Discussion focuses on role of 90s woman

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    By MALI HEGDAHL

    A panel discussion Thursday in the Wilkinson Center focused on women prioritizing education, families and careers in the 90s.

    As part of Women’s Month, Sister Marilyn Bateman, Jan Scharman, dean of students and assistant vice president of student life, her husband Brent, assistant commissioner of LDS Social Services and Jean Taylor Scott, Women’s Services and Resources coordinator spoke about the different roles women have today.

    “I don’t think that prioritizing in the 90s is a lot different from prioritizing in the 30s, 40s, 50s and so on,” Sister Bateman said.

    She said the difference is that life is faster now and women have more opportunities than in the past.

    Students should decide what is most important in their lives and make decisions according to those values, Sister Bateman said.

    Panelists discussed their roles and challenges they experienced.

    The Scharmans spoke about their experience as a couple with both partners involved in careers outside the home.

    Dual-career families are a challenge because of what is required at home and what the employer expects, Brent Scharman said.

    “The number one critical thing is that husbands and wives are both committed and have a clear picture of what they are looking for in a dual career family,” he said.

    It is important for spouses to be adaptable, flexible, patient, unselfish and mature, Brent Scharman said.

    “Be your best selves,” Scott said.

    She said there is not a set recipe for being a happy, successful woman. Scott said the panel could only offer advise on how to become better people.

    Each panelist expressed the importance of education.

    “Clearly, every woman ought to get an education,” Jan Scharman said.

    She said that most women will either choose or be required to work outside of the home at some point in their life. It is important to be prepared and have experience when that time comes, she said.

    “You never know when circumstances will dictate that (women) be the provider for your family,” Scott said.

    Referring to President Thomas S. Monson’s message at Tuesday’s Devotional, Scott said individuals should labor to learn.

    Scott told students to take President Monson’s advice and pursue a subject that they love.

    Be ready for various opportunities, Scott said. Doors will often open and close, so individuals need to be ready to make decisions about what direction to take in life.

    “Relish, savor this journey, despite its ending,” she said.

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