Retail and FMCG Leaders to Launch First Irish Chapter of Leading Executives Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Network

For the first time, industry leaders and competitors alike across the retail and FMCG sector have come together for an inspirational cause – to launch the Ireland chapter of the Leading Executives Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Network. Coming to Irish shores for the first time, LEAD’s goal is to attract, retain and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industry through education, leadership and male allyship.

Since originally being established in 2011, LEAD has grown astronomically to more than 18,000 members, 10 country chapters, with 200+ manufacturers and 100+ retailers all working to bring about gender equality at all levels of the industry. Membership to LEAD is free and members are invited to join a host of events, networking opportunities and best practise sharing designed to support peer to peer learning as well as ultimately achieve gender balance in the sector.

LEAD’s new Ireland chapter committee involves representatives from across the industry working together including Kellanova, Musgrave, Lidl, Unilever, P&G, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Kraft Heinz, Bank of Ireland, Haleon, Danone and Valeo Foods.

The LEAD Ireland chapter launch event will take place on November 14th from 2pm – 4pm hosted by LinkedIn and will include key speakers including Grainne Seoige, Allyson Zimmerman (CEO, LEAD), Deborah Somorin (People & Experience Lead, EY), Nelofar Pazira (Journalist & Filmmaker) and David McRedmond (CEO, An Post).

Speaking about the launch of the Ireland chapter, LEAD Ireland Co-Chair and Head of Kellanova Ireland, Sarah Ferguson commented: “This is such an exciting moment as we collectively come together across the Irish FMCG and Retail industries to drive the advancement of women. We want to create a network that effects change at an individual, company and industry level, resulting in a sector that represents the population that we serve, across all levels.”

LEAD Ireland Co-Chair and Multi-channel Manager, Musgrave, Jane McEvoy added: “It’s a real privilege to be involved in launching the LEAD Network Ireland Chapter; it’s a brilliant opportunity for companies and brands to come together and embrace the power of women in retail & FMCG and drive real tangible action. I’m excited by what’s possible and really looking forward to leveraging best-in-class international practices and leading the way with a programme of innovative events and initiatives to help individuals to rise and lobbying industry leaders to commit to change targets.

We will focus on Doing Not Trying and I encourage others in our industry to join us, because working together is key to delivering a change that will benefit us all.”

Allyson Zimmerman, CEO from LEAD said: “The LEAD Network organisation has had an incredible impact across Europe so far, and I’m excited about the prospect of building upon the wonderful work that is already in place in Ireland. I know that together we can continue to serve as the voice of the industry, and achieve our vision of a gender-equal future.”

For more information visit: Home – LEAD Network (

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