While society has become more progressive in the past decades, there are a lot of traditions and notions still present. Gender roles are one.
“How do you define success?” That’s how Jerry Dugan, an education consultant at Christus Health and former Women’s Shelter community educator, began the March 9 faculty workshop called Breaking Out of the Gender Box. The workshop was aimed at helping faculty understand how gender roles affect students and how to help nontraditional students.
The workshop went over common roles that men and women are “boxed” into and how it affects their future success. Dugan spoke to a room of faculty who had wide ranging roles at Del Mar, but all had similar encounters regarding gender roles.
Benita Flores-Munoz, assistant professor of child development/early childhood, sponsored the event in coordination with the Perkins Grant, dedicated to students entering the workforce. Flores-Munoz said she wanted to hold the workshop to “bring awareness of gender roles and be more proactive to try and not put students into a box.”
Dugan asked the room to identify the common gender roles and actions that put men and women into a “box” and showed how misconceptions can affect people of a certain gender. Dugan pointed out how the false belief that women are weaker and do less work has had a negative effect on women in the workforce.
“Women are 52 percent of the workforce, yet they only get paid 78 cents for every $1 that men do. They also only hold 14.6 percent of the CEO positions in the U.S. and only 4.6 percent are in the Fortune 500,” Dugan said.
By understanding these restrictions, Dugan said that “once you recognize these actions or behaviors, you can stop doing them.”
Jennifer McWha, the nursing program director, was one of many at the event who agreed that “you have to move past the stereotypes and give everyone a fair chance.
Sarah Contreras, a communications professor, repeated this statement and added that we are “so much more than labels and deserved to be treated as more than labels.”