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20th Dec 2018

“They very rarely could say no to me,” Marian O’Gorman on being a woman in business

Jamie Concannon

woman in business

“I was a real wheeler-dealer.”

Succeeding in business often requires an ability to take advantage of any opportunity that arises. Now CEO of the Kilkenny Group, Marian O’Gorman said the fact that she is a woman sometimes played in her favour.

Marian was talking to host Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™. As she said herself, her way of approaching a male-dominated business world gave her an edge over competitors.

“I was a real wheeler-dealer, right. And then when I’d go to the suppliers, they were all men. And, I charmed them. With my talk, my smile, whatever to get discounts, whatever… everything. We really had the best deals in the country as a tourist store and I know that and still have some of those today,” she said.

“I definitely had the advantage and I knew it”

We can only play with the cards we are dealt, and Marian knows full well how to play her hand. When it came to talking down a price, she felt that she could get away with more than whatever was initially on the table.

“Yeah, I definitely had the advantage and I knew it. They very rarely could say no to me with my discounts. Like, if I was looking for a 10% discount, I’d look for 25 first and I might end up with 15 actually, which was probably more than I had gone out to get,” she said.

As she said herself later in the show, it can be very difficult to balance a professional and family life, as both a woman and as a mother. Seizing whatever opportunities lay in front of the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist is no doubt what helps set her apart, and they drove her desire to do so again.

As she said herself; “That was then, for me, a real buzz, because I achieved something I didn’t think I’d get, do you know?”

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