International Women’s Day interview – Siobhan McCarthy

16 Mar, 2019
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Siobhan McCarthy is a Quality Assurance Specialist in the Pharmaceutical industry. Siobhan works full time in a highly regulated environment. She studied Biochemistry BSc (Hons) at UCD and Information Systems at Trinity. Siobhan’s current role involves review and approval of validation documentation to allow lab, computer and manufacturing systems to be released for use in pharmaceutical manufacture and testing. She is married to Dave and has 3 children Caoimhe (12), Sean (11) and Rachel (7). Caoimhe loves music and drama. Sean is an ace at basketball and Rachel is a budding gymnast! In her spare time she likes to run and swim. As a family, we enjoy the park run on a Saturday morning! check out Siobhan’s interview below:

*How do you define career success? *

Career success involves ensuring that the work life balance is managed for my needs. For me, this means that I can enjoy my work and have time to do the things that I enjoy outside of work. It’s also about feeling that I make a difference in the work I do in my day job.

*Do you think female execs get the support they need from their work environment to be ambitious? *

Yes, by and large I think they do. In particular, in the area I work in, there are a good proportion of females in senior management roles. A senior manager I have worked with has 4 children. She was afforded time off when required to support her family. In busy times, she was there to support audits and frequently worked late to support business needs. The flexibility afforded to her by the company facilitated a happy working environment.

*How does one create a supportive environment at work and home? How do you balance work and personal life? *

A good supportive family really helps. If I can be in work and know that my kids are well looked after at home that keeps me happy. I always ensure I have at least one evening that is free for me to do as I please. In my “free” time I like to run & swim. I prioritise exercise over shopping!

What advice did you receive early in your career that has stayed with you throughout your journey?

You are the master of your own destiny. There is no point in having a negative attitude and complaining about something unless you are willing to do something about it yourself.

What is your superpower?

I think I am resilient. I don’t get too stressed (in general) about anything. If I fail at something I can try again another day.

Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?

I think diversity in the workplace allows us to appreciate different cultures. When you are actively working, talking and generally being with people from different cultures and backgrounds it becomes the norm. Society is made up of many different people and when you engage with as many different people in the workplace as possible you get an appreciation and respect that you would not otherwise know.

Any female role model who has inspired you over your career and why?

Not really anyone that I can think of that inspired my career but lots of female role models out there are inspiring in what they have done for their causes. I do admire the Mary’s (Robinson and McAleese) in their roles as former presidents of Ireland. In recent times, I think what Vicky Phelan has achieved and what she continues to do in highlighting the cervical cancer scandal in Ireland is phenomenal.

Another cracking interview with Siobhan and some fantastic answers. Come back tomorrow for the final in our series.

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