To be honest, the day in itself is both utterly depressing and full of wisdom.
Depressing because of the annual reality hit of just how far we still have to go on gender equality issues globally. The usual media focus is on on a litany of abusive regimes, highlighting some recent abhorrent, violent events. The reporting eventually peeters out. It is a disturbing day…week
In Ireland things are pretty great relative to many other locations on our planet. However as a self-declared ‘progressive’ nation, that is currently unhinging itself from the shackles of the secular and spiritual patriarchy, Ireland has a LONG way to go.
This was my third year attending an event run by the Dublin University General Science Society. Its an occasion where undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering, Maths and Science, who have nominated their ‘favourite women in science‘ get to meet and speak with us. It is an occasion full of storytelling and willing revelations of the secrets of the sisterhood.
This year I was invited to sit on a panel to discuss issues around academia and gender equality. The panelists were full of insights, experience, knowledge and wisdom.
The conversation was easy and there was no holding back. There was a real sense of camaraderie. There is no doubt that we have got to where we are by meeting some of the challenges that faced us. So we were keen to dispense advice and insight that will hopefully be useful nuggets that can be used somewhere in their future.
The resounding perspectives that emerged were:
Be honest with yourself
expect to fail
Take your time
Prepare to change
Remember, there is an ‘End Game‘ to be played. If the obstacle is too large to get over – find your way around it