Women’s History Month Q&As: Patricia Richardson
Name: Patricia Richardson
Position: Science teacher
1. In what ways are you grateful for the women who came before you and fought for the rights we as women have today? How do you hope to follow in their footsteps?
“I’m grateful because it gives me the freedom to feel like an equal and to feel like an important part of society and to be able to do my job, which women did [in the past], but [they were] much more restricted. So I feel as an equal to others.”
2. What would you consider to be your greatest achievements?
“One would be showing my children what a working mom can do and that it’s okay to do both and that you don’t have to be one or the other. For students, [it’s important] to show female students that it’s okay to be smart in science and to enjoy the science and the analytical things as a female and to not shy away from that just because it’s been typically male-dominated.”
3. What are some of the most exciting experiences you’ve had?
“Honestly, in terms of my job, [it’s] hearing from graduated students that have graduated from college and hearing what cool work they’re doing. A lot of students that I’ve had have moved on into science careers and are doing those things and taking charge and being leaders in their spaces.”
4. What women do you look up to for inspiration?
“My mom, for sure. She was a strong mom. She stayed at home and then worked but was so involved and showed the way to be just a strong person yourself, no matter your gender.”
5. How do you strive to be a mentor to other women?
“Some of it’s just by modeling the behaviors and doing those things and being able to represent women that are taking on different roles—and then just listening, if kids have questions about different things or pathways to get to stuff.”
6. What obstacles have you had to face as a woman?
“Honestly, I don’t feel like there’s been that many. I’ve been pretty lucky to be privileged in the positions where I’ve been. I’ve never really felt marginalized.”
7. As a member of a group that has been historically discriminated against, how do you stand in solidarity with communities who have also faced systemic discrimination?
“I think it’s important because everyone should be treated equally. Everybody’s just a person, and all people should have the same privileges of others and the same rights of others, so I think those of us that have not had to feel marginalized need to recognize that others have and that we should listen and be able to stand with them and help with whatever it is that they need from us to move their group up.”