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Future Female Leaders NI

February 01, 2018


Future Female Leaders NI is an inclusive circle for young women (18 -

25) who are studying or at beginning their career path.



Our goals are...


  1.  To encourage a culture of sharing knowledge and overcoming challenges.

  2.  To provide a supportive network.

  3.  To nurture, empower and build confidence.


We welcome diversity, debate and the respectful challenging of ideas.

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How it all come about?

Both founders are members of the Lean in Belfast Chapter.

Founding Member

Jean Barrett Quinn -

Fashion Retail Store Manager with an employee demographic of 16-25 years old.

Team engagement, team motivation, purpose and focus are important values to me. How to motivate and encourage young people to achieve their best is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

My Retail Team ranges from Secondary school, Gap Year Students, First Year students, Students and Post Grads. What became obvious and alarming to me, especially with my female team members, was the increasing pressures personally and professionally that were highly self inflicted, though a significant proportion from external factors.

• The rise of social media influence.

• The urgency to have it all figured out.

• The concerning growth of mental health issues.

• The lack of empathy, understanding and guidance from ‘non -millenials’


I could identify common concerns and fears from my time as a student (early 2000’s) layered with the extra external/internal pressures of modern life. Co - founding this Circle was an organic reaction to the concerns identified and the support I had recieved from the established Lean In Chapter.

Jean Barrett Quinn

Founding Member

Niamh Crawford-Walker 

22 year old creative and fashion writer. As a member of Lean In Belfast and Ireland I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few Lean In events and have had the pleasure to get to know some of the members.

Among the women that I have met personally or heard about through others, one thing that never fails to impress me is the unconditional support. That’s both in terms of the support offered to me but also when taking a step back and watching how they interact with one another.


All of these women are ambitious, driven and seem to take each other under their wing without second thought. While I appreciate all of their support and wisdom, I couldn’t help but think how great it would be if more women my age were involved and could have this kind of network to fall back on through the delightfully confusing stage of university and embarking on our twenties.


All of the thought patterns described by Jean above are thoughts that echo what goes on in my head on a daily basis. I have friends who would also agree.

For me, this circle is a chance for us all to come together and offer the support to muddle through these pressures and confusing circumstances but also to encourage and boost one another in taking action to change these thoughts and celebrating the moments when we succeed.

Niamh Crawford-Walker

We received such overwhelming support and positivity from the Lean in Belfast members and meeting a variety of strong, successful women was inspiring but also thought provoking.

'How did these women get to this stage?’

‘Who supported them?’

‘Did they pave their own way?’

We acknowledged that this circle/chapter could be intimidating to younger women starting out but were inspired by the thought ‘Imagine if we had this level of peer support, encouragement and knowledge when we were starting out?’

Then through a serendiptitous meeting of minds, Jean Barrett Quinn and Niamh Crawford-Walker - founders of this circle - were introduced by Lean In Belfast Leader, Gayle Alexander.



• We hope to create a foundation space to encourage, empower, motivate and champion young women.

• We hope this space will be a platform to enable Future Female Leaders succeed in their chosen field.

• We hope to attract a diverse range of young women pursuing careers in various industries

• We hope to inspire and encourage a sense of value and belonging

• We hope to ensure Managing Mental Health is a respected priority.

• We hope to offer a space to help lighten the load of “figuring it all out”

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