Press Release

Southern Region

CIPD launches the 2014 / 2015 programme of events

3 September 2014

Southern Region Launch Event - September 2014 

Michael McDonnell, MD, CIPD Ireland, Gearoid Gilley, General Manager, Retail Business - VHI (CIPD Sponsor); Conor O’Connell, Chairman, Liam Lynch, Vice Chairman and the members of the CIPD Southern Region Committee with Keynote Speaker, Sarah Abbott, Senior Director HR at EMC; at the launch of their 2014/2015 programme of events at The Kiln, Heineken Brewery, Cork on the 3rd September 2014

Sarah Abbott, Senior Director HR at EMC Ireland addresses HR Professionals in Cork

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) Southern Region attracted over 80 HR & Business professionals to the launch of their programme of events for the coming year, kindly sponsored by Heineken Brewery and held at The Kiln, Leitrim Street, Cork. 

The Keynote speaker this year was Sarah Abbott, Senior Director HR at EMC, Ireland who gave an insightful and informative presentation on Diversity and Leadership in HR.

Conor O’Connell, Chairman, CIPD -Southern Region, introduced Sarah and welcomed the large group in attendance. Conor thanked the hardworking committee for their work in putting together such a varied and interesting calendar of events for the next year. 

Sarah gave an overview of EMC as a global business and her role within the organisation. She talked about managing the needs of a diverse workforce; age, tenure and nationality. She said that there was a war on Talent which is now over and Talent had won - they have a choice; this required organisations to attract the talent and retain them by developing their needs in the life cycle of their employment. It is vital to adapt our thinking accordingly and own the labour market, no one will give it to us - we must be proactive. She spoke about emerging markets such as those in China and India, stating that hierarchies of the past are blurred, older structures find it harder to shift in order to keep pace; she noted that this is a much easier task for emerging markets and so they tend to attract the talent. She quoted US Labour Market statistics which shows 6 out of 10 jobs advertised in 2010 did not exist previously - as HR Professionals we have to recruit in six years time for jobs that don’t exist today - how do we prepare for that? She suggested that collaboration with colleges and organisations such as CIPD who had been very proactive in developing such relationships is the way to go. She acknowledged the help she received from CIPD and its members over the years, describing it as invaluable. 

Sarah also spoke about a new model of HR at EMC where they have developed staff to work as HR Business Partners, this involved moving much of the general tasks to shared services, so the HR Business Partners could concentrate on the strategies required to grown the business - this has proved to be very successful so far to the organisation as a whole. She explained how having a passion for the field you are in makes life more exiting and espoused the need for self awareness, deciding where you want to go and if that path will suit you, pointing out that sometimes the biggest obstacles are in our own heads. She said that hard work is important 'get down and get it done', is her mantra. Sarah concluded with some good advice she had been given many years ago that has stood to her throughout her career - 'never compromise yourself, be true to your own values and let them guide you'. 

Michael McDonnell, Managing Director, CIPD Ireland was also in attendance at the event and addressed the gathering. 

The CIPD Southern Region has a busy schedule of events for 2014/2015 period with the next event being a breakfast meeting, kindly sponsored by Fastnet Recruitment and entitled: Vision for CIPD & the HR Profession - Keynote Speaker: Peter Cheese, CEO, CIPD, it takes place on October 2nd at the Clarion Hotel @ 7:30am. Members will be notified by email prior to the event.

For further press information please contact:

Mari Manning PRO                                                        Conor O’Connell Chairman
CIPD - Southern Region                                               CIPD - Southern Region
E:                        E:
M: 0873630367                                                               M: 086 8303843

Speaker Bio

Sarah Abbott is a Senior Director, HR, EMC Ireland. 

Sarah contributes over 20 years experience in HR, the last 10 years in recruitment and Human Resource Management roles. She started her HR career with the Ernst & Young, London. Following her return to Ireland, Sarah held various HR roles in Morgan McKinley and Musgraves. Prior to EMC, Sarah spent 12 years in HR leadership positions in Apple, most recently leading a HR team supporting Apple’s emerging business across Europe. Sarah is a certified practitioner in MBTI, Situational Leadership and Lominger. Sarah & her team were recent recipients of CIPD award on HR Leadership and Innovation. 

EMC established a presence in Ireland in 1988 with its first manufacturing facility outside of North America in Ovens, Cork, followed by sales offices in Dublin (1990) and Belfast (2005). The Cork facility comprises of 28 business functions and in 2010 became an EMC Centre of Excellence (COE) incorporating research and training. EMC now employs over 2,500 people in Ireland between all EMC sites, including VMware, RSA and Mozy. EMC is ranked #6 by the Great Places to Work Institute of Ireland and Bob Savage, MD and VP, was voted Irelands most trusted leader 2012. EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyse their most valuable asset - information - in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way.

Sponsor Bio

HEINEKEN Ireland Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heineken N.V., the most international brewer in the world, committed to surprising and exciting consumers everywhere. Based in Cork since 1856, the brewery combines a long and proud brewing tradition with the most up to date technology and innovative marketing, with a diverse and committed team of 550 employees. 

HEINEKEN Ireland, whose operations include that of Northern Ireland, is the leading lager brewer in the market where in excess of one in every two pints of lager consumed in the pub, is now from its portfolio of beers. Our principal brand is Heineken, which is Ireland’s number 1 selling lager. We also market and sell an Extensive portfolio of Irish and International Beer brands comprising of Heineken®, Coors Light, Tiger, Sol, Desperados, Amstel, Foster’s, Beamish Stout, Murphy’s Irish Stout and a full range of specialty beers including Affligem, Moretti, Zywiec, Warka and Paulaner. 

Sustainability is an integral part of our business objectives and our aim is to be the greenest brewer in the Irish marketplace. To this end, we are committed to publishing an annual sustainability report, which is available for viewing on the sustainability section of

HEINEKEN Ireland is a member of MEAS which promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol in the marketplace.