There are still issues to work through when it comes to women in communications professions.
According to Dr. Michael Bugeja, Greenlee school director, some of these lingering issues include the emphasis on women’s appearances, equality of pay and women being hired for executive positions in the workforce.
“I think it’s important to have [the Association of Women Communicators] in the Greenlee School because a majority of our majors are women,” Bugeja said. “I think these issues have reasonable answers, but those reasonable answers shouldn’t come from me or another club. It should come from women in communications.”
Bugeja said that when he asked Lisa Munger Oakes, a Greenlee lecturer, if she would be interested in starting a professional network for women in communications-related fields, she quickly stepped up and took the initiative.
The AWC is a national organization geared both toward student and professional chapters. Each student chapter in the nation provides communication-major students with resources they can carry with them into the working world.
“The mission of the organization is to provide professional-level and student chapter affiliates for the advancement of women in communications in multiple disciplines,” Munger Oakes said. “Not just journalism, not just advertising, but, at the student level, speech communication.”
Kennedy Graham, a senior in public relations, jumped on the opportunity when Munger Oakes suggested she act as president of the group. Graham dedicated significant hours last summer to gaining ISU and national organizational approval for the chapter. In the end, she said she believes it will create an outlet ISU doesn’t already offer women students.
“This group is important because the communications field is in an evolutionary era and we want to help put women at the forefront and have a forum for them to talk,” Graham said.
The chapter held its kickoff event Oct. 13, which was attended by over 70 students from a wide variety of ISU majors. The group plans to hold monthly meetings focused on topics that will help women enter the communications industry.