From debunking the differences between men and women to her recent health scare, famous business woman and entrepreneur Norah Casey joined LifeStyle editor Taragh Loughrey-Grant on Radio 1 Extra's The LifeStyle Show.

Her latest project, Planet Woman Academy is on today at the The Royal Dublin Society.

Planet Woman Academy - What is it?

Casey explains that it's is something she's been involved with for a few years.

"The academy is a fantastic way of women hearing from other women There's nothing more powerful than a story. You go to conferences and you know, it's death by PowerPoint and there's 45 minute speeches. It's nothing like that."

It's is a pioneering approach where she interviews successful women on how they got to be where they are today. 

"For every woman who stands there as the Tániste, or the CEO of a publicly listed company, there's another 9 who didn't make it"

"So I try and get to the nub of what was different for them?" Casey says.

"What happened on their route to success that made them who they are? There's always a backstory."

She recounts how in her old school only two portraits of women, herself and former Tániste Joan Burton, are on the wall. Where are all the other women?

Caroline Downing is an example Casey uses to demonstrate just how remarkable some women's business stories are. 

"She's the VP of Flextronics. She commutes, believe it or not, from Cork to California, every single week."

"That woman had a baby at 16. She went to school when she was 23, when her child went to school for the first time. She then graduated at Harvard and she's now one of the top 100 most successful tech women in the world. And she's Irish."

When women hear her story they think, 'Damn, I could do it too! Look where she came from'"

The Work Life Balance - how is she managing now?

Despite her motivation to promote the success women have achieved, Casey now realises she needs downtime just as much as anyone else.

"On a private basis, this is not something I've told anyone. I consciously decided I would do things that made me 'be still'."

"Even in my book I wrote about how 'mindfulness isn't for me, I can't stand all that, sitting round staring...But I've actually turned a complete circle on that. I find a way, every single day of being still in my mind.'

"Sometimes, and I'm really terrible at it! I paint. My kitchen table could be covered in paint. And I paint, and paint, and paint. I don't care what it looks like. But for those hours, I'm just completely lost in painting."

She also goes on long walks with no music, allowing her brain to be still. She manages the impossible by turning her phone off at times, and finally says no (on occasion) to projects, trying to have that "little bit of me time"

"I've liked this new me for the last few months, actually" - a lesson well learned after all.

Listen to the full interview with Norah Casey above, where she explains Planet Woman Academy in full.

Planet Woman Academy, Ireland's Female Leadership Conference takes place today at The Royal Dublin Society. For more information, visit the website.


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