By Xinyu Hong, USC Price MPA, 2018
On October 4, 2017, METRANS and Women in Management (WIM) co-hosted the WIM Women Deans Panel “Women in Academia: What does it take to reach the top?” on the USC Main Campus, featuring speakers Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinema Arts, and Karen Symms Gallagher, Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education.
The two Deans shared their personal experiences as female leaders in the academic world, and personal stories about their own recognition of the impact of gender, both when they were young and later, in academia.
In education, Dean Symms Gallagher mentioned how female leadership really matters. “There are careers that are predominantly female. Education is actually one of them.” She noted. “ This is extremely important not only for young women but people who are in their professional positions, to see women in a leadership position.”
When talking about how to overcome barriers for women, Dean Daley shared her own observation of why women tend to be more afraid of making mistakes and thus lose many opportunities. She said girls are often taught at an early age to be afraid of making mistakes, which is less common in the ways boys are taught. She finds the solution to deal with our fear is actually looking at the fear and saying, “Yes, I’m scared.” Then to accept that fear and never allow it to stop us moving forward; we should think about why we are afraid of it and confront it.
Both speakers suggested that students, staff and faculty identify their own goals and have the courage to take the risk for what one really wants to do.
Photo by USC Price School
About the Author: Xinyu Hong
Xinyu Hong is Master of Public Administration Student in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She is currently working as a corporation and foundation relations intern at USC Dornsife Advancement Office. Her major focus is in social innovation, female empowerment and nonprofit management. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.