Dr. Geneva Murray talks with students during her lecture at the Voinovich School.

OHIO Women’s Center Director talks professional development to Voinovich School students

Sam Miller
February 6, 2017

Imposter syndrome, lack of confidence and equal pay were all topics discussed by Dr. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center at Ohio University, during her hour-and-a-half luncheon at the Voinovich School on January 20.

Murray emphasized the issues women face in a professional setting to a crowd of mostly female faculty and graduate students. The first issue mentioned was pay and advancement inequality in the workplace. Murray noted that the pay gap between men and women had increased one cent from 2014 and 2015. Women now make 80 cents to a man’s dollar. After Murray opened a conversation on the root of this issue, attendees concluded that it came down to whom they were negotiating pay with and lack of confidence. Other factors such as socioeconomic problems of women, maternity leave and the responsibility of being a parent were also discussed.

The Women’s Center offers Start Smart, a two-hour workshop designed by the American Association of University Women, to assist participants in initial salary negotiations. Three of these sessions will be held this semester: February 9 at 6:30 p.m., March 28 at 12 p.m. and April 10 at 5 p.m. Each session is free and while all are welcome, the content is geared more toward women.

“It is my joy and passion to help women advocate for what is they are worth and these workshops truly make that happen,” Murray said.

Murray also discussed imposter syndrome, the inability of many women to feel worthy of their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud.” To counter this, the Women’s Center offers a session called “Stay Out of Your Own Way: How Gendered Language Threatens Our Success.” This workshop highlights the ways women traditionally undersell their accomplishments and helps women focus on using their words to better demonstrate their qualifications. Sessions of “Stay Out of Your Own Way” are offered February 6 at 5:30 p.m. and March 30 at 5:30 p.m.

The Women’s Center offers other programs to help achieve their goal of harnessing leadership in women and aiding them in achieving their full potential. Murray discussed two of them: She Leads Ohio and Women Leading Ohio. Both programs are a variety of workshops and sessions geared toward women’s professional development and are offered to both staff and students.

The luncheon concluded with Murray opening the floor to feedback about ways the Women’s Center could continue to assist professional women. At the end of the conversation, Murray said she would always be a resource for students and faculty and that the Women’s Center was always open to them.

For more information about the Women’s Center or additional programming, visit www.ohio.edu/womenscenter.