What does International Women's Day mean to you?

Newstalk.com spoke to GirlCrew co-founder, Aine Mulloy, about the importance of community among women

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

Martino Pietropoli

International Women's Day was first recognised in the 1900s and is now observed globally and is even a public holiday in some countries, like Russia and Cuba. 

Today, March 8th, also marks the third birthday of GirlCrew, the online network that is bringing women from all walks of life and from all over the world together. 

“To have a friend and be a friend is what makes life worthwhile” is how the saying goes and on International Women's Day, it feels only right to celebrate female friendships.

Newstalk.com caught up with GirlCrew co-founder and CMO, Áine Mulloy about the occasion:  

International Women’s Day holds a special place in my heart. It’s the one day of the year when you just see and feel an overwhelming outpouring of support and love. It’s a celebration of those who have bravely fought for their rights, excelled in their field, or are just awe-inspiring in every sense of the word. But it’s also much more than that. It’s also a day when we all feel empowered and emboldened to celebrate the women in our own lives too. Ultimately, this day is about friendship and camaraderie.

Too often people can feel adrift, and days like today really make you feel like you are part of a wider community. You belong, you are seen, and you are welcome. I think we should be showing each other how much we love, support, acknowledge and recognise each other every day. We don’t all do it, and I admit I can be lax on this myself, but the truth is that modern life can be isolating. This is clearly reflected in recent studies that show loneliness is on the rise.

Community

When people come together great things can happen. We thrive in communities and these connections are incredibly important. I’ve been fortunate enough to see GirlCrew grow from humble beginnings to a thriving network of over 85,000 members.

We’ve unexpectedly stumbled across something that was obviously lacking for so many people. Myself included. When I first joined, my own social circle had dwindled and I was in desperate need of a new way to make friends and reclaim that sense of belonging. It’s easy for life to get in the way. You simply fall into the trap of work, dinner, Netflix, sleep, and repeat. 

That cycle becomes your life and the longer you are in it the harder it is to escape. But it’s important to reach out to others. Of course, we all still love a chilled night at home but letting others into your life can lead to incredible opportunities.

For me, that simple first message on GirlCrew has led to a total transformation. It’s become a huge part of my life, it’s my work, but more importantly it’s a constant source of friendship, humour, and support.

Image: GirlCrew

The little things

I have been given an opportunity to meet and talk with incredibly bright and tenacious women. We’ve seen some crazy stories come out of the group – from two girls from different parts of the UK meeting in Japan over beers, to muffins being hand-delivered to a boyfriend in Meath while his girlfriend was working in Germany – but it’s the smaller things that make me smile.

It’s one woman helping another with her CV. It’s the responses that pour in when a member can’t find a place to live. It’s members becoming so close they become bridesmaids for one another. It’s members taking your dog for walk while you are ill in hospital.

These are the small things that communities do for each other. And it’s this sense of belonging that is keeps the spirit of the group alive.

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Born in London, but raised in Mayo, Áine is the Co-Founder of GirlCrew - an online network for women. Áine has a background in the humanities having completed an MA in Literature & Publishing at NUIG. From there she worked with an award-winning events company before taking a role with Ireland's leading educational publisher. During her time there she also completed a postgraduate diploma in Digital Marketing before making the move to work with GirlCrew full-time. You can follow her on Twitter @AineMulloy

To find your local GirlCrew click here