Cal Poly’s Women’s Programs and Career Services will be hosting the two-part “Women Career Discussion Series,” starting today from 11 a.m. to noon. It will be held in the Women’s Center, in the University Union room 217. The event is free and open to all faculty, staff and students.

“It will be a great opportunity for women to get together and discuss important issues,” said Kelly Anderson, wellness coordinator for the Women’s Center. “Women share the same concerns, but it isn’t very often that they get the chance to voice these concerns together.”

The first discussion is titled, “What do you want your life to look like, and where does career fit in?” It will focus on women who struggle with raising a family and juggling a career.

“(The discussion) will be about identifying values,” Anderson said. “We will be looking at both aspects; women who want to raise a family and work, and those who decide to focus on their career.”

The discussions will be open-ended, so anyone in attendance is encouraged to share their thoughts. Charlotte Rinaldi, career counselor for the College of Education, will facilitate the discussion and she will present questions that the audience can respond to.

“I’m hoping some mentoring happens,” Rinaldi said. “There will be staff and faculty there, so I hope (the women) feel the support and that they know they are not alone with their concerns.”

Rinaldi developed her discussion ideas based on career counseling she has given to women. She found many women chose not to pursue a career because they wanted a family, while others chose careers that specifically suited their family’s needs.

“I think the main objective is to get students, not just women, to think about what their lives will look like outside of work,” Rinaldi said.

The series will conclude with. “What does it mean to be a ‘good’ professional: How are women viewed in the workplace?” on Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Women’s Center. Topics will include how societal expectations influence women in the workplace.

The “Women Career Discussion Series” is the first part of the new Career Center series, “Coffee & Careers,” which tackles specific work-related issues in an open discussion environment. Career Services plans to have two discussions a quarter related to a specific topic, with a new facilitator each quarter.

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