"Women Matter" hosted by Center for Diversity and Unity

Taumi Donovan addresses the audience of "Women Matter" about her experience. (Jason Lumpris/ The Signpost)
Taumi Donovan delivers a speech to the audience of “Women Matter” about her experience. (Photo by: Jason Lumpris/ The Signpost)

Weber State University’s Center for Diversity & Unity hosted “Women Matter” on March 18 in commemoration of Women’s History Month.

The month of March is dedicated annually to the acknowledgement of women from the past to present that have made many contributions towards paving the way for women in the 21st century and beyond.

“Women Matter” was geared towards educating the campus community about women who either have, are or will be making an impact.

At the event, there were three individuals invited to speak on the importance of women and their evolution: associate professor of Spanish Isabel Asensio, trauma recovery program manager Taumi Donovan of Weber/Davis People Helping People and professor of Management Michael Stevens.

Asensio opened the day’s proceedings as she spoke about Spanish women from the past who have influenced the modern status of women in Spanish society.

According to Asensio, if those influential women mentioned didn’t take a courageous stance, women wouldn’t have the same opportunities they do today. For instance, if a woman wasn’t involved in politics, she would have been a different woman; she might not have had the opportunity to obtain a PHD if past women had not stood up for rights she enjoys today.

“Women Matter” also showcased the strength of women who have experienced adversity throughout their lives and have overcome obstacles.

When it was Taumi Donovan’s turn to speak, she utilized the safe haven atmosphere of the Diversity Center as a forum to share her story and enlighten others of the type of people we may have among us, whom we often tend to overlook.

During her address, Donovan provided a first-hand insight as she recounted an experience with adversity as a female within a workforce dominated by male superiors, who used their positions to take advantage of females.

In an attempted to make the audience more prepared for the unforeseen situations which may occur in their lives, Donovan said, “If you haven’t experienced a traumatic event already, it will occur eventually.”

According to Donovan, students can take a traumatic event and transform it into something positive and help others who deal with similar situations. Donovan also said she felt that her involvement at People Helping People in Ogden has allowed her the opportunity to utilized her series of traumatic events as a tool to be able to help others deal with situations like hers.

Michael Stevens was the final guest speaker. Stevens’ intention was to predict the future of women in society, and he shared his story of his transition to feminism after the birth of his daughter on March 18, 1986. According to Stevens, when his daughter arrived and he assumed the role of fatherhood, all he knew at the time was that he wanted to do everything within his power to provide a future for his daughter.

In attendance was Director of Campus Recreation Teri Bladen. Speaking of the event, she said, “I liked the historical perspectives delivered.”

Bladen said she felt like she could relate to the closing message of Stevens’ speech.

“I liked how we ended the session with the message that women’s empowerment is possibly good for men, along with the idea of working together collaboratively to better the good for all,” Bladen said.