As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we spoke to Dr Lorraine Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), Royal Agricultural University, to get her perspective when considering her career and the subject of bias.
Tell us about a career milestone.
My role as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is a career milestone. My current role priorities are to enhance education and the student learning experience at the RAU; It’s an absolute privilege to be responsible for education and the student learning experience in a university.
What keeps you going when the challenges get really tough?
My husband, my mother, my mother-in-law, good family, good friends, good colleagues and students all keep me going when the challenges get really tough. Chocolate can never be underestimated either!
Where do you think the biggest potential for bias against women still exists?
Unfortunately there is still bias against women in everyday language; it’s no longer appropriate or acceptable to call women ‘girls’, ‘ladies’, ‘guys’ etc.
Symbols also show bias regarding who we value and who we don’t value in images and statues within our communities.
In the workplace, bias still exists in denying women the same resources and pay as men to undertake their roles and responsibilities, leading to a culture of undermining women and a paucity of women and female role models in senior roles.
We’ll only achieve gender equality and inclusion when we all work together to break the bias for the next generations to come, who are the ones to lead us through the global challenges we face.