#IWD from a Bright Futures Ambassador
Pauline Gronczewska, President of UCL Bright Futures
Bright Futures Brand Awareness Ambassador
1) Do you feel there are any challenges facing females today who attend university?
Personally, I recognise the fact that I am truly lucky and blessed to be a student at a university in a developed country; consequently, I have not personally experienced any challenges being a female at UCL. In fact, I have noticed females getting various privileges that men do not have access to, e.g. women-only career insight days, women-only swimming sessions, this girl can initiatives, etc.
I am, however, aware of the fact that many females around the world may not be in the same position that I am in. That becomes evident by having a look at the statistics: in academia in the UK, it has been revealed that only 24 per cent of UK professors are women. Looking on the bright side, it seems like there are more female than male fulltime undergraduates enrolled at universities both in the UK and worldwide – perhaps this will result in a rise of female academic staff in higher education institutions in the future.
2) How important is it to you for women to support one another today?
I think that is absolutely important. However, I think that it is not only important to support other women, but that it is also great to support men as well. I am an advocate of gender equality, and I think it’s important to help everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.
3) If you could have dinner with any female role model of yours, alive or dead, who would you choose?
I would choose to have food with Dinara Safina. She is a tennis player who has now retired, and I really admire her style of play. It was my childhood dream of seeing her play live, but I have never had the chance to do so.
4) Why is being part of the Bright Futures network so important to you?
The Bright Futures network is absolutely fantastic. I have been able to meet aspiring females from many different universities across the UK on various occasions, and have been able to learn a lot from them. Moreover, being the President of Bright Futures society, I get to liaise and get to know many students at UCL as well! I have made many friends during the events, and hopefully I will keep in touch with them once I graduate. In addition to that, being the President of the Bright Futures Committee, I have the opportunity to meet and communicate with HR representatives from various companies, and this network is something I truly appreciate. Finally, it goes without saying that learning from the My Kinda Future senior team has been an invaluable experience too; a lot of support was given from the team throughout the year, and it would have been so much harder (even impossible) without everyone.