THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Rose Anne Kenny Women in Leadership Masterclass

16 July 2020

In July 2020 Professor Rose Anne Kenny joined us online for an interactive Women in Leadership masterclass sponsored by Accenture.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology and is Head of the academic department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin, having previously been Professor of Cardiovascular Research and head of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.  Rose Anne established and is director of a large clinical research institute for ageing at St James Hospital, MISA, and is founding Principal Investigator of a population study on the experience of ageing in Ireland - TILDA – The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing, now in its 12th year of data collection.

On facing challenges in her career, Rose Anne explained that she chooses projects and paths that she thinks she will enjoy, and that gets her through the more difficult aspects. As for specific and unavoidable tasks she does not enjoy, such as admin, she focuses on how doing that task will benefit others, and this keeps her going. 

On managing a project or team, Rose Anne spoke of the importance of having a macro-level understanding of what is going on, and delegating tasks and responsibilities to people you can trust. Rose Anne encouraged the participants to look at where society is going and where the needs are when choosing their paths, for example the increasing impact of technology in healthcare, and how COVID-19 has unmasked many of the inefficiencies of the health system. 

She has experienced very little discrimination directly in her career, but she is acutely aware of ageism in society at both ends of the spectrum - she reminded the participants to listen out for and confront policies and language that belittles people on the basis of their age, and to work hard at believing in themselves as they get older. 

To help ensure their voices are heard, Rose Anne advised the group to recognise their strengths and work with others who can complement and support them. She also advises that ahead of a meeting to know the points you want to make or the end point you wish to achieve, and to  have a pathway worked out in your mind to get there.

Finishing up the meeting, Rose Anne expressed her gratitude to and admiration for the participants, and said she believes Ireland’s future is secure in the hands of Mná na hÉireann.

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