‘I can’t really see myself as President’. Girls, really?
Maybe you can’t see yourself as President of SUSU because there have only been four female presidents in the last 23 years.
53% of University of Southampton students are female. Yet these are the only women who have been elected to lead the Students’ Union in over two decades:
Alex Tanfield 2008-2009
Sarah Moore 2007-2008
Marie Heracleous 2000-2001
Hannah Barton 1994-1995
This year, SUSU has been campaigning for women to lead the way. We held the Inspiring Women event in The Bridge in November, which 100 students came along to, and plans are already underway to celebrate International Women’s Week in March.
The SUSU elections are coming up and a new sabbatical team of seven students will be elected to represent the views of the student body.
There is always the argument that discussing gender issues proliferates them, but with so many intelligent, driven women studying at the University of Southampton, I think it’s time to point out the obvious- more girls should nominate themselves!
Five women were elected onto the 2014-15 sabbatical team, but this doesn’t guarantee female representation next year. We need to continue to diversify the leadership, because we really want to represent the student population we were elected to represent.
No-one expects you to know how to be a sabbatical officer. That’s what training is for! I knew incredibly little about SUSU before I nominated myself. If you have ideas, and you have focus, you’ll be given the support you need to make a real positive difference to students’ lives.
Research by Hewlett-Packard found that women only apply for jobs when they feel they 100% match the job specification; men apply when they meet around 60% of the requirements.
So focus on thinking about all of the skills you already have that you could develop, and the rest you’ll be given the opportunity to gain throughout your year as a sabbatical officer.
Finally, if you want to find out about the kind of projects and strategies the current sabb team are working on, check out http://blogs.susu.org/sabbs/ . Or, you can find out about my progress six months in here.
Nominate yourself HERE, elections close on February 12th.
Seriously, think about it, what have you got to lose?