Exploring Womens’ Workplace Experiences with Coffee & Conversations 

Photo of our four panelists for Coffee & Conversation: Women's History and the Modern Women in the Workplace

During Women’s History Month, Heart of Florida United Way was proud to host a powerful Coffee & Conversations event focused on the experiences of women in the workplace. This insightful discussion, part of our ongoing monthly series, was organized by our dedicated DEI Action Committee. Our panelists brought diverse perspectives and candidly shared their journeys, offering a thought-provoking look at the challenges and opportunities women face in the professional world. 

The conversation delved into a range of critical topics. Our panelists questioned the expectations surrounding women’s workplace appearance and how undue focus can detract from their skills and accomplishments. They challenged the double standard surrounding ambition, where assertiveness and goal-oriented behavior can be mislabeled in women. The gender pay gap was a major call to action, with the panelists emphasizing the necessity of transparency, accountability, and allyship to achieve true pay equity. 

The discussion then explored the unique challenges faced by working mothers. Panelists spoke honestly about the juggling act of balancing work and motherhood, highlighting the need for greater flexibility, adequate maternity leave policies, and increased understanding of postpartum depression. They also shed light on the varying challenges faced by working mothers across different industries, emphasizing the need for adaptable work environments and childcare solutions. 

The event addressed the intersectionality of gender and race and its impact on pay disparities. Our leaders stressed the importance of addressing wage gaps through an intersectional lens, recognizing the compounded barriers facing women of color. Finally, the power of language classes to empower immigrants, especially women, was highlighted, promoting self-advocacy and equitable treatment in the workplace. 

Through our DEI Action Committee, we’re committed to turning these insights into action. Inspired by discussions like these, we’re continually re-examining our internal policies and exploring opportunities for allyship, and cultivating a culture where women feel truly supported.  

As we work to make life better for every person in Central Florida, we’re also proud to create a workplace where everyone of every gender can thrive.