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UCD EDI Menopause Conference

Time for Change in the Third Level Sector

UCD EDI Menopause Conference: Time for Change in the Third Level Sector 2023

In recent years, the conversation around perimenopause and menopause has opened up in Ireland and this conference is to encourage these conversations and remove any stigma that might still be attached to this topic. This conference will help everyone to talk openly and honestly about the challenges menopause presents, address misconceptions and provide information on the workplace implications. It will also give institutions the opportunity to think about support structures for their menopausal employees so that they feel valued and allow them to continue to be engaged and successful team members.

The average age of menopause is 51, and perimenopause is 45. This age cohort are the fastest growing workforce demographic. 


Conference Details

DateMonday, 13th March 2023

Time10:00 - 15:45

FeeNo fee.

LocationBelfield Campus, UCD

OrganisersUCD Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Intended Audience Invitation to Third Level Sector representatives of all Genders: people managers, employees and HR and EDI practitioners

Book now

Our exciting programme will bring together specialists and allied professionals from across Ireland and UK.

  • Ms Karen Arthur, Artist & Menopause Whilst Black podcast Host
  • Ms Mary Connaughton, Director of CIPD Ireland
  • Ms Loretta Dignam, Founder & CEO of Menopause Hub
  • Ms Vivienne Horkan, Assistant Principal, National Wellbeing Office, Garda Occupational Health & Wellbeing
  • Ms Marcellina Fogarty, UCD, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
  • Ms Lorraine Keane, Broadcaster& Journalist
  • Ms Paula Maher, Research Assistant, Institute of Art, Design and Technology
  • Professor Karen McCloskey, Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative & Professor of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast
  • Dr Catherine Riordan, Women’s Health, Urology & Reproductive Medicine
  • Mr Shane Walsh, Nutritionist and Founder & Head Coach of Shane Walsh Fitness
  • Ms Maureen Montague, University of Greenwich
  • Ms Anna Radley, University of Greenwich
  • Dr Ratnesvary Alahakone, University of Greenwich

A range of panel sessions will cover the key topics of:

  • Importance of addressing Menopause in the workplace.
  • Understanding what the menopause is and how it impacts people differently.
  • Best Practice Case Studies: Learning from innovative Menopause Policies/Supports from Across the Third Level Sector and UK Universities.
  • Lived Experience Conversation

This conference is for you if:

  • You are at any point along your menopause journey or maybe just entering perimenopause or will be at some stage of your life and are confused and overwhelmed by all the information available and are ready to be empowered with the understanding you need to succeed through menopause.
  • You know a colleague, family member or other who may be on their menopause journey.
  • You are a people manager wondering how best you can proactively support your employees who may be experiencing the menopause.
  • You are a HR/EDI practitioner considering developing a policy, supports and training for those experiencing the menopause and for people managers supporting their employees.

The conference is sponsored by a member of the University Management Team, Professor Aoife Ahern, College Principal of of Engineering and Architecture. 

This event is supported by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Unit

Conference Outline

Registration and Tea/Coffee 10:00 – 10:30

Conference Opening Address/Welcome 10.30am – 10.40am

Panel 1: What is the Menopause? 10.40am – 11.10am

Delivered by Dr Catherine Riordan

Panel 2 Lived Experience Conversation and Supports 11.10am – 11.55am

Delivered by Ms Lorraine Keane and Mr Shane Walsh

Panel 3 Implementing a Policy and Support Framework in the Workplace 11.55am – 12.30pm

Delivered by Ms Loretta Dignam

Lunch (45 minutes) 12.30pm – 1.15pm

Launch of EDI Annual Report 1.15pm - 1.25pm

Panel 4: Best Practice Case Studies: Learning from innovative Menopause Policies/Supports from Across the Third Level Sector 1.25pm – 2.25pm

Delivered by Professor Karen McCloskey, Ms Mary Connaughton, Ms Vivienne Horkan, Ms Marcellina Fogarty       

Panel 5: Diversity in Menopause 2.25pm – 3pm

Delivered by Ms Karen Arthur

Panel 6: Research Undertaken to date around the Menopause and next steps 3pm – 3:45 pm

Delivered by Ms Paula Maher, Ms Maureen Montague, Ms Anna Radley, Dr Ratnesvary Alahakone

Conference Close 3:45pm Tea/Coffee


Prof Aoife Ahern

College Principal, Dean Of Engineering College of Engineering and Architecture Administration Office

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Lorraine Keane

Broadcaster& Journalist

Lorraine Keane is an IFTA-nominated broadcaster and journalist. Best known for her work over the last decade as entertainment correspondent for TV3. Lorraine is an ambassador and volunteer with Irish and International charities. Lorraine has been speaking up about her experience of perimenopause for six years now. She is passionate about the subject of women’s health, perimenopause and menopause. She is a host of the podcast Let's Talk Hormone Health.


Shane Walsh

Fitness coach & Nutritionist

Shane Walsh is the founder of Shane Walsh Fitness and a Fully Qualified Nutritionist who specialises in working with Females providing support it areas such as PCOS, perimenopause & menopause.
Shane is the host of one of Ireland's top Nutrition podcasts "Shane Walsh Podcast" which has close to 1 million downloads. Shane has also been featured in Image Magazine, Irish Runner Magazine and has provided talks for some of the largest companies in the country.


Karen Arthur

Menopause activist and fashion creative

Karen is a woman with a powerful message to send. A former teacher, she’s a Menopause activist and fashion creative, model, content creator and speaker who has been honing her craft for over 40 years.

She lifts the veil on the inevitable and fundamental changes that every woman will go through. She sheds light on coping with the realities of the transition for young women and reminds mature women to own their value and to buck convention, stereotypes and the world’s attempts at erasure.


Dr Catherine Riordan

Women’s Health, Urology & Reproductive Medicine, MB FRCS

Dr Catherine is a menopause specialist, accredited by the North American Menopause Society & a member of the Britsih Menopause Society. Dr Riordan graduated from UCD in 1988 and is one of the senior clinicians at The Menopause Hub in Dublin. Her initial training was in urology & she is a member of the urology team at St Michael's Hospital. She has worked in women's health and reproductive medicine for over 20 years, including as a fertility specialist at two of Ireland's largest IVF clinics.


Loretta Dignam

Founder & CEO of Menopause Hub

Founder, Social Entrepreneur & CEO of The Menopause Hub. She founded The Menopause Hub to give Irish women the opportunity to manage their menopause their way… a resource to understand the changes you are going through…and an option to keep living the life you love, at home and at work. Loretta has had a lengthy and highly successful career working in Marketing and Communications with many multinational, global businesses.


Mary Connaughton

Director of CIPD Ireland

Mary is passionate about developing people and workplaces to be at their best.
Mary leads the growth, development and contribution of the people profession in Ireland. She pushes forward the CIPD agenda of people, wellbeing, inclusion and flexible working through research, policy and member engagement. She has a wealth of HR experience, supporting individuals and companies on the strategic people agenda, HR practice and organisation development.

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Ms Vivienne Horkan

Assistant Principal, National Wellbeing Office, Garda Occupational Health & Wellbeing, An Garda Síochána

Experienced Human Resource professional with a demonstrated history of working in the public and civil service. Skilled in Strategic HR Management with a focus on employee health and wellbeing.
Currently working for the Garda National Wellbeing Office (GNWO) to ensure continued support to all personnel through the rollout of health and wellbeing initiatives aligned to the principals of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Qualified Yoga Teacher.


Professor Karen McCloskey

Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative Professor, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Queen’s University Belfast

Karen is Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative (QGI), a female-focused entity that leads gender equality in Queen’s, she works with a dedicated team to advance women’s visibility, support leadership development, provide bespoke mentoring and foster an enabling culture. As a Professor of Physiology, Karen has educational and research academic roles and has served on a range of boards and committees

Profile photo of Marcellina Fogarty

Marcellina Fogarty

Strategic EDI Manager, UCD

Marcellina is the Strategic EDI Manager in UCD with over 20 years’ experience working in HR and 7 years of that period working in equality, diversity and inclusion in UCD. Marcellina is responsible for leading on a range of initiatives across the equality grounds including the implementation of the University EDI Strategy and institutional Gender Equality Action Plan and managing the work of the University EDI Group, Athena SWAN, Dignity and Respect, EDI Training and Awareness raising & EDI Data


Paula Maher

Researcher, Institute of Art, Design and Technology

In 2022 Paula took up the position of Researcher in the Faculty of Enterprise and Humanities, IADT where she is currently working on the project Working Women and the Menopause: The Impact of Menopause on Careers in the Higher Education Sector in Ireland. Paula Maher has a background as a librarian and archivist and is passionate about equality and in 2021 Paula began her journey into the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion sector by starting her Masters.

Getting to UCD

We have developed a user friendly UCD Commuting Guide to assist you on planning your journey to UCD more easily. Download it to have the most relevant information about commuting to UCD with you.


Radisson Blu St Helen’s, Stillorgan Rd, Booterstown, Dublin, A94 V6W3

Approx €175 - €185 per night (Approx 1 km from UCD)

Maldron Hotel, Bellevue Ave, Merrion Rd, Dublin, D04 K5C2

Approx €159 - €185 per night (Approx 2km from UCD)

Hampton Hotel, 19-29 Morehampton Rd, Ranelagh, Donnybrook, Co. Dublin, D04 Y6K4

Approx €139 per night (Approx 2km from UCD)

Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan Rd, Stillorgan, Dublin

Approx €106 per night (Approx 1km from UCD)

Read the full list now

Note: UCD does not vouch for or assume any responsibility for the content, accuracy or completeness of material presented directly or indirectly in linked sites.

Transport options

Heuston Train Station: the Dublin Bus route 145 from Heuston station serves UCD.

Connolly Train Station: take the DART service southbound to Sydney Parade station. 

Dublin BusOver 20 bus routes serve the Belfield campus, linking UCD to the city centre and suburban areas. The Belfield campus is served by the 39a bus, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 155 and 175 routes also provide great connectivity from north and south west Dublin. The 11 and 142 buses stop on the Clonskeagh side of campus and serve areas including Ranelagh and Rathmines. Express buses serve UCD offering fast direct routes from suburban areas and the greater Dublin region. RTPI screens are located at the bus stops and on campus outside the James Joyce Library & Student Centre, inside the Science and Newman Buildings and on the Blackrock Campus.

By Car: Visitors to the UCD Student Centre are advised to enter the campus from the Clonskeagh road side. If you enter from the Clonskeagh gate, off Wynsward drive (adjacent to AIB Clonskeagh) the Student Centre is the second building on the left after the roundabout. There is a vistor car park near the roundabout and there is a further car park behind the chapel which can be seen after the Student Centre building.

Car parking in UCD is a mix of permit and vistor parking untill 5pm. After 5pm almost all car parks are available for free. You should read the signs in each car park to ensure you are not parked in an incorrect zone.

We advise all visitors to consult the UCD Commuting Website if you are visiting for the first time.

See Car Parks Map here. 

(Disabled parking spots are available in all car parks)

See the UCD Commuting Guide for further information.

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie