DGHE Hosts Women’s Day Panel Discussion
Posted on 11/03/22
This week, we gathered some of our students and staff to meet four unique and inspirational women who came to share their experiences in sectors that many of our students plan to enter: a policewoman, a graphic designer, an administrator at our local business association, and a health and social care worker.
Our four guests shared their views in a panel discussion moderated by our Head of Marketing and Communications, Anne Whitehead. Our hope was that the session could address some practical challenges that women face in the workplace – like advocating for higher wages, and what kind of allyship is helpful from male colleagues, among others.
On the question of how women can overcome the old trend of being underpaid in comparison to men, our guests had some tips.
1. Write down what tasks you do daily on the job, and if you ever work overtime
2. Note if/when you go above and beyond your job description
3. Do some research to see what salaries are listed online for other jobs like yours (or ask your peers what they’re paid)
4. Prepare your records and ask your manager for an appointment to discuss salary
5. Be confident and calm in your presentation of why you deserve to be paid more.
Overall, believing in yourself was a major piece of advice the women gave our community. We also talked about how to balance work with the rest of your life to stay healthy and well.
We also asked these professional women how they thought men could be better allies in the workplace. Men in attendance asked questions since they wanted to know how they can do better. Both our panellists and our attending staff and students had a lot to say on this issue. We had a good discussion. Some tips for men included:
1. Give women credit when they come up with ideas or do a great job
2. Treat men and women equally, without ever assuming a woman cannot do what a man does
3. As men, be authentic and vulnerable to show women that you also struggle, for example with mental health
4. Approach conversations with women assuming that they’re equally competent and intelligent in order to avoid being perceived as patronising.
Work-life balance and self-care were also important subjects raised in the discussion. Following the panel and a Question & Answer period, our Wellbeing advisor Fiona led the group in peaceful mindfulness meditation. We were refreshed and reminded to practice mindfulness in small ways every day to master our minds and cut down on stress.
We wrapped up our special Women’s Day event with refreshments and networking. Students took time to talk with the panellists one-on-one and learn more about how to make it in their field.
We are very grateful for the attendance of our fabulous panellists, as well as students and staff who came out to participate. We look forward to welcoming our community to more events like this in the future!