IWD 2022: Interview with Roisin O'Donovan

10 Mar, 2022
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Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?

“I think diversity in the workplace is hugely important. A truly inclusive and diverse workplace benefits from a wide variety of different perspectives, ideas, and skills. However, I think that this requires more than just employing a diverse workforce. In order to have true diversity, every individual must feel that they are welcomed and valued by the people they work with. When everyone feels that they can share and express their diverse perspectives, ideas or skills, the workplace becomes an effective and inclusive space”.

What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

I have been privileged to work with strong female role models and men who support and value the work that women do. I believe there is still work to be done, however, to address cultural and systemic barriers that make it more challenging for women to occupy senior and permanent positions within academia. However, I am grateful that my generation now has examples of female leaders to look to and that we are now starting to see changes in policy such as the creation of female only senior positions within Irish universities. This gives me hope and encouragement that I am working within a field that is becoming more and more balanced and inclusive of women, their talents and their needs”.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does it mean to you?

“It is very important for women to encourage and advocate for one another at work. I have been very lucky to work alongside inspiring women who have supported me in my career so far. I am determined to follow their lead”.

On International Women's Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

“Be confident in your own ability and the unique contribution you make at work. Look for positive role models and mentors to guide you. Whenever you can, advocate for other women at work and for systemic changes that can create a workplace that is inclusive of all women”.

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