Women's Career and Achievement Dinner 2018
Last night on April 30th 2018, the RIT Center for Women and Gender and the RIT Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement hosted the 2018 Women’s Career and Achievement Dinner. Over 500 students, staff, and family members attended, along with 21 women being awarded as Legacy Leaders. Dr. Hamad Ghazle was also honored for his advocacy and contributions towards gender diversity on campus with the 2018 Edwina Award. As an event that celebrates the success of women and gender inclusivity here at #RIT, it has an important history as well.
The event started occurring annually in 2006 as a banquet that honored successful alumnae of #RIT who have excelled in their careers beyond graduation. The banquet also honored #RIT faculty who made a precedence of gender diversity on campus. When 2010 came around, those who completed the certificate program received Women’s Leadership certificates through the Leadership Institute. This event continues to be a fulfilling celebration of success and inclusiveness for women at #RIT.
This year, iconic guest speaker Kathrine Switzer, “Marathon Woman”, gave words of inspiration. In 1967, Kathrine was the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon. This was before women were officially allowed to run in the Marathon in 1972. It was a common belief and stereotype that women were not strong enough to complete a marathon, let alone run long distances for extended periods of time. Kathrine broke through these challenges, proudly wearing her numbered entry tag of 261. During her time at Syracuse University studying journalism, she practiced with the men’s cross country team because there was no women’s team, driving the inclusion of women in sports.
Despite men attempting to physically pull her from the Boston Marathon, she went on to start the Women’s Marathon as an official part of the Olympics. As of 2017, she has been inducted to the U.S.A. National Women’s Hall of Fame. Kathrine is currently 71 years old, has worked as a journalist, and continues to uphold the values of female representation in sports. She serves as a source of inspiration and perseverance to women all over the world, allowing them to feel empowered and confident in everything they do.