By Mary Rodack
Youngstown State University follows the national trend of more women attending universities.
From fall 2014 to fall 2018, about 53% of students enrolled at YSU each year were female. This falls slightly under the national average of 56.5% of those enrolled in postsecondary institutions being women, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
In the U.S., more women attend college and receive bachelor’s degrees than men. However, men fill most senior-level positions in higher education.
Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration at YSU, said there are many challenges for women in the professional world.
“There are still some of those traditional roles at home that may affect a woman’s ability to move into higher level positions,” she said.
“We have far more female faculty members in the college of business than we ever have before,” Licata added. “Forty-six percent of faculty are female.”
She said she wishes more female students would major in business. In spring 2019, 494 female YSU students were business administration majors compared to the 752 male majors.
“It’s important to have female faculty members who can be strong role models for the female students,” Licata said. “The whole empowerment piece is an important part of higher education whether its male or female.”
WOMEN IN SPORTS
As a child, Aline Scott, head coach of the women’s volleyball team at YSU, used to dream of going to the Olympics.
“Volleyball has been my biggest love for a long time,” Scott said. “It’s just been a huge part of my life.”
She went to college to be a diplomat on a volleyball scholarship but decided to stay with the sport once she found coa
She said most volleyball coaches are male, and the higher a team is ranked in the division, the less likely there is to be a female coach. Scott also said finding a partner who understands the difficult coaching schedule is harder for women.
“It is much harder for a woman to have both like I did,” Scott said. “Culturally, as a whole, the women are supposed to be at home taking care of the kids and cooking dinner. We’ve come very far from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but there’s still a certain expectation.”
Ron Strollo, executive director of athletics, said attracting quality female coaches is difficult.
“There are times when we’d post for assistant soccer coach and not get one female,” Strollo said. “It’s a challenge across our industry to attract quality female candidates for those jobs.”
Scott said the majority of applicants for her assistant job were men as well, and women tend to not apply to jobs unless they think they are completely qualified, while men will apply and think they can figure it out.
“That’s just a reflection of the culture,” Scott said.
“We need to be building each other up, and we need to stick together,” Scott said about the culture of women in the U.S. “We have a lot to contribute and to say and to give.”