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Calling all women working in non-traditional fields

Women working in non-traditional fields or at senior executive level are being asked to share photographs of themselves at work, to create a gender equity image library.

Through a University of Tasmania Teaching Development Grant, Dr Nicolá Goc, Director of the Gender Policy Strategy Group, aims to create an image bank of photographs of females working in non-traditional roles, and also images of females working at the higher echelons of business and government.

The library will then be used by university lecturers as a teaching resource, to socialise both female and male students into understanding the possibilities open to all graduates.

“The American activist for the rights of children, Marian Wright Edelman, says ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’,” Dr Goc said.

“For girls and women, this often means not taking a particular career path because they have never seen women working in a particular role, and therefore have never imagined themselves taking that particular career option.

“When females reach university, their course and career choices have already been limited by the lack of examples they have seen of women working in non-traditional careers. This limitation continues to influence course and career choices for females at university.”

Dr Goc is looking for women working in non-traditional roles – whether through a trade, a profession, or self-employed – to participate in the project by submitting two or three photographs of themselves, or being available to have a photograph taken by a professional photographer (this option is limited to those in southern Tasmania for a limited period of time).

The photographs submitted by participants do not need to be professional photographs – high-resolution amateur photographs, such as those taken on a smart phone, are acceptable.

“Through this innovative project, we aim to make women in non-traditional workplaces more visible and help put an end to the unconscious bias that restricts females in their study and career choices,” Dr Goc said.

“The women who participate in this project do not need to be graduates of the University of Tasmania, and the project is not restricted to females in Tasmania or Australia.

“If people know of someone in their family or friend network who fits the criteria, please get in touch and we will send them an information sheet.”

Those interested can contact Dr Nicolá Goc by emailing gender.equity@utas.edu.au  for further information about the project or to send images.

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