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Open Doors Intitiative logo We need your help!! Take a short survey about access and barriers to work

Who We Are

The Open Doors Initiative provides opportunities to some of the marginalised members of our society. We create pathways to work through training, education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Some of the people we work with include refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth, those from a Traveller or Roma background, LGBTIQ+, people with a criminal past, and any intersectionality between the groups.

In Ireland today, these groups face higher barriers to employment than most others. Many are cut out of work, even during the recent times of nearly full employment.

Our Purpose 

Is to enable equitable access to employability for marginalised people.
Our Vision

Is of an inclusive Ireland, where diversity in business thrives and equitable measures are adopted to eliminate inequality so that everyone has fair access meaningful employability.

Our Mission

Is to guide those who are facing barriers to employability and to support companies through collaboration and innovation.

Our Values

Collaborative: We leverage our unique position to foster collaborative working relationships among our partner companies, stakeholders and participants to magnify our impact and ensure the best outcomes
Participant Centred: We commit to the rights and needs of our participants in securing pathways to employability, guided by the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals
Thought Leadership: We work with our business partners and Government to embed Corporate Social Justice thinking and actions in all their organisations to have positive impact on business outcomes
Open and Transparent: We ensure openness and transparency through effective governance and clear communication with all board members and stakeholders
Research Led: We leverage and conduct relevant research to ensure our work is targeted and impact driven
Impact Driven: We focus on high impact work that supports employability of marginalised people and changes the lives of participants and their families; we regularly monitor and evaluate our work to ensure maximum impact
Agile: We continue to be agile to remain relevant in responding to participant needs and company needs and adapt to changes in the market

Did you know?

The benefits of what we are doing will be two-fold – we will open up the labour market to some of those who have been unable to access it; and in doing so we will attract and retain our future inclusive workforces. 

In September 2018, 14 Irish employers came together with a plan to address these issues and support people from these groups in Irish society into employment. 

Our numbers continue to grow and if you want to join us on this journey please get in touch.

The Government are fully supportive of the Open Doors Initiative, especially the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar TD and David Stanton TD along with many government departments.

Facilitated by

Open Doors Initiative Board and Governing Bodies

Chairperson: Paddy Hayes, CEO, ESB 
CEO: Jeanne McDonagh

Patrick Doyle, Director, e-Frontiers 
Veronica Cabazes
David Stanton TD
Sharon Murphy, MD, Wilson Hartnell
Ursula Mapley, COO, Bank of America Europe
Sharon Vize, Head of HR, CPL
Barry O’Sullivan, MD, Diageo Ireland
Hilary O'Meara, Country Managing Director, Accenture
Marian Cronin, Director, Sodexo Ireland
Denis Doolan, Strategic Head of Inclusion & Diversity, AIB
Professor Thomas Stone, VP Partnerships, TU Dublin
Noeline Blackwell

Secretary: Gerard Kiernan, MD, Icon Accounting

Anne Dermody - Strategic Advisor


If you would like us to support you to find a job in Ireland, access further education/training, or start your own business, the best way to get started is to complete this form and we will be in touch shortly. If you require this form in an alternative format, please contact

If you have a general query, please email us at or use the form below.

Please do not include links or web addresses in your message.

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