look back at my corporate days, there were absolutely problems, but we are going in the right direction. Putting education and diversity and inclusion on the agenda from the top down allows for great success for future generations.

Collaboration and open conversations where we are all equal is a key pillar of inclusion.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Go for it! It’s your life, don’t live someone else’s life. Create your own legacy and be fearless.

What books have you read that you would recommend?

My absolute favorite author is Blaise Brosnan, and I would recommend everyone to read You Are the Limiting Factor and I Dare You. These books really changed my perspective on a lot of things.

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