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Sonya Lennon


Sonya is an entrepreneur, multi-award-winning social entrepreneur and equality advocate.

Sonya Lennon has over thirty years of experience in business as a thought leader, designer, entrepreneur and international speaker. A multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, Sonya founded the global not-for-profit initiative Dress for Success in Ireland in 2011, supporting over 4,000 women in finding employment and achieving economic independence. In 2021, it was rebranded as Work Equal to better reflect the organisation’s advocacy role and the depth of its services. She also founded the womenswear brand Lennon Courtney in 2012, which now ships to over 30 countries and was launched in partnership with Kilkenny Design to scale into new markets supported by Enterprise Ireland. She hosts the successful ‘The Lennon Courtney’ podcast with long-time collaborator Brendan Courtney.

Sonya has campaigned at a European level for gender equality in the workplace through her advocacy work by addressing the Gender Pay & Opportunity Gap. Since 2016, Sonya has led Ireland’s highly publicised #WorkEqual campaign. Through this campaign, she has spearheaded public awareness, highlighted legacy and cultural issues that prevent workplace equality and focussed on solutions to address them. Sonya has repeatedly presented the issue to the Irish Government and the European Parliament. Recent wins saw the Gender Pay Gap Bill enacted following a five-year campaign.

In 2018, Sonya co-founded LIFT Ireland, an initiative to improve the levels of value-led leadership in Ireland, focussing on such themes as accountability, respect, listening and competence. The mission is to serve 10% of the population by 2028. Over 60,000 people have already participated in the LIFT roundtable process.

The inaugural #WorkEqual Conference in 2019 saw her bring together international speakers and diverse stakeholders to ratify priority issues and recommendations. This culminated in a postconference report titled Practical Steps to Workplace Equality, co-authored with Professor Michelle Millar NUIG. This document has been submitted to the Irish government as a framework to accelerate positive change.

To further deepen and validate her domain expertise, Sonya recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with first-class honours at the Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, Dublin. Sonya sits on the Cross-Party Committee for Workplace Equality and was recently called as an expert witness to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on gender equity.

The committee recently returned from a study trip to the world’s most gender-equal country, Iceland. It met with trade unions, MPs, women’s rights groups and the Prime Minister to identify the critical levers for social change.

Sonya was elected a member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 2022 and sits on The Labour Taskforce.

Sonya is solution-focused, iterative and innovative but always grounded by a value in human relationships and understanding how to maximise the potential of business and people. Sonya lives and works with curiosity, joy, and an infectious laugh and wit.

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Carol & Associates Ltd.
30 Cloverhill, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Eircode: A98V8D8

+353 1 235 2570