Carissa Ford, facilitator for the table talk workshop and graduate assistant, speaks on her experiences of facing gender inequality during the International Women’s Day lun cheon Friday, Mar. 9 in PKP r oom. In attendan ce were President Allison Garr ett, faculty, and students wh o also discus sed their experiences. 

Sixteen women attended the international women’s day empowerment lunch on Friday, March 8. 

“It was such a great experience for me personally,” said Zoe Mezer, senior rehabilitation counseling major. “I really enjoyed listening to all the stories that were shared about the women on campus and their life or struggles they may have faced. It was so cool to be in a room with such powerful women.” 

The event was hosted by Carissa Ford, graduate assistant of diversity student programs. 

This is the third year the event has been put on. 

“This year’s (luncheon) was facilitated by me, so the discussion was a bit different,” Ford said. “The attendance was comparable to previous years, from what I remember. However, this year President Garrett attended, which had not happened in the past.” 

During the event several women shared different personal stories, from years ago to some that are happening now. 

President Garrett talked about how in the past, and sometimes today, women would not be able to go to their kids’ events without being told they were not taking their job seriously, where men were praised for doing so. 

“If a male wanted to take a day off to go watch his kids perform in their school’s play or program it was ‘What a great dad,’ where when a woman does the same thing it is ‘They are not taking their job very seriously,’” Garrett said. 

The women in attendance of the luncheon watched a Ted Talk called “Why gender equality is good for everyone- including men” and had several discussions on gender equality. 

“This event is important so women in positions within higher education and students like you and myself can have an open discussion about the past, present and future of gender equality by sharing our stories and personal experiences,” Ford said. 

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