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International Women’s Day: the women taking their careers by the reins

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International Women’s Day is one of those rare opportunities where globally, we celebrate the successes of females in every capacity. Women working, women raising other women and men, and women of any age, belief or nationality – are recognised on 8 March as equal members of society.

Catholic Healthcare is celebrating this day by speaking to some of the female figureheads across our organisation. In an interview with six inspiring women out of the many that Catholic Healthcare employs, we have learnt what International Women’s Day means to them, why these wonderful women admire their mothers, how they have grown confidence in spite of the challenges they have faced, and the pearls of wisdom they have chosen to share with their future female leaders.  

Julia Abrahams – General Manager of Mission and Legal 

  1. Why is International Women's Day such an important day for you?  I think International Women’s Day (IWD) is a really valuable time to reflect upon women’s importance in society.
  2. Who has been the most important woman in your life? My mother. She was a beautiful woman – she was a registered nurse who worked in aged care – not dissimilar to so many of the wonderful women who work with us in this organisation. She was incredibly compassionate to everyone around her.
  3. What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers? Be courageous. Be true to yourself. And finally, don’t turn into a bloke in your pursuit of a career.

Payal Kapoor – Head of Business Intelligence 

  1. Why is International Women's Day such an important day for you?  I think today is a really important day to celebrate who women are. IWD is about showing we have equal standing – and celebrating womanhood. It’s a very important day to me.
  2. Who has been the most important woman in your life? My mother. She doesn’t work – she’s actually a stay-at-home mother and raised her children almost entirely by herself. She’s so inspirational to me because she is the most resilient and positive person I know, despite having been through so much in her life. People are constantly asking me how I smile all the time, and I can honestly say it’s because of her.
  3. What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers? Believe in yourself. Dream big. Dream big, audacious dreams, and believe you can follow them.

Cindy Mark – Manager of Information Services 

  1. Why is International Women's Day such an important day for you?  IWD is an opportunity for all women to be recognised, in any capacity. Women are successful in so many different ways – from those in the workplace to those at raising children at home, today is a day to celebrate their roles and importance to society. To me, IWD doesn’t need to focus on equal pay, or reaching career status as woman – it’s about us all being equal and recognised amongst everyone in society.
  1. Who has been the most important woman in your life? Fiona Campbell is my person of inspiration. She was the first significant woman in my professional career and identified a skillset in me that I didn’t even know existed. If it wasn’t for her inspiration, encouragement and support – I wouldn’t be in the role I’m in today.
  2. What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers? Back yourself. Don’t listen to what others say, and don’t listen to self-doubt. And that’s coming from a person who has a lot.

Margaret D’Arcy – Operations Manager, Retirement Living  

  1. Why is International Women's Day such an important day for you?  It’s a great opportunity to recognise women as equal.
  2. Who has been the most important woman in your life? I have to say, my person of inspiration is my mother. She was an incredibly successful entrepreneur for her time. In the 1960s, when my father had an accident at his place of work, he had to take off from working altogether for three years. My mother through her business became the breadwinner of the family, and my father actually joined her company when he returned to work a couple of years later.
  3. What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers? Be confident in your ability to do well. In my experience, with both myself and my four children, instilling the values of confidence and persistence are key in reaching your goals, whatever they may be.

Jodie Gacitua – Marketing Communications Manager

  1. Why is International Women's Day such an important day for you?  A day to celebrate the amazing achievements of women in our society, what’s not to love. Personally, it is a day where I like to stop and to reflect on how everyday women have made such impact in our society.  
  2. Who has been the most important woman in your life? Not one, but many. All my wonderful female friends who are slightly more senior in years and who have managed to carve out a successful career while having a young family.
  3.  What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers? There are two. 1) If you think you can, then do it. 2) You can have it all but maybe not all at the same time, your career is a marathon not a sprint.

Ruth Wernick – Residential Aged Care Manager, Bethlehem House & St Bede’s 

  1. Why is International Women's day such an important day for you?  I just think we need to recognise all the things that women do – whether it is big or small, it all deserves to be recognised.
  2. Who has been the most important woman in your life? There are many people who inspire me – my mother is one of them. Next to her, there are many people in my workplace. Their ability to break so many glass ceilings and stereotypes of a successful woman truly inspires me. They prove you can be a mum, have a career, and truly achieve work/life balance. They prove you don’t have to choose just one path, but can have many.
  3. What pearl of wisdom would you give to other women starting out in their careers?I think you can’t define your path when you first start out, but instead have a go when opportunities arrive. See where they take you on your journey.