ESW celebrates female staff with International Women’s Week

Celebrating International Women’s Day for one day wasn’t enough for ESW – instead a whole week of events was planned.

ESW’s International Women’s Week kicked off just before International Women’s Day (IWD) at ESW with a company-wide Zoom and virtual photo on Friday 5th March.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 was ‘Choose To Challenge – A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all #Choose to Challenge.’ IWD aims to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity and fundraise for female-focused charities.

In the spirit of IWD, multiple events were planned throughout the week including a talk on Monday by Geraldine King on the Gender Pay Gap where she outlined how 75% of UK companies pay men more than women for the same role, and in the US white women are paid 19c less per dollar than men, with figures worsening for women of colour and black and native women.

Covid has also affected this inequality with 19% of women were more impacted by Covid and 25% were considering downshifting or leaving the workplace due to pressures in the workplace resulting from the pandemic.

Aine Maguire spoke on Tuesday about how to build a personal brand with storytelling a key feature. Focusing on the positive, moving past weaknesses and reinventing yourself are key aspects to remember when building a personal brand. She said, ‘Talent will always outweigh career tactics.’

Finally on Thursday, Mary McDermott from Safe Ireland spoke about emotional abuse in a talk titled ‘Understanding and identifying emotional abuse’. Coercive control is defined as the use of isolation, exploitation, over-regulation and surveillance and it is increasingly being recognized legally as an intrinsic form of domestic violence. As with gender pay gap, Covid has sadly impacted women with a significant increase in domestic violence. As people are trapped in their own homes due to lockdowns there are less avenues for escape or reprieve.

Over 2,500 people contacted a domestic violence service for the very first time between September to December 2020. Helpline calls were also up on average over the 2nd part of the year with over 23,000 calls answered. According to Mary, Covid is not creating abuse but it is exposing it.


There is still a lot of work to do to address the many inequalities women face in the world, including those exacerbated by a global pandemic. More information and helpful resources can be found on the IWD site. ESW is proud to work with so many wonderful women throughout the company. Many thanks to the wonderful IWD Committee for organizing International Women’s Week – Sarah McGowan, Magda Cieplik, Laura Buckley, Karolina Coates, Catherine Smith, Regina Grey, Wendy Tigner, Jennifer Hartnett, Ciara Keenan, Rachelle Sena de Freitas, Hannah O’Rourke.