The Wentworth community came together in 2018 to celebrate Women’s History Month through a spate of events aimed at celebrating strides made in gender equality, while also reflecting on the past and looking ahead at what still needs to be done.
“Understanding the past helps us understand our present,” says Allison Lange, assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. “It is easy to think women who are marching and speaking up against gender inequality just popped up, but women have been doing this for centuries.”
Lange—who recently contributed to an article published in Time magazine entitled
“On Women’s Equality Day, Here Are 3 Things to Know About the Suffrage Movement”—was a member of the Women’s History Month Planning Committee.
One event included “Our Story: Women at Wentworth,” a panel discussion featuring Lois Ascher, retired professor in the Department of Humanities, and three alumnae: Rose Conti, ABC ’09, BCM ’12; Sharon Jozokos, AET ’92, CMC ’93; and Rachel Keen, BBM ’16. Each shared their experiences as women at Wentworth and in their industries, whether it was construction management for Conti or engineering for Keen. They encouraged attendees to pursue their passions, expand their network, and always move forward.
“I was definitely driven, especially when someone said I couldn’t have something,”
said Jozokos, a Wentworth University Adviser who is the chair of the Strategic Issues Committee. “Growth is unlimited.”
In a separate event, author Dava Sobel shared behind-the-scenes stories about her latest novel, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard ObservatoryTook the Measure of the Stars. The book explores how women workers, including astronomers Williamina Fleming and Annie Jump Cannon, dominated the workplace at the Harvard College Observatory and led to great advancements in their field.
Throughout Women’s History Month, postcard sessions entitled “Remember the Ladies” were held to encourage the Wentworth community to pay homage to important women in their lives. And the community was treated to an afternoon of laughs when stay-at-home mom turned full-time comedian Kathe Farris came to campus.
The Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons played host to two exhibits, “Women of Architecture, Science, and Design,” celebrating seven Wentworth-related women, and “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” showcasing strong omen in history. The former featured alumnae Esti Shapiro, BSA ’18, and Olivia Hegner, BSA ’14, MARC ’15; faculty members Carol Burns, Jennifer Lee Michaliszyn, and Audrey O’Hagan; Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin, a member of the Architecture Departmental Advisory Committee; and Andrea Leers, the leading architect for the Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences.