I got in contact with your future UoN Women’s Officer, Ruby Harrison. Here’s what she had to say about women’s issues on campus and her experience as Events Manager for the Women’s Network.
What are the main issues that you believe women face after graduation and how do you think the university could help tackle these issues?
I think one of the major issues is applying for graduate schemes/internships etc. can be very competitive and is sometimes perceived as being a bit of a “boys’ club,” which discourages women from going for them. I think the uni could provide more interview practice tailored to helping women have the confidence to put themselves forward and not be put off by potentially male-dominated jobs.
Do you think there is an issue with female engagement with the SU considering all of the Presidential candidates are male?
I was really surprised and a bit disappointed that all the presidential candidates are male. I’m not sure if it’s just an issue with engagement as there are quite a lot of female candidates for other positions. But I’d definitely like to encourage more female engagement with all aspects of the Student’s Union.
What are the most important lessons you have learnt from working with the Women’s Network as Events Coordinator?
I think a big lesson that I learned was that we really need to improve engagement with the Women’s Network and try and get more people involved! Also, the importance of having a really good committee who all pull their weight and can work together well.
You say you’d like to increase connections with various other university networks, including the LGBT+ and Disabled Students’ Networks, how do you think this could improve the university experience for women?
I think the networks all being so separate may mean that people feel like they can only really commit time to one of them, when in reality people may identify with multiple different groups. I also think that it’ll encourage people to embrace diversity and get to know people who they might not have spoken to or considered the perspective of before, which will ultimately make university more inclusive and welcoming for all women.
What message would you like to send to women of the university?
The message I’m most passionate about sending is that the Women’s officer is here to support all women at university, and that’s why I’m putting intersectionality and inclusivity at the top of my agenda for next year, so that we can really widen the network and make it as accessible as possible.
Read her manifesto here: http://www.studentleaderelections.co.uk/manifestos/
Image courtesy of UoNSU
Vote here: http://www.studentleaderelections.co.uk
Edited by Jenine Tudtud