Nontraditional roles

Colloquium addresses issues faced by women in male-dominated careers

A recent colloquium sponsored by the WWU School of Business focused on the topic of the women in non-traditional roles. This multi-speaker event addressed how to build understanding and empathy regarding issues that may arise for professional women working in a variety of careers that are primarily dominated by men.

“It’s important to address this topic to understand and learn about sexual harassment and professional work environments. These issues are on the minds of new professionals who find themselves as minorities in the workplace,” says David Lindstrom, director of the WWU Career Center.

“I hope participants took away the fact that gender issues are something to pay attention to, but are completely manageable and not something to be scared of,” says Lindstrom. “Walla Walla University works to help students confidently build the career path they are called to regardless of their gender.”

Five speakers presented at the event:

Susan Alexander, WWU visiting professor of computer science, taught at Whitworth University in Spokane for 16 years. Prior to teaching, Alexander was a manager at Northrop Grumman Corporation where she led an advanced technology department and worked as an industry consultant for high performance computing.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Jenny Wade went on to a commission in the United States Air Force where she flew F-16s. Jenny has logged more than 2,000 hours of flight time, and has flown more than 100 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jenny is now employed by Afterburner, Inc., a business-consulting firm for Fortune 500 companies and is the sole owner and operator of Ragged Irregulars Aviation LLC.

Danielle Fichera joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, in 2003. For the past 13 years, she has performed the duties of a structural design engineer, technical lead, project manager, and McNary Lock and Dam technical section chief. Her dedication to serving her country spurred her to deploy overseas to Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul and Kunduz, Afghanistan, where she worked as a project manager, resident engineer, and project engineer.

Jeannette Wilson joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, in 2009. While assigned as active duty Army officer she served as project engineer, project manager, and business line manager. She has also served in the U.S. Army as an engineer officer.

While she was a student, Kristen Daschofsky worked at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in the forensic unit. In 2012, she was hired as a police officer by the Everett Police Department. Since 2014, she has been employed as a deputy sheriff for the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office.

Posted May 17, 2016

Women in nontraditional careers speak for business colloquium.