International Women's Day 2024


International Women's Day 2024

Ahead of International Women's Day 2024, we asked some of our staff and students who inspire them.

We are delighted to feature 6  inspirational and powerful women who give their advice about how we can encourage and empower young women, who inspire them and why they believe it is important to Inspire Inclusion.

International Women's Day is March 8.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion.
Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. 

IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.

Karen Sutton
Patricia Kaufmann
Blessyn Kure
Annicia Spencer
Eva Kelly

We also sat down and chatted about the theme of International Women's Day with some of our Griffith Alumni who are now working in the college. 

Who is a Woman who Inspires you and Why?


Precious Abebe:  Ms Maya Angelou. She inspires me through her writing, literature and public speaking. She has inspired women to overcome both racial discrimination and gender bias.

Claire Aston: A woman that inspires me would have to be my gran, Kay Bradbury, who sadly passed earlier this year at the incredible age of 103. She was a woman who stood up for what she believed in, and never stopped any obstacles from getting in her way. She moved to Dublin in the 1940s, got married and had 4 children. She was widowed in the early 1960s and had to create a life to support her family. Being the first one to get a Mortgage in Ireland in her own name, she got a house in South Circular Road and opened a shop which she ran single-handedly until the age of 78.

She has always been someone who has fought for her community, and in my opinion, is a prime example of someone who believes in equal opportunities and fighting for what she believes in. During her time in the area, she campaigned to keep the Meath Hospital open as a medical facility for the local area. Got pedestrian lights added to the South Circular Road, and got the seating and bins added along the Grand Canal where I am sure many of us take our lunchtime strolls.

She was a force to be reckoned with and her strength, work ethic, caring nature and achievement will always inspire me and encourage me to push to do better and support people as best I can.


Charline Fernandez: A lot of women inspire me, and picking just one is nearly impossible! I am drawn to women perceived by the masses as rebels, weird, and disruptive; those who defy societal conventions by being unapologetically themselves. My friend Cristina is a significant source of inspiration and has often played the role of a big sister in my life. I admire her unwavering kindness and her ability to consistently choose empathy, no matter what life throws at her. She also stands out as one of the few people I know with such a strong sense of justice, particularly as an outspoken advocate for animal rights. Finding your tribe as an adult can be difficult, so when I encounter women embracing radical authenticity and honesty, I feel inspired.

The theme for International Women’s Day this year is Inspire Inclusion, can you tell us what that means to you and why it is so important?


Claire Aston: To me, Inspire Inclusion means to celebrate our differences. To look at differences not as a barrier but as a characteristic that helps you to stand out and make your mark. Growing up, one of my closest friends was a girl with Down Syndrome. Sarah never let this stop her, she knew what she wanted, worked hard and competed in the Special Olympics back in 2003, and came home with a Gold Medal. Sarah never let the opinions of others stop her from shining and has continued to in my

 opinion Inspire Inclusion in all aspects of her personal and work life to this day. Speaking to Sarah just the other day, I am so happy to call her a friend, and that I didn’t let differences get in the way.

Charline Fernandez: For me, inclusion is radically accepting a different lived experience from our own, even though we might never be able to fully understand it. I believe it also goes hand in hand with taking action and accountability. Talking about inclusion in the workplace without implementing actionable steps is not enough. The 2023 Autism in the Workplace Report estimates that 85% of autistic people are unemployed or underemployed. Meanwhile, 84% do not feel confident that employers, managers and coworkers know enough about autism to support them in the workplace.

Autistic individuals can bring invaluable strengths to the workplace. As a late-diagnosed autistic woman myself, I have always been able to sustain full-time jobs but was worried about how unmasking would affect my career. I was often praised for my attention to detail, extensive project planning and research skills. However, autistic women face many barriers to the traditional neurotypical workplace, such as an increase in sensory issues before menstrual cycles. Reasonable Accommodations as outlined in Section 16 of the Employment Equality Act are adaptations employers can make to the workplace to support autistic people in carrying out their work and accessing the same development opportunities as neurotypical people. These might include quiet spaces, flexible working hours and providing enough written notice before a meeting.

It would be best if you had a lot of self-confidence to advocate for yourself, but I am finally at a point where my justice sensitivity allows me to go past social conventions to speak up. Feminism must be intersectional at its core and bring more awareness to the daily struggles neurodivergent women face while existing in patriarchy designed for neurotypicals.

Precious Abebe: Inspiring inclusion to me means challenging the pre-existing moulds of stereotypes to include all. In regards to women for me, this means including women from all backgrounds. I came to Ireland as an asylum seeker and until recently I didn’t see people I could relate to in spaces I wanted to be present in, such as academia. Through seeing countless women pave the way and show other women that we can also be included in spaces that might not necessarily be conceived as ‘female spaces’ and thrive. I believe these actions embody what it means to inspire inclusion.

Tell us about an achievement you are proud of and How can we encourage and empower young women to pursue their dreams?


Charline Fernandez: An achievement I am proud of is having had my first documentary screened at the Dublin Silk Road Film Festival in 2020. During my film degree, I studied microhistories of displacement and how their rehabilitation was a political necessity. I am proud of myself from a personal standpoint because the story told was about generational transmission, and from a career aspect as I was able to develop professional skills on my own.

‘Maria’ is a 30-minute documentary following the filmmaker’s grandmother as she revisits sites of her traumatic childhood. Born in Andalusia, she was forced to flee the country at the age of eight during the Spanish Civil War. Witnessing the worst of humanity, the death of a loved one and World War II as it reached her new home in France, the now-elderly Maria’s intimate and emotionally charged recollections are captured on camera. These are juxtaposed with her and her granddaughter retracing the steps for the first time she and her family took 80 years ago. This documentary serves as a powerful reminder that often those who emigrate are forced to by powers beyond their control.

Precious Abebe: I believe that we can encourage and empower young women to pursue their dreams by allowing women to flourish in any space. Growing up as a young black girl in Ireland with a single mother, I thought that the only limitation to becoming who I was destined to be was myself. I believe that this is an important value that should be instilled in every young woman. As women, we are courageous and so talented. Young women should be instilled with the tools to overcome obstacles and thrive in whatever path they choose to pursue. 

Claire Aston: We can encourage and empower young women by showing them that anything is possible. If there isn’t a pathway there, develop your own. You shape your future, and women support women young and old, this message should be shown from a young age, to allow women to dream outside the box.