As we strolled around campus today we randomly asked 4 women, “on this International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018, what does it mean to you, being a woman?”. Photography by Michael Garganera.

Julie Doherty, Manager, Career and Employment

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Julie Doherty

I think it’s a very exciting time to be a woman. I’m excited for myself and my career, and also for my daughter who’s 16. I feel like there will be a lot more possibilities for her as a woman. I’ve just been to an inspiring talk by Leigh Wood and she said in her very long career she’s never had a female boss. I hope statements like that don’t happen too often in the future. I think time is up, as I heard I think Kristina Keneally it say on the radio this morning,

Time is up and change needs to happen.

A lot of companies are moving towards diversity but sometimes we as women are our own worst enemies. I’ve seen female graduates, when they’re offered a job say “I’m so grateful, thank you very much”, when male graduates are offered a job they say, “can I negotiate salary”. Which is why women are paid less than men in graduate roles, and that is perpetuated as we move through our professional lives.

How to address this? Having strong role models for women, like Leigh Wood, like Dee Anderson. Those kinds of women help us to aspire to be greater professionally, than just being happy with what we’ve got, which women can do.

Tasnim Hayba, Bachelor of Arts, 3rd year, majoring in English and Ancient History

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Tasnim Hayba

It’s quite a complex identity I think [being a woman]. It’s inherently politicised by so many people, but I think

being a woman is the strongest thing you can be and I love being a woman.

As a Muslim woman it’s a bit different. Again, being a Muslim is another complex identity, and because I’m mostly the only Muslim in most of my classes it’s always a bit isolating, in a way.

I remember after certain events people would look at you weirdly or stuff like that, but for the most part they’re welcoming.

I want to be a primary school teacher. Growing up I would have liked to have had more Muslim teachers. I want to be the representation that I never really had growing up. I want people to see women doing all kinds of jobs, teachers being one of them.

Laura Heron, Project Manager, Office of PVC Learning and Teaching

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Laura Heron

It’s a really good time to be a woman. I believe that there’s lots more opportunities out there for women than ever before, whatever field you’re working in. I’m personally really excited to see this field of entrepreneurship booming and there’s so many women in leadership across that sector who don’t have to rely on getting the tick of approval from some old white male. They can just go ahead and conquer their own world.

I think being a woman is being part of a network of other women.

On International Women’s Day it’s important to reach out to other women and remind each other why we’re connected, reflect on why you love the women in your life that you do love, and remember to be supportive.

And in a space where we’re sort of geared to being competitive with one with other, just pause and say no, no we’ve got to be competitive with each other but in a way that brings us together and projects us forward. Otherwise if we just sit back and wait for a hand up to a position we’re just not going to get anywhere. So I think women have the floor to achieve a lot and it’s really nice to be invited onto that floor to see what’s possible.

Erin Semon, Senior Project Manager (Research)

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Erin Semon

I think what I’m really starting to enjoying about International Women’s Day is it’s starting to be more than just a symbol. There’s actually now women taking power of their voice, taking charge of their voice, and we’re having positive changes happen in our world. I think women are starting to be heard. I think

International Women’s Day is another way for us to amplify our voice.

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Posted by Geraldine Timmins

I was Communications and Engagement Lead for the Learning Innovation Hub 2017 - 2018 and Teche Editor during that time.

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