Friday, January 23, 2009

Dr.Runte's talk still lingers in my head (video now available on YouTube)

As some of you may remember, on November 26th, 2008, Dr. Runte, the first female president of Carleton University, gave a talk on "Inspiring Women". If you missed it, I have great news! You can now watch it online.

Dr.Runte made some very interesting points about women in science and engineering in this presentation. She first mentioned that most women in science/engineering had a role model who encouraged them to study in those fields, such as their mom, grandmother, or a famous woman like Marie Curie. This indicates that we need to recognize accomplished women more in order to encourage young females to go into these fields. She told us of some amazing women that we haven't even heard of.

I also learned that women tend to criticize each other more than support each other. Now this was a good point. I never noticed it before and it disappointed me a lot. As an example, Dr.Runte mentioned that many women focused on criticizing Hilary Clinton, such as her blue pants, instead of doing their best to support her in her endeavors to be the first female president. I myself was so happy that she was running and admired her for it. Which reminds me of something I learned in a business class I took (Organizational Behavior). I learned that women in high position jobs are judged more than men, even by other women. So the way I see it, women need to stop being jealous of each other, stop judging each other, and start supporting each other. And of course we need the support of men too.

Dr.Runte also tells us stories about her past such as how she fought for fair pay (which is a great story by the way!). She did a great job and every single person in the audience walked away inspired. And as you can see, that inspiration still lingers in me.