“Gender in the Workplace” conference scheduled for March 26 at Western

In an effort to prepare students for gender issues in their chosen careers, the women’s studies department will hold a conference next Monday.

The conference, entitled “Gender in the Workplace,” will be held from 8:30am to 4pm in the University Center.

The inspiration for this one-day conference came from a similar conference on gender and professional development at Clemson University, which a group of faculty from the WCU women’s studies department attended recently, said Marilyn Chamberlin, assistant professor of anthropology and sociology.

Chamberlin explained that the conference is intended to be somewhat gender-neutral, meaning that both men and women can benefit from the information that the speakers will relate.

“It will provide some practical applications and information for (students) to prepare for careers,” said Chamberlin.

The keynote speaker is Judy LaPointe, owner of Judy’s Bridal and Formal Wear of Sylva.

In addition to kicking off the conference, LaPointe will also speak about entrepreneurship at the first session of the conference. Also speaking in the first session are Julie Johnson and Anne Rogers. Johnson, assistant professor of marketing, will address students about mentoring and networking, and Rogers, head of the department of anthropology and sociology, will speak about gender communication.

The second session, which begins at 11:15 a.m., will feature Mickey Randolph, head of the department of psychology, speaking about communication between individuals with different personality styles; Mardy Ashe, counselor from career services, speaking about career planning; and Jennie Hunter, head of the department of computer information systems, speaking about business etiquette.

The third session will include a talk on sexual harassment policies, given by Dianne Lynch, assistant to the chancellor for equal opportunity programs. Chamberlin will speak about gender differences in leadership styles, and Robert Vartabedian, dean of the college of arts and sciences, will give strategies for effectiveness in public speaking.

Dodie Allen, owner of Dodie’s Auction of Sylva, will give the closing keynote address.

Each of the presenters has either done research on the topic about which they will speak, has practical experience in the field, or represents a unit on campus, according to Chamberlin.

The registration fee for the conference is $15 for students and $30 for non-students, and $5 less if you choose not to participate in the buffet lunch that will be offered from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

The official deadline for registration is Thursday, March 22, but individuals are welcome to register at the door of the conference. If you wish to attend the conference and register there, please call Chamberlin at 227-3878.