Panel discusses myths of women in the workplace

Bryan Wroten

A woman must not have much of a social or family life if she is successful.

It must be strange for a man to stay at home while his wife works.

These are a few of the myths about women in the workplace Kirsten Beverley hoped to dispel with her panel discussion.

Titled “Empowering Women 4 the Future,” a panel of four, moderated by Beverley, and students met last night in Heer Hall to discuss the topic of successful women.

“The five women I picked stood out in my mind,” she said. “I thought they’d be a good mix of women from different parts of campus.”

The panel included Betsy Joseph, director of Residence Services; Amy Quillin, associate director of Residence Services; Nadia Alamo, who is studying community counseling and is a graduate student for Student Services; and Eileen Weisenbach Keller, lecturer of management and information systems. Tasha Ledrich, assistant director of Recreational Services, was unable to attend.

Beverley, a resident assistant in Heer Hall, started the discussion by showing the music video “Stupid Girl” by Pink. She said she wanted everyone to see it, so they would see how media play a part in image.

The panel answered pre-submitted questions during the discussion. The questions ranged from how to dress for a job to questioning the sexuality of a successful woman to advice they would give their daughters about finding a job.

Alamo responded to a question about workloads and types of jobs given to women and men in the workplace. She told the audience about when she worked in the theater department while in college, helping to create sets. She said the supervisor would give the power tools to the men and paintbrushes to the women.

She said while he probably didn’t do this consciously, “it still told us what he thought of us.”

She said she and the other women talked to him about the problem, and it was corrected, though they had to remind him occasionally.

However, this is not always the case. Joseph said she always worked hard at what she did in life, and other people took notice of her work ethic. Because of her ability to handle the workload, she said she would have more assignments.

“I ended up getting more work when I didn’t want it,” she said.

Weisenbach Keller told the women in the audience to go and learn a technical skill. She said by finding something they can do well, they should be able to secure a job. Majoring in management is too broad, she said.

“Find that wedge that is yours, that becomes your foot in the door,” she said.

Contact minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].