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Our focus? Action and results

WomanUp is a female leadership consultancy. We offer results-focused and action-oriented solutions to enable businesses to grow their female leadership pipelines and so improve their business performance.

The business was launched in 2018 following two years of extensive research into the barriers women face on their career journeys and solutions we identified to effect real change.  We discovered for instance that a 30-year-old female executive – the fictional Denise shown in the graphic above – will be 91 before the gender gap within Europe will be closed, according to the World Economic Forum research published in October 2017.

That research also highlighted how:

  • Many programmes designed to support women and that have been subject to robust reviews were simply failing to meet their objectives

  • Ad hoc or single strand initiatives don’t achieve the type of systemic change needed to increase the number of women in leadership roles

  • Business leaders are struggling to turn their good intent about nurturing female talent into strategies that deliver real results

woman up - Who We Are

Our research also helped us spot the business opportunity and to craft the building blocks of our strategy, our business model and our services offering.

WomanUp’s vision

To enhance the participation of women in

leadership roles and so build better and more

successful businesses and communities


WomanUp’s mission

  • Help females navigate the most difficult stage of their leadership journey

  • Support business leaders to devise, champion and measure strategies to improve female representation at every stage of the leadership pipeline

  • Enable businesses to create environments where women can thrive and reach their full potential

WomanUp’s values

WomanUp has four core values that drive us and all that we do. They are:


The pace for change in accelerating the female leadership pipeline has been far too slow. Courage is needed to turn the dial at a faster pace. Courage is also needed to challenge the status quo and to speak out about the barriers females face, even when sometimes it is uncomfortable to do so. 

This courage drives us as a team but we also look to find it in those we are working to influence – leaders, men and women who shape the culture of businesses and the women we support on their leadership journeys.

2. Understanding

We augment courage with understanding. We understand that implementing our change model asks much of businesses, leaders and indeed females. We also know that sustainable change requires all parties coming together and agreeing a way forward that works best for all. We work to first to understand and then be understood.

3. Integrity

Tick box exercises, written policies and isolated initiatives will not accelerate the female leadership pipeline. We work hard with our clients to diagnose and unearth the real levers for change in their businesses.  These levers exist at all levels but importantly start with leaders. Everything we do is driven by a desire to make a real difference.


4. Legacy

We are mission driven. We have a deep desire to effect real change and ultimately succeed in helping more women achieve their leadership potential.  All WomanUp founders are mothers of daughters. If WomanUp helps our daughters, and their peers, reach their potential in their careers and allows for their talents to be nurtured by future employers, we’ll be very happy. That will be our legacy.

WomanUp’s back story

WomanUp has its seeds in a voluntary leadership initiative called WoW whose co-founders include WomanUp’s three principals – Clodagh Hughes, Carol Bolger and Aileen O’Toole. It ran a novel programme for high potential female leaders and also published #WomanUp, an action plan on female leadership.

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