To celebrate International Women’s Day, we interviewed Jo, our Director to find out what today means to her, what changes she would make if she were PM and the international women she’d like to invite on a night out 😊
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Today is about looking at how far women have come, and thinking about how do we get to where we want to be.
If you were Prime Minister for a day what legislative changes would you make for women.
I would make it law to have a majority of women on every board in the private and public sector – we have always had a male majority so it’s time to readdress the balance.
What needs to change to make senior and leadership roles more accessible to women.
To be effective we need better part time/flexible working, affordable wrap around childcare, mentors, more visibility of women in senior positions – you can’t be it if you can’t see it.
And conditioning starts so early, for example with girls’ and boys’ toys. If you google “girls toys” you get baby dolls, prams and pink princesses, whereas for boys toys you get Lego, Meccano sets, encouraging creativity and problem solving.
Favourite female politician and why?
Jess Philips, she speaks up for women who can’t be heard and she’s honest. Other international women I really admire are the former NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin – I think the four of us would have a lot of fun on a night out 😊
Favourite female writer/broadcaster and why?
Margret Atwood – she is a compelling writer and really tackles issues of inequality and power dynamics in society.
What will you be doing today?
Today I will be a busy day at work. As the Charity Director I’ll have meetings with funders, hospital clinicians, team meetings, planning events and writing reports. Tonight, I’ll take my dog Barney out for a nice long walk and then hopefully catch up with my two daughters. My youngest is a civil engineer and lives in Sheffield, and my eldest is currently in Patagonia, she is doing the O Trek – I’m hoping she has WiFi again so I can check that she’s arrived at her next campsite and not been eaten by mountain lions! I should also try and fit in a spin class as I’m in training to complete a 909km bike ride with the Birmingham Irish Cycle Association along the West Coast of Ireland in July to raise money for Robotic Surgery at UHCW – wish me luck! Sponsor me here: Jo O’Sullivan is fundraising for UHCW Charity (justgiving.com)