New era for El Camino: Women are in power

It is currently Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to the contributions of women throughout our history.

At El Camino most of our representatives are female-driven leaders.

The president of EC and vice president of academic affairs shared their thoughts on campuses that are run by females.

Dena Maloney, is the first ever female president of El Camino.

“In the California community colleges there are many of female presidents and the numbers are growing, if you look in terms of enrollments in the doctoral’s programs they are preparing people for these types of positions and it is quite balanced,” Maloney said.

She chose to come to EC because it was closer to her family and the school history had a big role.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity for anybody, male or female to be able to lead a college.”

Before coming to El Camino she was the former president of Taft College for about three years.

“For me, I haven’t experienced the kinds of things that I think people traditionally think of as barriers,” Maloney said, “I would think, for women and students, it might be exciting to see that there is a female president (at El Camino).”

Jean Shankweiler, vice president of academic affairs, started off her career at El Camino in 1988 as a chemistry professor for 18 years and 10 months, according to her LinkedIn.

“I think the perception of our campus is changing with a new administration. I’m not sure if it is because we are women or if it’s because it is just new with a different leadership style,” Shankweiler said.

She became the vice president in May 2015, replacing former VP of Academic Affairs Francisco Arce.

“It’s kind of special, to have a female in the president and vice president’s office, it doesn’t happen all the time,” Shankweiler said.

Some students on campus shared their thoughts on the idea of having a school run majority by females.

“It’s empowering”, Elaine Hack, 19, liberal studies major said, “You don’t see that very often, you only see males as the leads of everything we do, so it is nice to see that we have women doing something, like being in positions of powers.”

One male student thinks it’s just the campus becoming more diverse.

“It’s not just males running the whole thing. It’s different thoughts since guys and girls think different.” Christian Morales, 18, biology major said. “I don’t see the effects right now but probably there is difference and I don’t know them. It gives other girls a notice that not just only guys can do these types of careers.

One student spoke about why it matters to have female leaders.

“It matters to me because it makes me feel like someday I will be like them or more or become something else and not like how it was back in the days as just housewives,” Maggy Garcia, 19, criminal justice major said.