The Women’s Center and Career Services collaborated to host Owning Your Skills on Nov. 6, a two-hour workshop where students learned how to refrain from using gendered language in a professional setting.
During the workshop, students identified their “awesomeness” and practiced shaking hands and answering interview questions.
Owning Your Skills also provided student feedback as well as feedback from Angela Victor from Career Services and Dr. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center.
According to Murray, Career Services and the Women’s Center had similar interests with the working field and so they came together for the first Owning Your Skills workshop.
Murray said that many events held in the past were able to bring the two centers together.
“We do Start Smart Salary Negotiation with [Career Services] as well as several cosponsors such as UW Credit Union, Diversity Inclusion programs, etc.,” Murray said. “When we started working more with Career Services, we realized that our fields are wonderfully complementary of each other and I’m an expert in terms of gender and gender socialization and Angela is an expert when it comes to being the best prepared interviewee you can be. We thought it would be really wonderful if we could have something that intersects.”
Murray also explained this event could help women when it comes to valuing or selling themselves.
The event helped students identify when they are underselling themselves and how to create new strategies to sell themselves better.
Emily Weiss, an intern at the Women’s Center, said the event taught students how to avoid gendering themselves in different settings.
Weiss felt the knowledge is very helpful to improve résumés and to choose better language to use in professional settings.
“This kind of knowledge is invaluable for us as students,” Weiss stated. “I was never told that when I write on a résumé that I’m nice or that I have a great personality that genders myself, that it identifies me as a woman to an employer who would otherwise maybe not know versus saying that I’m hardworking or that I’m a real go-getter.”
According to Victor, the Owning Your Skills event was created from the Start Smart- Salary Negotiation as a follow up workshop.
The event was created to help students identify their skills and talk about professional communication in a fun and relaxed setting.
Victor said the event is important to students because of the work and passion they put behind their futures with employers.
“I think this is very important to have on campus for all students because students invest a lot of their time money, energy, passions into pursuing their education, and I want them to be able to have the skills to talk about what their strengths and what their abilities and experiences are so they can find the best possible position suited to them,” Victor said. “It’s a really important skill to learn how to articulate those skills and not something that everyone has a chance to practice, so this workshop is an opportunity for them.”