60 seconds with: Caroline Kirrane

Editor's Choice, Interviews | Thu 15 Jun | Author – Business & Finance caroline kirrane women for election
Caroline Kirrane

Caroline Kirrane is a financial expert leading an innovative crowdfunding campaign for Women for Election. Here, she takes the 60 Second challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

My first job was in a hedge fund in Paris – just two hedge fund managers and myself in an office off the Champs Elysees. So I had no colleagues just bosses! I was responsible for everything from changing the light bulbs to preparing reports on portfolio company earnings. Just by being observant and asking questions where I could, I learned a huge amount about the world of finance.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

A couple of years ago I finished my final CFA exam, moved house, got married and completed an MBA, all within the space of 12 months. I’m proud of the fact that I came out of that year with my relationships (and sanity) intact – even stronger than ever. It was hard work but a very fun and rewarding year both personally and professionally.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Brush it off.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

Sheryl Sandberg because I admire her ability to execute and I think she’s one of my generation’s best business people.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Just don’t stop.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I’m currently working with a talented team of volunteers on a crowdfunding campaign to raise €50,000 for Women for Election, a non-profit that trains women to enter public life. We all believe in the cause and are passionate about getting more women into politics so we’re a very motivated team. I focus more on facilitating ways to let them leverage their considerable skills to the benefit of the campaign.

Q. How do you relax?

I love to read.

Q. What’s your motto?

Life is an iterative process.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

My aspirations for the future of my business are to keep growing and learning. Once those two conditions are in place, I think business works like compound interest – over time, the results are like magic.

Caroline Kirrane is Adjunct Lecturer at the Trinity College Business School and a start-up advisor. Caroline began her career working in a hedge fund in Paris and returned to Dublin to work with US-based proprietary trading firm Susquehanna for six years. She has also worked as an Economist with the Central Bank of Ireland.

Women for Election launched a crowdfunding campaign at an event hosted at Twitter’s Dublin HQ on Thursday 15th June. The campaign, which is being led by financial expert Caroline Kirrane, aims to raise €50,000 for Women for Election. The funds will be used to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election. Supporters can donate here.

Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. It has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics. Since it was founded in 2012, Women for Election has trained more than 1,000 women to take the next step on their political journeys. Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent were trained on Women for Election programmes, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes.

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