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Aoife Connaughton

Director, Risk Advisory-Deloitte Ireland

We are the Women in Risk Advisory. We solve complex problems and foresee risks. We innovate and analyse. We incubate and referee. We help our clients build resilient, sustainable organisations. We imagine new possibilities, connecting trust, resilience and security to make an impact that matters. We need more like us. We need more like you.

Meet Aoife. As a director in Risk Advisory’s Climate & Sustainability practice at Deloitte Ireland, she helps clients understand key business risks related to climate change and sustainability and then develops strategies to turn those risks into opportunities. From high-level environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to more granular changes to a client’s business model or employment practices, Aoife knows there’s both a business case and a moral imperative to guiding organisations toward more sustainable ways of working.

"We’re lucky to work with so many different clients—big, impactful organisations," Aoife says, though acknowledges that sometimes they’re reluctant to rethink ideas around growth or technology with an eye toward climate-related risks. To help get clients on board, Aoife leans into more than a decade’s worth of experience leading high-impact sustainability programmes and teams, with a specialisation in sustainable supply chains.

On one project, they conducted a "zoom out lab" to illustrate how the broader landscape was affecting business, delving into everything from macroeconomic trends to consumer sentiment around climate change. After the workshop, the client realised why enhancing sustainability was so important and was ready to make changes. Aoife says, "What I’m so proud of is when we’re able to change someone’s point of view."

Bringing in different perspectives can be especially compelling when it comes to addressing climate and sustainability risks and Aoife says women are a crucial part of that equation. "Clients expect us to be able to bring that level of diversity—not just gender diversity, but true representation and diversity on every team, in every meeting." Different perspectives, experiences, and attitudes enable the team to bring the best of what we have to offer to the clients, she says and to truly do the issues justice.

Because "representation matters," Aoife also works to nurture the next generation of sustainability leaders and encourages other women to consider a career in Risk Advisory. While Aoife finds working in Risk both interesting and intellectually challenging, she also credits the "huge amount of flexibility" at Deloitte as playing a key part in making her role one that’s "very professionally rewarding."

I’m able to have a high level of impact for clients while also bringing my kids to school,

she says.

It's lovely seeing how proud my kids are of the work that I do.

We need more like Aoife. We need more like you.

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