Questions to ask a panel of women for IWD
Hungrycaterpillarsmummy · 06/03/2023 09:35
Hi, my colleague has set up a women's panel at work and has asked us to submit questions to ask the panel.
What kind of thing could I ask? It's been set up as "we can hear about their work experiences, what IWD means to them and can ask questions and have a real interactive session"
So I would like to submit some questions to get some good talking points and contribute to the session but I don't know what to ask!
RoseslnTheHospital · 06/03/2023 13:17
Who are these women on the panel? Have they been selected just because they are women and work for your company?
What is the purpose of the discussion panel? It can't just be to hear about these women's personal experiences and feelings about IWD, because that's just a bit odd.
Realistically no one is going to want to raise any experiences of sexism. discrimination or harassment in that forum.
Could you look at your company's "gender" pay gap, if published, historically and look to see if that's improving? Are maternity leave and pay the statutory minimum or do they offer more? What's the split between the sexes at each level within the company, are more women in less senior roles for example?
Hungrycaterpillarsmummy · 06/03/2023 13:32
It is sort of mid level people that my colleague reached out to and asked if they would be a panel! So it is as you say, a bit odd.
All our policies are pretty good to be fair and I don't think these women would know stats about pay gap and stuff.
I see the company HR have also organise a panel which is much more aligned with what you are suggesting.
This is very low level style stuff. I was thinking more like how to develop a career plan or something!
MyBloodyBrother · 06/03/2023 13:34
It sounds like they’ve done it as a tick box exercise and aren’t actually interested in helping their female employees.
PonyPals · 06/03/2023 14:08
I would ask about:
Finding a mentor - is it important to have one?
Who/what do they attribute their success to
What is the one thing they wished they knew when embarking on their chosen career.
What do they feel is missing or can be improved for women in the current employment climate
BlueHeelers · 06/03/2023 14:25
Yes, like @PonyPals I'd ask them to talk about their mentors (not necessarily always women), their networks, and how they manage to separate female socialisation (eg we are socialised to be "nice" and to want to be liked) from what's required for professional success.
As an academic, I'm often surprised at the lack of networks & mentors some women academics have. I couldn't have had the career I've had without really strong networks, but I helped to make them for myself. It'd be good to hear how other women do that!
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