Women in the Workplace: Having your voice heard

10953387_10153666831244129_7699955412646260322_nThis event, a panel discussion organised and chaired by Benita Turner-Bridger, the Graduate Parlour Committee’s Women’s Officer, centred around the question of how to get one’s voice heard as a woman in the workplace. Speakers were:

Prof Christine Holt – Professor of Developmental Neuroscience

Angela Single – until recently Global Business Development Director for BT Global Services

Christine Powers – Head of EMEA Global Talent Engagement (human resources)

Prof Rashda Rana S.C. – barrister and arbitrator

Barry Colfer – current PhD student at Pembroke in Politics

Lily Cortese – Director of Business Operations and Project Management, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Kimberly Matenchuk – Strategic Partner Manager, Google

Monica Wirz – management consultant and partner, ClueTrain Consultancy and Effective Boards

11160092_10205360225699458_1842710952_nEach of the eight speakers spoke for a few minutes about their own work experiences, with regular breaks for discussion with the audience. The speakers’ approaches to the question of ‘getting one’s voice heard’ made for a lively and fascinating discussion, as they spoke from personal experience about the often unpredictable directions of career paths, institutionalised sexism in the workplace (both implicit and explicit), and discipline-specific obstacles and advantages for women in various workplaces. The discussion felt both intimate and celebratory, as well as laying out in no uncertain terms that however far women have come in the workplace, there is still a long way to go.

From sexual harassment to unequal pay, and from unconscious biases against women to blocks to professional advancement, these speakers showed that these obstacles no doubt exist, but, as these women have shown, can be overcome.

Melisa Trujillo (2006)