Unsigned: Female representation in the new leaders of Laurier

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In the past few months, Laurier has elected a new president and a new chancellor — both of whom are female.

It seems, thus far, that no one seems to be too interested in this fact. From what we’ve seen, there has been no reaction from the greater Laurier community. It’s like any other new hire.

In our opinion, that’s a step in the right direction.

It hasn’t been sensationalized by the Laurier community.

The focus has been on what qualified, strong candidates these women are for the roles they have received.

It hasn’t been a big deal because it shouldn’t be. The lack of reaction is exactly what we hope for; seeing women in leadership roles shouldn’t be shocking. It shouldn’t be praised because it’s normal.

But at this point, we have to point out how extraordinary this feat is for Laurier, regardless of the lack of reaction.

According to a study published by the Globe and Mail in summer of 2016, only one fifth of university presidents in Canada were female.

It wasn’t that long ago that women couldn’t go to university at all.

This normalization of women in these key leadership roles is all the better because of how far we’ve come in our understanding of gender equity and how quickly that has happened.

It’s also worth noting that Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s new president, is also a distinguished scientist. With an underrepresentation of women in the sciences, MacLatchy can be seen as a role model for our students.

Having women in leadership positions shouldn’t be seen as extraordinary, but we have to acknowledge the progress that has been made by these recent hires.

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