Dr. Emil Cunningham, Mrs. Leslie Laing, and Mrs. Carol Eicher were the three speakers of this event that aimed to promote an inclusive environment to our diverse community in Centre County.
Initially the event was held to bring together women who have been in Centre County and have struggled for years to find full-time employment. Therefore, the audience was women in need of jobs . However, to our amazement, other women who have full time positions came to share their experiences and to offer some personal insights in the job hunt.
We asked our three speakers—who are well involved in the community as advocates for diversity and inclusion— if they thought it was mandatory to complete a graduate program in the United States in order to be considered for a position. The consensus was that the education these women bring to the table should be sufficient to fill a vacancy. In addition, they suggested that a course to update their foundations will not hurt. Instead, it will enhance their chances to work in Centre County.
They all highlighted that Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and that is committed to hiring all their employees regardless of their diverse backgrounds. Moreover, they elaborated on that subject and suggested that the drafting of the curriculum vitae and the cover letter are very important in order to get an interview. They specified that sometimes applicants do not organize their CV in a way that shows how well their skills match the positions they are applying for. This could be a fatal error because the CV should describe in an organized manner what the job description is looking for and the specific skills, experience and education have prepared the applicant for the position.
We are working to make these thoughtful conversations a program between the American Association of University Women and Community Diversity Group. Stay tuned for more updates.