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Navigating the Glass Obstacle Course: A Personal Reflection

Category Event Recap

From centuries past to modern times, women have bravely faced countless obstacles in their pursuit of equality. Yet, as we gather at events like ‘Navigating the Glass Obstacle Course,’ it becomes clear that the journey towards gender parity is far from over.

As I walked into the venue for the “Navigating the Glass Obstacle Course” event organized by the Women’s Research Engineer Network (WREN) at the Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong (UOW), I couldn’t help but reflect on the age-old proverb: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” It’s a sentiment that resonates deeply, encapsulating the struggles and triumphs of women throughout history, including those of us gathered here tonight.

The event commenced with an inspiring opening by Emily, a dedicated member of the organizing team, setting the stage for what promised to be an enlightening evening. However, it was our keynote speaker, Kate Ramsay, who truly captured our attention with her impassioned discourse on gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Kate’s anecdotes and insights from her book, “A Hell of a Lot of Glass,” shed light on the harsh realities of the challenges women face today. From the scarcity of female CEOs to the persistent gender pay gap, her words deeply resonated with the audience, myself included. As a woman in the material and mechanical engineering field, I’m mindful of the progress being made towards greater diversity and inclusion. However, I still felt a profound connection to the challenges discussed, recognizing that there may still be barriers to overcome for women in this field

As Kate shared stories of individuals confronting inequality and the challenges of their experiences, I found myself nodding in agreement, feeling a connection to their stories that mirrored some aspects of my journey. This deeply resonated, especially considering the ongoing efforts to address gender disparities and foster inclusivity within our professional community. The subsequent Q&A session provided an opportunity for further exploration, fostering a sense of solidarity among attendees.

Following the lively discussions, the anticipation of lucky draw prizes added an extra layer of excitement to the evening. And as we mingled over food and drinks, the atmosphere buzzed with the energy of networking and fellowship.

Reflecting on the event, I felt inspired by the collective determination of those present. Each person, in their unique way, was committed to breaking down barriers and paving the way for a more inclusive future.

In conclusion, “Navigating the Glass Obstacle Course” wasn’t just an event—it was a testament to the resilience and strength of women in STEM and beyond. Kate’s insights on the importance of role models and mentoring, along with actionable tips and strategy for leaders and young women, underscored the potential for meaningful change. As we continue our respective journeys, let’s draw inspiration from the challenges before us, knowing that together, we can overcome and smash any “hell of a lot of glass’ obstacle”.

Thank you to the WREN and UOW LIFT team for organising such a meaningful event, one that kindles the flame of progress and spirit in our hearts!

We are pleased to inform you that the recording of the session is now available on our YouTube channel. If you are interested in viewing the event, please visit our channel to watch the full session.