Young Donegal entrepreneur Katie Mc Gloin has been chosen for a national news feature on life for women in Ireland today.
The Bundoran Magh Ene College student is one of six young women featured in ‘The Big Picture – A Woman’s World’ on RTE. This social media and TV series examines society 100 years after Irish women got the vote.
Katie told her story in an online video and highlighted her strong views on gender equality.
Gender equality and women’s rights is a key part of Katie’s company K.T. Clothing Co.
For an 18-year-old Leaving Cert student, Katie has already achieved a lot in the world of business, youth empowerment and social responsibility.
She founded Ireland’s first gender neutral clothing brand two years ago as her Transition Year Mini-Company and has since won numerous entrepreneurial awards.
The clothing company has come a long way for a ‘school project’, as Katie calls it.
She is also a Youth Ambassador for The Shona Project – an empowerment initiative for girls in Ireland. This role led to her being selected for RTE’s Big Picture.
Katie told Donegal Woman: “It was really exciting to have my name brought up to be part of the series.
“The message is a lot of what I do in the K.T. Clothing brand. My interests are women’s rights, gender equality and gender neutrality.”
The Big Picture examines what has changed for women in the past 100 years in the year of the global #metoo movement, issues around gender pay gaps and the passing of the abortion referendum.
It looks at opportunities and barriers and exposes how extraordinary obstacles still remain to gender equality.
Katie said she is confident that things are changing, but there is still a way to go.
She said: “Things have improved. Women are not back in the age where we don’t have the vote but we are not fully on our way to equality. This isn’t clear to all people.”
Katie has made her mark enacting change for equality locally by sponsoring the girls’ rugby jerseys in her school.
She said: “I felt that the girls should be on the same level as the boys. It was so fulfilling to be able to support the team as women in sport.”
Katie is busy with her Leaving Cert studies this year, but continues to work on her enterprise. She is planning to study Business at third level and is aiming to make K.T. Clothing Co into a global name.
“I want to bring it to the next level, where people everywhere can access affordable gender neutral clothes. That has always been important to me,” she said.
Katie’s company has led her to tour around Ireland talking about her social activism.
She counts Minister Katherine Zappone and former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh as inspirational role models for change.
On the future of women’s rights in Ireland, Katie is confident that goals will be achieved through action.
Katie said: “I’ve heard a lot of people say that things are never going to change, but we’ve come so far in 100 years that we need to keep pushing. We need to continue as women have done all along – to be the change and to influence change.”
The Big Picture – A Woman’s World series culminates in a special documentary on RTE One this Thursday at 9.35pm, followed by a live studio discussion with presenter Miriam O’Callaghan.