Students learned about what kinds of obstacles these women have faced in the workforce, and how the challenges of balancing career obligations with family commitments can be overcome. There were several important ideas the women emphasized throughout the discussion.
Another important theme was better incorporating men into this career/family balance. The sooner the world realizes that raising a family is not just the woman’s job, the better. While times are getting progressively better for women to break into traditionally male dominated occupations, employers are still wary of hiring women for fear of those women leaving to have children. Modern day society needs to realize that men can also take maternity leave, for raising kids requires both parents' effort. Therefore, it is important for both men and women to surround themselves with professionals that share these convictions.
Overall, students were very pleased with this event and the JRCLS/CLS co sponsorship plans to host similar panels each year. It was wonderful to participate in a discussion centered on a topic that we as budding professionals are so concerned with. We look forward to more W&M WIL Section events in the near future!