As part of Women’s History Month, PCC asked members of the staff to share their experiences throughout their careers in and out of higher education. Paula Hanley, Senior Partnerships Manager at PCC, shared about how focusing on equity has helped shaped her as a professional.

1. How has being a woman shaped your professional experiences in and out of higher education?

Being a woman has helped shape my equity lens. It has made me a stronger advocate for anyone who has been marginalized. I have witnessed where doors of opportunity were open to men differently than women across my career. I think being a woman has made me more collaborative and more inclusive in my work. The diversity of voices in a room matters to me. Promoting gender equity in higher education is another part of the equity puzzle. Women are still underrepresented in many academic disciplines and leadership roles. We still have work to do.

2. What can higher education institutions do better to uplift and help women in leadership?

Institutions of higher education need to continue to design intentional pathways that lead to opportunities for women. This means ensuring women at all levels have professional learning opportunities in their field/area of work as well as access to leadership development.

3. What advice do you have for women working in higher education? 

My only bit of advice would be to take risks and take ownership of your career path. Let your voice be heard. Take risks. If you aspire to be in leadership positions, tell others. Partner with a mentor to assist you. And, if you are in a leadership position, be willing to be the mentor.