Morgan Aguilar: Hey, everyone, I’m Morgan Aguilar, a communication specialist with University Marketing and Communications, as well as a grad student here at the University of Utah. And today I’m joined by a few of my co-members of the planning committee for Women’s Week at the University of Utah. This is an annual event that we do, and so I want to go ahead and have everybody introduce themselves. We’ll start with Kristin.
Kristin Maanum: Hi, everyone. My name is Kristin Maanum. I’m the director of the Women’s Resource Center, and I use she/her pronouns.
Morgan Aguilar: ME, you want to go next?
ME Hartnett: Yes, hi, everyone, I’m ME Hartnett. I’m a surgeon-scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology, and I’m also the co-chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and on Women’s Week.
Morgan Aguilar: Wendy?
Wendy Peterson: Hello, everyone. I’m Wendy Peterson. I’m the deputy chief human resource officer on the campus side, and I’m also the co-chair of Women’s Week.
Morgan Aguilar: Awesome. Thank you all for taking some time to do this video and tell everybody of all the amazing things we have going on this year for Women’s Week. I want to mention it is the week of March 14 through the 18th, and so we’ll start with just kind of an overview of why Women’s Week is something that we celebrate at the U every year, and we’ll start with Kristin.
Kristin Maanum: Well, I am really excited that we are continuing this strong tradition of celebrating Women’s Week here at the University of Utah. We were trying to determine how long it’s been going on and it has been at least over a decade here, which is really exciting. And I think it’s important that we always do this, not only to highlight the successes of women across campus and our community and across the country but also to raise awareness about issues of gender inequity.
In light of where we have all been for the last two years, [Women’s Week provides a platform to] think about what we’ve learned over the last couple of years and centering women’s voices, and also giving voice to people who maybe are sometimes overlooked in their contributions, haven’t been spotlighted as much as other folks here. And so I’m really excited about what we have laid out, and I think this is a great way for us to come together and celebrate and learn from one another and get excited about the future.
Morgan Aguilar: Awesome. Yes, I love the theme; the feeling of coming together and celebrating women, women’s accomplishments, and everything that women have been through. So I do want to talk about the theme. So that is “Shift. Strive. Thrive.” And those are big words with a lot of meaning packed into that theme title. So, ME, can you talk to us a little bit about the theme and kind of how and why the committee decided to come up with that one this year?
ME Hartnett: Sure, and I think Kristin really laid out some good groundwork regarding that. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with women leaders across campus and really learn from everyone and also with a great team…We all kind of brainstormed initially and we thought about things that were going on in the last year. And of course, the pandemic, there was a lot of divisiveness and unrest, there was a lot of angst regarding these things with sickness, career choices, sometimes worries about child care, especially when kids were homeschooling. So there was a lot of information that we were learning about.
There was a need for healing, so we wanted to have the recognition of that and how these different stressors affected women differently in different ways, how they manifested. But then we didn’t want to stop there. We really wanted to go beyond and show how we strive and thrive. In a sense, how sometimes — not always, but sometimes — that we can go deeply and we can go into the human spirit that we all have and figure out a way to make something better in a situation. But sometimes it’s even better than before. And so we learned from it. So we really do thrive. We don’t just survive. And that was kind of the thinking behind the theme. So it was a lot of fun.
Morgan Aguilar: Amazing. Well said. Thank you so much, ME. Okay, so let’s jump into a little bit about the events going on for the week. A lot of people all across campus, health sciences, everywhere have been planning events. So Wendy, can you tell us a little bit about what is going on and everything people can get involved with?
Wendy Peterson: Absolutely. Our committee came up with some great events this week. We’re really excited about all of the events and speakers and programs we have going. We’re kicking off the week on Monday at noon in the Union Saltair Room with Ericka Hart. She’s our keynote speaker and she’s amazing. And we’ve had a lot of feedback across campus from staff, faculty, and students that they’re really excited to get to hear Ericka. Following on Monday night, there is a “Raise a Glass” event hosted by the Women’s Resource Center at the Alumni House. So I look forward to catching up with all of you there. And then we have an in-person event on Wednesday. It’s titled “Thriving in Your Own Body.” And then we have several virtual events that you can tune in to, such as The ‘She’ Suite, Navigating Challenges in Career Development, Striving for Equality, Negotiation in the Workplace, Fostering [Joy] in Healing, as well as Advocating for Yourself and Others.
And then wrap up all of that good information and exciting content with Friday. We’re having an online virtual yoga session, followed by Friday afternoon, there are ten-minute massage sessions that are available at the Union. So anyone who is looking to sign up for a massage, get online, sign up for a time. For those who can’t attend [in person], most, if not all, of our sessions will be recorded and there’ll be a link that you can tune into at the close of the event. And just I guess just to summarize what both Kristin and Dr. Hartnett have said that we’ve got a lot of good content. We’re excited. We think it’s just what we need to reinvigorate, re-energize, and refocus.
Morgan Aguilar: Yeah, absolutely. I absolutely love the way that we’re ending the week, and we have some fun events going on throughout the week too, but some really educational and kind of tough conversations, maybe and things we’re going to learn and then just wrapping it up by just having kind of a self-care, togetherness day. And again, both in-person and online events [are] scheduled. So regardless of whether you can come to campus or not, you can participate in Women’s Week this year.
I do want to thank our sponsors as well Zions Bank and Domo, both for their contributions to everything going on this week and being able to bring in wonderful speakers. And then you don’t have to memorize everything, Wendy just said. You can find it at diversity.utah.edu/ww and also follow EDI on social media. The Women’s Resource Center, they are going to be posting about these events as well. So thank you everyone for taking the time to tell us about Women’s Week, and thanks to everyone for checking out this video. We can’t wait to see you March 14-18.