The Operations & Facilities Management Department Celebrates International Women’s Day

March 8, 2020 was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. On March 9, 2020, the women in the Operations & Facilities Management Department (OFMD) at Washington University School of Medicine joined to commemorate this special day with a reception in the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

This celebration was poignant for the female staff members in the department who often have unique challenges in their personal and work environments. With men outnumbering women by a staggering nine to one in facilities management leadership roles (according to a 2017 study by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources), it was an especially important day for the women in the Operations & Facilities Management Department. OFMD currently employs around 165 women (as opposed to approximately 287 males).

The event was organized by Melissa Rockwell-Hopkins, assistant vice chancellor, assistant dean for the Operations and Facilities Management Department. She wanted to show her appreciation for the female employees who deserve to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to the university.

Rockwell-Hopkins said “International Women’s Day speaks to us in several ways and is a significant statement that women support other women as well as our larger team in the workplace. We are pledging to you and each other in recognition of this important day that we matter. By holding each other up and by empowering, supporting and opening the doors of development, we are changing our world and improving the communities in which we live through our support of one another.”

More than half the women in OFMD attended the event which included a recognition ceremony honoring those who have gone above and beyond in the department to demonstrate the department’s core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence.