International Women's Day 2021 #choosetochallenge

March 8, 2021

To support International Women's Day 2021, we (virtually) sat down with Niamh Furey, Kelly Phillips and Ruth McKenry Brown at Fresenius Kabi to why they choose to challenge equality and take part in this years International Women's Day pledge. 

Today is International Women’s day and we sat down with Niamh Furey, Managing Director Fresenius Kabi UK & Ireland, to find out more about who inspired her to be where she is and the biggest challenge she faces.

Niamh says, “My dad inspired me to be where I am today because of his great work ethic and the pride he had in all his children and the biggest challenge that I face is being the best mum that I can be whilst balancing work commitments.”

We also wanted to find out what advice Niamh would offer to any women who would like to develop their careers further, she says “Be authentic, be accountable, always work in pursuit of developing your weaknesses and never compare yourself to others”.

It was great to have a virtual coffee with Kelly Phillips, Head of Nursing at Fresenius Kabi and discuss with her about who has been her inspiration to get where she today, the biggest challenges she has faced throughout her career and the advice she would share to any female colleagues.

Kelly says, “My Mother has been a huge inspiration throughout my career, from a very early age she taught me that hard work, drive, determination and self-belief goes along the way and she remains my role model today.


During my early 20’s, one of the biggest challenges was being judged purely on my gender and not my abilities, this did effect my confidence back then. I’m pleased to say I’ve come along way since then! I feel proud to work for a company that has a clear commitment to gender diversity and to have the opportunity to work alongside so many inspirational female leaders.


The advice I would give to a female colleague who would like to develop their career is:


First and foremost, be true to yourself, never be afraid to speak up, make mistakes or ask “stupid” questions and step outside of your comfort zone when you’re given the opportunity.

Career planning is important for woman with ambition, having career goals will allow you to track your progress and make alterations if your circumstance change.

Recruit brighter people than you and different people than you, you are only as effective as the team you lead. Embrace the diversity of the people around you as this will help instil inclusion, respect and appreciation.

Organisational cultures need to be challenged from within, if your organisation doesn’t promote a gender diverse culture you have a responsibility to challenge that.   

Success is not just about getting to the top, it’s how you get there as this is what will earn you respect in the long run. Above all, enjoy what you do, if you don’t get excited about going to work every day, you’re in the wrong job!"

Last week we caught up with Ruth McKenry Brown, Supply Chain Manager at Fresenius Kabi. Ruth shares with us her thoughts on equality and the advice she would give to her female colleagues who would like to develop their careers.

I feel fortunate to be me, having been born into a country, culture and family who have accepted me for me. Not Ruth the female, woman, her or she but me, Ruth the person.

Throughout my career and working for Fresenius Kabi I have never felt a segregation of gender, I am where I am because I worked hard not within a female or male box but as a person irrespective of sex. 

As a society we should challenge all forms of hate, pushing for unity irrespective country, culture and family. To abolish misogynistic ideals, the objectification of women and the abuse that many women suffer on a daily basis.

Until we remove the barriers of gender and start to respect each other on a personal level irrespective of gender, race, disability and faith then barriers will remain. Let’s all choose to challenge all barriers.

When asked What advice would you give to a female colleague who would like to develop her career? My answer would be, be you!