Women in leadership: Edda Pernice on being RUSU’s LGBTQ+ Part-Time Officer

Edda Pernice

LGBTQ+ Part-Time Officer, RUSU


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Talk us through what you do for your society/sport/activity?

My role as Part Time officer has included: attending Student Voice has a member, which requires me to vote for ideas proposed by students through the Change It! Platform. Once a term I also must attend LARC meetings, to highlight what I have been doing with my role: recently I helped brainstorm ideas to celebrate LGBT History Month and organized and planned a LGBT themed union take over, which was a great success. Since I being appointed I also attended Reading Pride, I have been working with the Activities officer to plan Knights Pride, attended meetings to plan the Wolfenden lecture and a meeting with Stonewall to receive feedback on the University’s strengths and weaknesses in its application to be a Top 100’s LGBT employer.


What is your approach to leadership and teamwork?

I have been in leadership roles since my last year of high school, where I was in charge of organize events such as prom and senior trip. Therefore, going into University I knew I wanted to keep being involved in leadership roles. I truly enjoy working with people to achieve changes within the University. I believe that leadership and teamwork cannot exist separately, because a good leader is someone who is confident and good at working with teams, and the better one can lead a team, the bigger and better will be whatever it is that they are trying to achieve. I try to live by that standard, and approach leadership by first and foremost making sure that I can successfully work in a team.


What encourages or motivates you when you face a challenge as a leader?

I tend to believe that when there is a challenge or when something is difficult, the outcome is worth it. Therefore, what encourages me is really wanting to see the end product and being able to tell myself that I was capable to create something great by perseverance, and if I had given up or found an easier way out, then the end result would not have been as satisfactory. Also, I like to believe that people might be inspired by or grateful for something that I achieved, so the impacts it might have on other people also really motivates me.


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Is there anyone who inspires you and why?

In terms of leadership roles, one of my biggest inspirations is Susanne Bartsch, event producer, and queer icon. She was a major icon in the 1980s due to her incredible events in the New York nightlife. Personally, one of my biggest dreams has always been to be in the entertainment business for managing events, so just having someone who is part of that line of work but is also a fashion and pop culture icon and a strong LGBT rights advocate makes her one of my biggest inspirations.


What advice would you give to those who are considering taking on a leadership role?

Leading can be nerve-wrecking, especially for those who are not usually in the centre of attention or are not used to the pressure of people relying on them. However, it is not a lonely road, especially within RUSU or the University, there will always be people willing to help and ready to answer all questions you might have. It is also a super exciting opportunity if somebody is trying to get out of their comfort zone and try a new venture because the results are always incredibly satisfying. I would encourage people to try if they believe they have what it takes.

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