From the very beginning The Planet Woman Academy has pioneered a new approach to learning. Plasticity is central to The Academy as alumni of this unique event will testify. Nearly two thousand women have attended The Academy and have been transformed and inspired by the experience. To trigger a real change in women, to motivate them and to inspire them to overcome their internal barriers by taking that first step towards fulfilling their true potential calls for a far deeper engagement than the lectures, speeches and presentations that a typical business conference provides. From the outset The Academy offered a different kind of experience experience. Real conversations with real women about how they achieved success in the corporate, political, public, professional or entrepreneurial world. Through this format their influence and engagement is more powerful and as result, real change occurs because women in the audience are spurred to action. The core of many of those conversations are the personal anecdotes and experiences that women tell about how they charted a successful course through their own career path. This is why we are dedicating the next Women’s Academy to storytelling.

We are delighted to announce the first three of the fantastic and motivational speakers for this year's Planet Woman Academy. Dr. Rhona Mahony, Sarita Johnston and Louise Phelan will be telling us their stories and sharing with us their insights in their respective fields with us on the 24th March, in the RDS Concert Hall.

Tickets are €135 and are available at


Dr. Rhona Mahony:

Dr Mahony is currently Master of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) in Dublin.  NMH is one of Europe’s largest maternity hospitals, employing over 800 staff and delivering almost 10,000 infants annually. It is a major Irish Tertiary Referral Centre providing advanced obstetric, neonatal and gynaecological care.  Dr Mahony is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and a Specialist in Maternal and Fetal medicine and is well published.  As a graduate of University College Dublin, she plays an active role in teaching medical students and is currently a Clinical Professor with The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Dr Mahony is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, UK, and of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. She has recently been appointed an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Since 2014 Dr. Mahony has been an Eisenhower Fellow as part of a Multi-Nation Programme.  In 2013 she founded the National Maternity Foundation, which supports the work of the Hospital.  She is a member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and serves on the board of the Little Museum in Dublin. 

Sarita Johnston:

As Manager of Female Entrepreneurship, Sarita manages Enterprise Ireland’s key initiatives to support Female Entrepreneurs. These initiatives are part of a drive to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set up and led by female entrepreneurs. Sarita has worked for Enterprise Ireland since 1995 in various roles, which include Regional Development, Commercial Evaluation and most recently as Senior Development Advisor with the High Potential Start up Team.  She holds a Bachelor of Business (Hons) Degree and a MBS from Liverpool John Moores University. With circa twenty years’ experience in working with indigenous companies across multiple sectors Sarita has significant experience in strategic mentoring, financial analysis, operational strategy and business plan implementation.  


Louise Phelan:

Louise Phelan is Vice President, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Ireland, Middle East and Africa. She was recently appointed to this role following her tenure as VP of Global Operations Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She has responsibility for growing revenue and customers for PayPal in more than 100 countries across the region. Louise joined PayPal from the senior management team of GE Money in 2006, when PayPal had 200 employees in Ireland. She oversaw significant growth and expansion with employee numbers currently at more than 2,600 in Dublin and Dundalk, and is on track to grow to 3,000 by 2018. She has held a number of senior leadership roles in her time at PayPal before becoming VP of Global Operations in EMEA in 2012.

In addition to her PayPal role, Louise is a non-executive Director at Ryanair, sits on the Board of Directors of Voxpro and is a member of the Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Group. She was the 2014 President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.