Femme Finaid: The Wonder Women of the Financial Aid Office

“BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW SMALL AN ACT OF KINDNESS OR GENEROSITY OR
SIMPLE POSITIVITY YOU PUT OUT INTO THE WORLD, IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”
—WONDER WOMAN COMIC

Have you ever looked around and realized how many more women there seems to be in our financial aid offices and/or associations? Why is that? Do we possess some secret hidden power? No, we don’t, but perhaps we just utilize our skill set and God-given abilities in a different way that is more conducive to the service-heavy world of federal aid perhaps. 

Biology doesn’t play into here, but instead its our nature. Some of our traditional feminine traits are that we seem to be more empathetic, nurturing, understanding, warm, gentle and sensitive. On top of that most of us have responsibilities outside of our 8-5 workplaces. Our additional reality may include PTO, homeroom mom, caretaker of our elderly parents, spouse, children, exercise junkie, part-time adult student, committee member, little league/gymnast coach/cheerleader, master chef of our household domains, and chaos organizer extraordinaire. The list could go on and on and on, it’s exhausting. Those are just some of the things I know many of you and myself endure outside of our day to day jobs.

So, you can see our traditional feminine traits allow us to be excellent financial aid administrators. But how does Wonder Woman factor into this you may ask?

Wonder Woman is a comic book character, she’s not real. Or is she??

Many of her abilities were given to her by the Greek gods. Her strength from Demeter, Athena for her wisdom/courage, her loving heart from Aphrodite and finally her skill from the god Hermes. Don’t we all possess those characteristics and use them daily in our roles as aid administrators, wives, mothers, caretakers, coaches, etc?

WHY YES, WE DO!! If this last year has proven anything to me or made more evident it’s that women adapt fast; it’s in our nature. Born multi-taskers and organizers (keepers of the family calendar).

We quickly go into action on how best to handle our day-to-day routine and now its disruption of our students and families for that matter. Sure, there’s others in our offices to help us create the plans of how best to keep the office running with least disruption to our students.  I need people who can think of the logistical stuff while I’m thinking of maintaining service and hospitality. But we also are balancing simultaneously how we’re going to handle all the other things in our lives impacted by something like a pandemic. You know what I’m talking about! How many of you got to suddenly add teacher and lunch lady to your workload for the day? How many of you got to become a temporary emergency management responder to decide protocols for your offices or better yet navigating the CARES Act?

Thought so and to that I say, there’s a Wonder Woman in all of us!! Advocating for student’s ability to pay for college, defenders of the Higher Education Act, and caretakers of all (students, campus community, family, self)!

It was fun being able to present this notion of the Wonder Woman complex at our regional conference recently. But most importantly to give a shout out to all the amazing women who we all get to work or network with. I know you’ve all got a lot to handle professionally and personally. But you all inspire me everyday because you continue to rise to the challenge and meet it head on with beauty, grace, humility and probably a cup of “keep ya going caffeine.” Sometimes you just need to be told – YOU ALL ROCK & KEEP IT UP!!

Sadonia Lane, KASFAA Association News co-chair

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