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International Women's Day

Leading up to the International Women’s Day 2023, I had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with three amazing women: Associate Fellows of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Christina Dymioti and Valentina Hynes, and a member of the Royal Commonwealth Society Gibraltar Branch, Denise Matthews. I hope you will be inspired by their breadth of experience, passion for community empowerment and success.

Front left to right: Valentina Hynes, Denise Matthews, and Christina Dymioti

Tell us about yourself and your work.

Christina Dymioti (CD): I am the director of Fashion Heritage Network Cyprus, a project I developed through my participation in the Royal Commonwealth Society and Clarion Future’s Commonwealth Youth Exchange Programme between Cyprus and UK. We work with a growing inter-communal group of young Cypriots, especially fashion designers who aspire to promote Cypriot heritage through sustainable fashion. Our work is showcased through fashion exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops, and participation in various local and international cultural events.

Valentina Hynes (VH): I am the founder and CEO of SVH Inc. CIC - which stands for Strong Vibrant, Happy, and Incorporated. SVH Inc. provides workplace wellbeing solutions for organisations as part of their employee onboarding, employee experience management and transformation process through mental health training and workshops, speaking engagements and away day experiences. As a specialist in wellbeing and happiness at work, I see myself as a connector who helps people build bridges from diversity adversity to inclusion, from poor mental health to happiness, and disengagement to engagement.

Denise Matthews (DM): I come from a fiercely entrepreneurial family. My entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 22, when I launched my first company in PR and promotional work. After taking time out to start a family and living abroad, I returned to Gibraltar in 2016 to set up One Media and Events. I also became an award-winning City Chapter Director for the global organisation, Startup Grind (SG). For over two decades, I have been dedicated in launching successful business events in the local community to foster entrepreneurship, advocate for social responsibility, and leverage networks to achieve exposure for Gibraltar.