Trish Cusack: “Keep the door open for women coming behind you” | IWD 2020

International Women’s Day is a celebration of female accomplishment and a call to action for gender equality worldwide. This years’ theme #EachforEqual is about recognising women’s value in society and actively choosing to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. With this is mind, we spoke to some of AIT’s trailblazing women - past and present - who are paving the way forward. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

In conversation with Trish Cusack, AIT alumna and data officer, Trinity College Dublin:

Who are your female role models?

Past - Florence Nightingale: Best known as a nurse but was also a statistician. By using applied statistical methods, she made a case for eliminating practices that contributed to the unsafe and unhealthy environment. Her work in statistics saved lives. Present - Malala Yousafzai: Continued to fight for human rights even under threat of the Taliban.

How can women better support each other?

Keep the door open for women coming behind you.

What advice would you give women either in or struggling to break into traditionally male industries or sectors?

Don’t give up, either someone somewhere will give you a break or it might happen by accident but it won’t happen at all if you abandon the search.

How can young women find mentors?

By networking at every opportunity.

What do you think has helped you in your career to date?

I made a complete career change in recent years, I started back at the bottom rung of the ladder but chose a work environment where I knew opportunities existed.

How can we encourage young girls to dream bigger?

By not crushing their dreams, there are many ways to get to where you want to go, it doesn’t have to be the most direct or obvious route.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your 18-year-old self?

Go for it, what’s the worst that can happen?

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