PayPal boss tells youth conference women who choose to leave the workplace need support when they return

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Foróige-Notinuse August 12, 2013

Irish boss of internet giant PayPal Louise Phelan has said that women who choose to leave the workplace need support from industry when they return to work. The Ireland-based Vice President of Global Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa was speaking at the Foróige Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life International Youth Conference, which is taking place in NUI Maynooth this week. Some 300 teenagers from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA, Palestine, India, South Korea, Nigeria and Kenya attending the youth conference heard today that industry has a role to play in making the transition for women returning to work after an absence easier.

“I would love to have more women at the level I’m at today but sometimes women choose to step out from that situation, whether it’s through supporting elderly family members or whether it’s having their children.

“The most important thing we in industry have to do is welcome them back when they return to their respective organisations. That’s one of the biggest challenges that women face. Women can be gone for eight or nine months on maternity leave and trying to come back and engage back into an organisation is not easy.

“We all have a role to play, myself included as a leader who has a number of women who go on maternity leave. I make sure I meet them, I make sure I engage with them and that they receive a newsletter once a month so that they can keep up to date with any developments in the organisation, so they stay connected.

“There are so many great women leaders in the workplace in Ireland and around the globe, we just need to make sure we support them and be their advocates to ensure they can be as successful as they can be.”

As part of the week-long conference, the delegation of global citizens meet inspirational guest speakers from Ireland and abroad. Upcoming speakers include Olympic boxing silver medallist Kenneth Egan who will speak about his Olympic dreams and bouncing back from his hardest moments. The ASLFL international leadership programme is operated by Foróige in partnership with the Irish Chamber of Commerce, United States of America (ICCUSA). The 300 international delegates, aged 15 to 18, will graduate from the Foróige Albert Schweitzer Leadership Programme on Friday morning (2nd August) having completed a 12 month, three-module programme designed to inspire them to become great leaders.