Accenture unveils portraits of inspirational female leaders on International Women’s Day

Profiles five iconic leaders in STEM and includes Kay McNulty and Dame Kathleen Lonsdale
Credit: Conor McCabe Photography

8 March 2021

A collection of commissioned portraits of five inspirational females from the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be unveiled at the virtual launch of Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU in celebration of International Women’s Day. 

In collaboration with Accenture and Business to Arts, the portraits are in recognition of the ground-breaking work of Beatrice Alice Hicks, Katherine Johnson, Dr Marie Maynard Daly and Irish duo Kay McNulty and Dame Kathleen Lonsdale.  

All five women are regarded as pioneers in STEM by making significant contributions in their specific discipline through outstanding research work, scientific breakthroughs and playing an instrumental role in bringing about cultural and social change. 




Beatrice Alice Hicks was the first president of the Society of Women Engineers; Katherine Johnson was the first Black woman to work as a NASA scientist; Dr Marie Maynard Daly was the first Black woman in the US to earn a PhD in Chemistry; Donegal born Kay McNulty was one of the world’s first computer programmers while Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, who hailed from Newbridge, Co. Kildare was the first female Professor of University College London (UCL). 

The portraits will be unveiled at a virtual event with DCU President Professor Daire Keogh, managing director and head of inclusion & diversity at Accenture in Ireland Dr Michelle D. Cullen and chief executive of Business to Arts Andrew Hetherington.  

The launch will feature a commissioned documentary which followed each artist as they worked on their portrait during Covid-19, giving viewers an in-depth look behind the scenes along with unique insights, details and stories about each of the subjects. A panel discussion, with all five artists, moderated by award winning journalist and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald is also part of the event.  

This is the third chapter of Accenture’s Women on Walls, a campaign that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits that will create a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland. The campaign commenced in 2016 with the Royal Irish Academy, and a second chapter with RCSI was unveiled in 2019. 

“These stunning portraits are a tribute to female trailblazers, who pushed out the frontiers of their respective fields,” said president of DCU, Prof Daire Keogh. “By celebrating these pioneers, we remind our students, and female students in particular, that ‘there are no limits’. Thanks to the extraordinary creativity of our acclaimed artists, these five women will continue to inspire future generations at DCU.” 

Dr Michelle D. Cullen added: “We are delighted to unveil Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU, the third chapter of the campaign that we created in 2016 in response to the very simple question, where are the women? Not only does Women on Walls enhance the visibility of women who shaped the world that we live in today, as a way to inspire young girls and boys, students, and society as a whole, but it continues to support Ireland’s arts sector. These astonishing portraits are a remarkable reminder of the vital role Ireland’s portrait artists play in shaping the future.” 

The commissioned portraits will be temporarily installed in the Stokes Building at DCU before eventually moving to the Future-Tech building, under construction at the university’s Glasnevin Campus. This flagship building will be at the forefront of DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science, computing and engineering disciplines. 

To view Accenture’s Women on Walls portraits, visit:

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