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Successful Irish Women You Need to Know

When you hear “successful women” being said you think pantsuits and stilettos, two women immediately come to mind: Oprah Winfrey and Kris Jenner. 

Two very different women, from different backgrounds with different sets of morals. Despite this, they have both built successful careers for themselves, have published books, appear on television and various media platforms. 

These two ladies are very obvious choices when it comes to detailing successful women. But Ireland has its own string of successful female authors, businesswomen, public speakers, comedians and actresses who have all found their successes in wildly different ways.


Sinead Burke is a teacher, public speaker, academic, writer and activist. At 3 ft 5 inches Sinead has transcended the “if you can’t see it, you can’t do it” barrier and has become a voice for highlighting the lack of inclusivity in the fashion industry for those with disabilities. Sinead studied her way to the top and graduated from Trinity College Dublin and received the Vere Foster medal.

Burke graced the cover of Vogue in 2019 and was listed as one of the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s Forces For Change. Sinead’s activism on including those with disabilities in fashion sparked a conversation with her 2017 TED talk “Why design should include everyone”.

Burke is currently working on a PhD on human rights education in Trinity College Dublin and is particularly focused on giving children a voice throughout their education. Burke is a brilliant example of surpassing a disability and working courageously to become a successful woman while helping others around her.


Ruth Negga is an Ethiopian born Irish actress who is widely known in Ireland for her role as Rosie in Love/Hate. However, the wider world is more familiar with her for Oscar-nominated performance as Mildred in Loving, the story of an interracial couple in 1958 Virginia. Since then Negga has starred in multiple Hollywood blockbusters but they shadow in comparison to her playing the titular role of Hamlet in Dublin’s Gate Theatre. 

Negga’s production of Hamlet finished in Dublin with a series of rave reviews. Since then the production was packed up and brought to St Ann’s Warehouse in New York for an extended run until the 8th of March 2020, International Women’s Day. 

Negga has stated that being a person of colour and her acceptance of who she inspires her acting and presumably her success. Negga’s confidence in who she is allows her to transform into different characters, including traditionally male roles “I’m going to embrace my difference, and I think maybe that fuelled my acting.” 


Suzanne Jackson is a fashion blogger turned makeup guru businesswoman from Dublin who is well-known for her blog SoSueMe and her extensive range of beauty products. The Victoria Secret Ambassador started her SoSueMe blog back in 2010 and her global success in space of 10 years is very impressive.

Jackson’s wildly popular beauty range SOSU by Suzanne Jackson is stocked in various European countries including France, Germany and Poland. Her products are stocked in Primark (Penney’s) and online at Boohoo.ie, Pretty Little Thing, Beauty Bay and many more. Products from the SOSU range have sold out within minutes of release.

The Most Stylish Woman VIP Style Awards recipient is one of Ireland’s top fashion influencers with a large social media presence. Jackson also uses her status to collaborate with some of Ireland’s leading makeup artists and help promote their careers also.


Success is a unique journey but climb the success ladder, ethically with diligence, and these ladies will be waiting for you at the top.

DCU Journalism 2020
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