Wednesday 1 February 2023

Great Britain – Women in Business & Philanthropy Lunch 2023

Date : Wednesday 1 February 2023

Venue : The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DD

Time : 12:00

Dress code: business attire

Women in Business & Philanthropy is a global initiative organised by The Ireland Funds.

It aims to celebrate the women leaders who generously support The Ireland Funds through their philanthropy and friendship, while raising funds to help The Ireland Funds grow its support for women-led and women focused charities working in Ireland and Irish communities globally.

We are delighted to have the support of our sponsors – EY and Matheson.

Guest Speakers

The event will feature a fireside chat with the following panel of speakers:

Susan Whelan

Chief Executive, Leicester City Football Club and Senior Executive Vice President, King Power International

Susan Whelan’s association with Leicester and Leicestershire dates back to 2010 when the Thai duty-free company, King Power, bought Leicester City Football Club and appointed Susan as their representative on the Board of Directors. Her global experience and business acumen while Senior Executive Vice president for the King Power Group, ranked 7th globally on turnover in the Duty Free industry overseeing the groups commercial operations, made her the ideal candidate to lead implementation of the owners’ long-term vision for a competitive Premier League club that could develop its brand internationally. She became Chief Executive Officer in July 2011.

Under Susan’s leadership, LCFC won the 2013-14 Football League Championship, thereby securing automatic promotion to the Premier League, and within two years were famously crowned Premier League champions. She sits on the board of the Club’s two Charitable Trusts, the VS Foundation and Leicester City in the Community. In the field of women’s football, Ms Whelan led the integration of LCFC Women into a core Club asset in 2020. Leading the development of the Club’s strategy for the professionalisation and increased participation in the women’s game throughout the county, she serves a Director for LCFC Women, who won promotion to the FA Women’s Super League in 2020/2 – their first season after turning pro.

Orna NiChionna

Senior Independent Director, Burberry Plc.​

Orna is the Senior Independent Director at Burberry plc. She is a Senior Advisor to Eden McCallum and chaired its Advisory Board. She has held the roles of Chair of the Remuneration Committee and Senior Independent Director on the boards of Royal Mail, Saga, Bupa, HMV and Northern Foods. She was Chair of digital innovation consulting firm Founders Intelligence until its sale to Accenture.

She is a Trustee of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She has served as Deputy Chair and Interim Chair of the National Trust; as Chair of the Soil Association; and as Chair of the Business Advisory Council and member of the Governing Board of Said Business School at Oxford University. She served as a Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum and chaired its trading company.

She was the first woman to be elected a Partner at McKinsey’s London Office, and she co-led McKinsey’s European Retail Practice for many years. She holds engineering degrees from University College Dublin and University College Cork; and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jacqueline O’Donovan

Managing Director, O’Donovan Waste​

Jacqueline O’Donovan is recognised as an innovator and a leading force as one of the waste and construction sectors’ most influential trailblazers. Running a multi award-winning waste-management business, she passionately advocates for sustainability, diversity, health and safety and industry best-practice, championing improved standards and environmental excellence. A dedicated philanthropist, Jacqueline has previously been honoured by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins with a Presidential Distinguished Service Award for her continuous support of the Irish community in the UK.

The panel will be moderated by

Aimee Donellan

Reuters Breakingviews

Aimee joined Breakingviews in 2017 and writes about European airlines, insurance and property companies. Based in London, she previously spent three years at The Sunday Times as banking correspondent. Prior to that, she was a senior reporter covering the bond market at IFR, a financial trade publication published by Thomson Reuters. She holds a degree in English and History from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a diploma in journalism from the London School of Journalism.

Sponsorship and Tickets

  • Individual tickets: £250
  • Members of the Young Leaders Society: £150
  • Table of 10: £2500

Please contact Janine Tompkins at to book your ticket(s) or table.

Speak to us about the sponsorship opportunities available for this event.


Katie Jemmett


The Ireland Funds Great Britain

The Green House, 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9DA

T - +44 7597 665646

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