Women’s panel defies gender stereotypes

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

Suffolk Public Library will present an opportunity later this month to meet inspiring women with unconventional careers.

The “EmpowHERing Brunch” will be held March 25 at Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St. in honor of Women’s History Month. The free panel and catered brunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for patrons age 18 or older. Minors may attend if accompanied by adults.

A nuclear engineer, butcher, visual artist, crime scene investigator, computer graphic designer, and rock-and-roll musician will speak about their experiences in predominantly male careers. Suffolk Library services coordinator Angela Martin said she organized this event to put them in the spotlight.

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“They’ve probably never had anyone acknowledge them,” she said. “The importance that I saw was to celebrate these women and have their wisdom passed on.”

Each panelist will discuss her unique career experiences, and their shared struggles of dealing with gender stereotypes and overcoming them.

“We’re going to discuss the hardships these women have had to face,” Martin said.

She said this is an important and necessary conversation as young women face the same “glass ceiling” in their own pursuits, and this conversation includes men as well.

“I think there’s more respect now, but it’s a conversation that still needs to be had, and not just with women but men too,” she said. “I think it’s important to acknowledge these things and talk about them and have open discussions about them.”

The goal is for young women going into adulthood to speak with these accomplished women over coffee, juice and pastries. Martin said she wants to reach and inspire young people.

“I want them to be empowered in their own goals and their own paths that they’re choosing, and for other people to be aware that there are a lot of obstacles for women to overcome,” she said. “But you don’t have to shy away from it. You just face it.”

Call 514-7323 for more information or go online at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com.