Loyola Celebrates Women’s History Month With an Array of Events in Honor of Female Leadership

Loyola is hosting a variety of events through the end of March in honor of Women’s History Month.

Loyola is hosting a variety of events through the end of March in honor of Women’s History Month, as well as establishing a new scholarship for graduate students, called “Gannon Graduate Leaders.”

Dominique Jordan Turner, vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), listed four events celebrating female growth and accomplishment within the university and off campus in an email to students.

‘No Story Left Behind, an evening of appetizers & archives’ was an event hosted by The Center for Black Student Excellence and Women and Leadership Archives, featuring archives from the Mundelein College United Black Association. 

The event took place March 14 in the Damen Student Center, and included a discussion surrounding the importance of historical research, according to Jordan Turner’s email. 

The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership will be hosting Paula Boggs, a lawyer, musician, veteran and leader as a guest speaker on how to live a mission-driven life March 29 on the fourth floor of the Information Commons, according to the email. 

Boggs will be providing insight into her time as a captain in the Army, working as a White House Counsel and as chief legal counsel at Starbucks, Jordan Turner wrote in the email to students. 

Mollie Hickey, a first-year psychology and criminal justice major, said she thinks Women’s History Month is important to recognize because women still face a variety of inequalities in the modern world.

“I think it is important because even though we are in 2023 women still don’t have everything a man has,” Hickey said. “Pay inequality is still a thing, that’s the first thing that came to mind.”

On average, women make 82% of what men make, according to the Government Accountability Office. Women make up 44% of the total workforce but only 41% of managers, according to the office.

Hickey said although she was unaware of any events hosted by the university in March, she did know about an initiative started in Francis Hall, where she lives, to collect menstrual products for those in need. The donation drive is being called Her Drive, and is being hosted by the Francis Hall Council, according to Hickey.

Francis Hall Council did not respond in time to The Phoenix’s requests for comment. 

Following Boggs’ speech, a reception will be held for Loyola students and staff, with Boggs in attendance, according to the email, which provided a registration link for those interested in attending. 

Loyola’s Women’s Studies and Gender Studies’ Feminist Lecture Series will be offering a lecture over Zoom from Sydney Curtis, titled “Exploring the Contours of Black Feminist Pedagogy: Our Politics and Our Bodies.” 

The presentation will occur March 30, and the topics will focus on learning through a Black feminist lens, according to the email. A registration link for this event was provided in the email as well.

The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership will start a new leadership coaching program designed for Loyola graduate students, according to Loyola’s website

“The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership educates and fosters women leaders to contribute to the development of a more just social order,” Jordan Turner said in email. “A key part of this mission is preparing women leaders who will pursue justice for the environment, health, and society.”

Hickey said she would like to learn more about women’s history, as she feels things like Pride Month and Black History Month get more attention than Women’s History Month. 

“I would love to hear more about why it is important as well as what inequalities I’m facing,” Hickey said. “I’m a woman, so that’s kind of important. I would love to know what I am facing besides the bias and the pay stuff. I know there is a lot more going on in the world.”

Rylee Abaya, a junior psychology major, said she wishes Loyola talked more about the events they are hosting for Women’s History Month, rather than just sending out a single email to students. 

“I didn’t know about much of the initiatives that Loyola is putting on, so I kind of wish that was advertised more because Women’s History Month is definitely important,” Abaya said.

Abaya said she thinks being a woman is an important piece of many students’ identities, and should therefore be celebrated and acknowledged. 

“When you think about systems of power and oppression and the different identities a person holds, it’s definitely important to uplift those voices and recognize the importance of what they have done,” Abaya said. 

As of the 2021 fall semester, the student population at Loyola was 68% female and 32% male, according to U.S News and World Report.

Abaya said she believes because the school is so heavily female, it’s even more important for the university to host events in honor of Women’s History Month.

“You don’t see this [ratio] much in schools, unless it is an all-girls school for example,” Abaya said. “Making sure that [events] truly mirror the population of the school. Not just cis-gender women but trans women and women of color. Highlighting the different things they have accomplished at Loyola would be really cool.”

Abaya said she feels going to a university with more women than men has benefitted her college experience positively. 

“I have definitely felt like because it is primarily female a lot of times you feel like you can have that support in the classroom,” Abaya said.

Featured image by Holden Green

Lilli Malone

Lilli Malone