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Seminar aims to help UA female employees advance their careers


By Jennifer Amsler
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, September 20, 2004
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UA female employees will have the opportunity to learn how to advance their careers, network efficiently and utilize resources in their departments during their normal work hours in a half-day seminar Thursday.

The seminar, entitled "Intersections: Living, Learning & Working," which will be held Sept. 23 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center, was created in response to UA female faculty who said they did not have enough opportunities for professional development, said Stephanie Hazel, who is helping to organize the seminar.

"They will learn more on how to develop personal skills like interviewing, negotiating and using different resources in their departments," said Hazel, a higher education graduate student.

"Intersections: Living, Learning & Working" aims to help female UA employees succeed in their fields, Hazel said.

Hazel said that to attend the seminar, an employee must be classified staff, which encompasses entry-level positions at the UA such as nurses, administrative associates, office assistants and specialists, non-supervisors, facilities and maintenance staff and others.

Attendees can choose two workshops during the seminar, which include career advancement, networking, work-life interactions, gender equity, harassment and women in non-traditional career fields.

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I think it is good for women to come together to talk about the challanges they are facing in the workplace.

- Allison Vaillancourt, assistant vice president for UA human resources

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After the workshops, speakers will discuss career advancement, Hazel said.

"Employees will have the opportunity to hear from experts on professional development," she said.

The keynote speaker will be Allison Vaillancourt, the assistant vice president for human resources at the UA.

"I think it is good for women to come together to talk about the challenges they are facing in the workplace," Vaillancourt said.

Vaillancourt said she plans to discuss career development strategies and hopes women can develop plans for themselves to advance in their positions.

"I think the seminar will help open more opportunities for me in my current position," said Angelica Engle, an administrative associate in the human resources department.

Engle said she looks forward to learning how to network well and talk with other people who are in the same position as herself.

The Commission on the Status of Women asked President Peter Likins to sign a policy to give classified staff 16 hours of release time each year for seminars and other professional developments, said Hazel, who is co-chair of the Professional Development Workgroup, a workgroup within the CSW.

The policy was implemented in 2000 and allows release time for all benefits-eligible employees who want to take control of their career path, the CSW Web site said.

Hazel said departments must pay employees normal wages while they attend seminars, such as "Intersections: Living, Learning & Working," although employees are responsible for the fees of the events they choose to attend.

The seminar costs $25 per person and includes breakfast, lunch, workshops, information tables and speakers from UA and members of the community.

A member of the College of Science is expected to speak, as well as members from the Tucson community.



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