Many people assume I’m a girlie girl yet I love to surprise people by doing things like sky-diving, trekking in glaciers and backpacking for 6 months with the bare minimum (well; 2 pairs of shoes; flipflops and hiking boots). An only girl with three brothers there was never any discrimination in our household regarding chores; all of us mowed lawns, made beds and learned to use the washing machine.
Having an independent and curious streak from an early age meant that much time has been spent exploring new cultures and travelling across the world. Upon finishing university I had a fantastic opportunity to do an international graduate programme based in Madrid for two years. This ignited my desire to visit Latin America. I fell in love with the continent but was shocked by what were considered norms. I felt a duty when I returned to Ireland to get involved with those who are providing opportunities to the world’s poorest communities.
Working for a global organisation like LinkedIn has allowed me, in conjunction with my amazing teammates, to help Plan Ireland to fulfill their mission of providing lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in developing countries through a process that unites people across cultures and adds meaning and value to their lives. I have been privileged to see not only the amazing work that Plan Ireland does, but the incredible support they receive from their sponsors.
Because I am a Girl I ask…to be accepted and seen as person first; girl second.
Because I am a Girl I believe…that every person is entitled to the same opportunities; be they male, female, black, white, short, tall etc.
Because I am a Girl I hope…that one day my beliefs will be realised.
Because I am a Girl I wonder…the big things; what does equality mean, will there ever be a world without violence, without war? And the smaller stuff; like why does nail varnish always chip?
Because I am a Girl I dream…of possibilities – for me, for my future children and for the millions of girls and women who have never dared to dream of possibilities.
Because I am a Girl I remember…always wanting to be a grown-up and owning my own handbag.
Because I am a Girl I like…being independent.
Because I am a Girl I dislike…the pressure that is put on women to ‘have it all’ whatever ‘all’ may be.
Because I am a Girl I feel…lucky to have been born to a life of privilege and opportunities.
Because I am a Girl I celebrate…the women and men who have got us here and those who are willing to make a difference for what they believe in – and finding the perfect pair of shoes.
– Clara McCarthy