A group of women from the Wake Forest University class of 1962 have had nearly 40 years to find the perfect balance between their personal and professional lives. Now, they want to give younger generations an opportunity to build on the experiences of previous ones.
The 19 women are sponsoring a panel discussion with the university’s women’s studies program at 5 p.m. on April 23 featuring Lynn Weber, director of the women’s studies program at the University of South Carolina. Weber’s presentation, “Combining Professional and Personal Lives: Strategies, Struggles and Successes,” will be followed by a panel of women in various stages of life and from diverse backgrounds.
The event will take place in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.
“It speaks volumes about their experience here at Wake Forest that these women felt so strongly about giving back, and we are delighted that they choose to give back through the women’s studies program,” said Cheryl Leggon, director of Wake Forest’s women’s studies program. “This is an issue of major importance not only to our students right now, but to all professionals already in the workplace.”
Weber is a nationally known scholar on gender studies. As director of the University of South Carolina’s women’s studies program, she has quadrupled the program’s total enrollment and tripled the number of courses. She has written four books, including the recent “Understanding Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality: A Conceptual Framework.”
At the event, Weber will talk first for about 20 minutes. Then a panel of women—one married in her 40s with children; one from the class of 1962 with grown children; and one young professional who is not married and has no children— will discuss their own experiences of balancing their careers and personal life. A panel of students will then respond to the discussion. Audience members, including several members of the 1962 group, will be encouraged to participate with comments and questions.
“This is an issue that everyone deals with in their own way,” said Mary Ann Briton, a member of the 1962 group who will participate in the panel discussion. “It is helpful to hear from those who have found the balance.”
Leggon says the event is for all professionals seeking to balance their personal and professional lives— not just women.
“This new generation’s need for a life outside of work is encouraging,” she said. “It emphasizes the fact that this is a societal issue, not just a female issue.”
For more information on the event, contact the women’s studies program at 336-758-3758.
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