Susan Spence is the President and Co-Founder of Softco, the sponsor of the Irish Women’s and now the Men’s International Hockey teams.

Her decision to sponsor the Women’s team in 2018 paid immediate dividends when they became the first Irish team to make it to a World Cup Final.

It is hard to quantify how much of an impact her vote of confidence had on the group but she was part of what was a very special journey.

In January 2022 Spence decided to double down with the sport and to also sponsor the Men’s international team, on a parity basis of what was given to the Women.

Setting a benchmark in this way can be a driver of real change in raising the investment that goes into Women’s sport and for that reason alone she deserves her place in this year’s list.

See who else has joined Susan on the 2022 list by clicking on the image below.




This is the tenth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.

Read more about the list and nominate who you think should be a part of it in 2022.

We are proud to do so again this year with AIG, an organisation that has pledged its commitment to equality in its partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.

This year’s list will be drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, partnership, storytelling, and performance.

We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 percent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.

The list we will continue to build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.

They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.