banner image
Back to News

International Women's Day Spotlight: Gillian Harrington

Articles Interviews 08 March 2024

For International Women’s Day, we spoke with our Irish Employee Council Member, Gillian Harrington. As a woman who has moved through the ranks of Seetec Ireland in both her career and in our Employee Ownership governance structure, Gillian is uniquely placed to speak about women in leadership at Seetec.

Gillian has been at Seetec Ireland for five years; she began as an Employment Advisor and worked her way up to her current position as a Quality and Compliance Specialist.

“Every year I’ve been with Seetec, I’ve grown and developed my skillset which has allowed me to transition into new roles. This has been challenging in a lot of ways, but without the support of my managers who saw capabilities in me that I didn’t see myself, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

As a fully remote worker, in a lone role, Gillian originally joined the Employee Champion Network as a way to connect with like-minded colleagues in the wider business.

“I applied to become an Employee Champion two years ago and it was a great opportunity for me to understand every aspect of our business. We represent people’s experiences in Seetec Ireland and also find out what’s happening in all different areas of the business. We’re able to grow and learn from each other.”

In Seetec Ireland we have two Employee Council members who represent our Irish division on the Employee Council board to the Seetec group. They work with our network of Employee Champions who represent all their colleagues from every location in Ireland. Gillian was nominated by her colleagues as an Employee Council Member in June 2023 due to her commitment to her champion title.

“Stepping into this leadership role was a great learning curve for me. It’s been exciting getting to meet and present to the executive board and working with my champion network in Ireland. The energy they bring, all of them motivating each other, that’s what motivates me.

“The most valuable part of being an Employee Council member for me is being an advocate for employee voice. Our business is spread out all over the country. That we have proper representation from Seetec Ireland as a whole and champion representatives from every centre in Ireland is the biggest thing I’ve been advocating since I stepped into the role. And as of last month, we have ten Employee Champions across every county we deliver service in.”

Over the past year, in Ireland, the Employee Council and Champion Network has primarily been comprised of females who came together with the same goal, to advocate and empower their teams and give them a voice.

“The Employee Council has given us the platform to be involved in the decisions that impact our day-to-day. It’s a testament to the Champions behind the scenes who bring new ideas to the forefront week after week.  We have a lot of women in our organisation, perhaps because our service is primarily a community support service. When you have a great group of women around you, the support and nurturing you feel is incredibly strong and present. I think this nurturing, communal part of us is why many women feel drawn to the champions network and what it can achieve for our business.”

Gillian wanted to offer special mention to just some of the women who have nurtured and supported her throughout her Seetec journey.

“Nearly every step forward I’ve taken at Seetec has been suggested by women in the business. They saw potential in me even when I didn’t. My first manager pushed me for my first promotion. My second manager was incredibly protective of me when I started my new job and taught me to guard my boundaries to do my best in my new role. And our previous Irish Employee Council member, Joanna McWeeney, pushed me to put myself forward for the council. I’m forever grateful to all the women in my life who have supported me, I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”