Jackie Kirrane -Navigating Leadership, Resilience, and Emotional Intelligence


Women in leadership roles have long been under scrutiny, often due to the disparity in gender representation. However, there's a noticeable shift underway, with increasing support for women in various sectors. An intriguing aspect of this evolution lies in the realm of emotional intelligence, where both men and women bring unique strengths to leadership positions. While women often excel in empathy, men tend to exhibit assertiveness. The encouraging news is that emotional intelligence is a skill set that can be learned and cultivated by all genders. This opens doors for women from diverse backgrounds to aspire to leadership roles, leveraging their distinct emotional characteristics while honing their abilities to become inspiring leaders.

A Journey Back to Healthcare:

After a hiatus spanning 17 years, I returned to the Health Service Executive (HSE) in January 2023, joining a team of Senior Change Managers for the Health Performance Visualization Platform (HPVP) under Integrated Information Services (IIS). Our primary task involves supporting hospital staff across new regional areas in effectively utilizing the HPVP software system. Through monitoring patient flow for both scheduled and non-scheduled patients, our aim is to provide timely data on current activity, predict future activity and capacity, and review waiting lists (surgical & outpatient activity) at both local and national levels. The essence of our role lies in translating trends into actionable insights, empowering acute hospitals to optimize their operations effectively.

Career Evolution in Healthcare:

Over the years, my career within healthcare has taken various paths, each marked by a blend of luck, determination, and a set of core values. From nursing and midwifery to clinical informatics management, my professional journey has been guided by a desire to improve healthcare outcomes. A pivotal moment came during my time on the ward, where the inefficiencies of traditional paper-based processes sparked a realization for better solutions. Subsequent roles, including managerial positions and spearheading the implementation of Electronic Patient Records (EPR), further underscored the transformative impact of technology on healthcare delivery. Throughout these experiences, I've learned the importance of positive people management in driving change and fostering innovation.

Balancing Work and Life

Achieving a healthy work-life balance has been a journey in itself, requiring support from loved ones and a conscious effort to prioritize personal well-being. Whether it's spending quality time with family and friends, indulging in outdoor activities, or simply sharing a laugh, finding moments of joy outside of work has been essential in maintaining resilience and perspective.

Empowerment through Learning:

As part of the Leadership Development Programme facilitated by eHealth Training & Development Team under the leadership of Thelma Pentony, I've been empowered to stay focused and maintain a positive attitude in the face of challenges. Simple yet impactful practices, such as deep breathing and active listening, serve as reminders of the support available within the HSE community, fostering a culture of continuous growth and well-being among staff.


In the ever-evolving landscape of eHealth, women play a crucial role in driving innovation and transformation. By embracing their unique strengths in empathy and harnessing the power of emotional intelligence, women across diverse backgrounds can aspire to leadership positions, contributing to positive change in healthcare delivery. As we continue to navigate the complexities of modern healthcare, let us strive for inclusivity, resilience, and a shared commitment to improving outcomes for both staff and patients alike.

So as we mark International Women's Day, it's a moment to recognise and honor the women we work with and those we encounter in society. Let's take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity and the promotion of diversity. By embracing inclusion and inspiring others to do the same, we can create a more supportive and equitable environment for everyone.