IWD 2021: Mary McCarthy

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. In our last article we looked at some inspirational women in herstory, who fought and overcame many challenges to achieve their goals. In doing so, not only did they make the world a better place, but they encouraged and supported the women who followed. They have inspired women to recognise their own strength and courage as a woman and to strive for their own dreams.

In the next few articles, we look at some exceptional women, who today are challenging many obstacles in their career.

Mary McCarthy

Mary is the Director of Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Mary has a wealth of experience and appreciation of art and culture. Following her studies in English and Philosophy, Mary was offered a post in a New York gallery. Returning to Ireland, she worked at Irish Museum of Modern Art before taking the role of Director in the National Sculpture Factory. In 2018, Mary attained her position in Crawford Art Gallery, the first female director. 

What women support and inspire you?   

Starts within the family, my mother and sister and friends support and inspire me.I’m very inspired by artists like Margaret Clarke from the 1920s to contemporary artists such as Alice Maher, Aideen Barry, Clare Langan , Jesse Jones and many others who are activists for social change- who collaborate and co create art and support others.

How can we create workplaces that encourage gender and thought diversification? 

We need  to create a culture where difference can thrive and different insights and backgrounds are sought out.

We need to listen as well as talk, we need to keep our opinions in check, we need to broadcast less and converse more.

What is your International Women’s Day message that you’d like to share? 

A lot achieved- a lot more to do. We need to ensure that change is real and continuous and not just apparent. We all have a role and women who are in positions of influence must continue to be mindful of the traditional hierarchical structures and reform them to enable real structural change. We can be hopeful  but not complacent.