Liana Salvador is running for a seat on Ryerson’s Board of Governors and she wants to bring some gender diversity to the most powerful body on campus.
Last year, there were no female students on the board.
Salvador is the vice-president education for the Ryerson Students’ Union, (RSU) and the only woman running for a student seat.
Salvador said she’s had to work to be heard in a predominantly male field. In the political realm, she said she’s seen her ideas discounted by male egos in the past.
“Since the decision-making bodies of the university are mostly dominated by men, as a woman — and a racialized student — it is a bit of a challenge finding your voice,” Salvador said.
In 2008, the Council of Ontario Universities found that more than half of all university applicants were female. More females are vying for spots in every field but engineering, the applied sciences and business.
Most women, however, are still hesitant to get involved because they feel like outsiders in student politics, said Connie Guberman, University of Toronto’s status of women officer and a women’s studies professor.
“They feel discounted, they feel invisible, they don’t have a sense of entitlement,” Guberman said.