Volume 2, Issue 8 – December 2001
The Institute for Women’s Leadership Alumni eNews
Welcome to IWL’s monthly eNewsletter, designed to inform and inspire you about the progress of our global leadership community and commitments.
1) Alumni Profile
Marie MacDonald – Veterans Affairs, Canada
Alumni – WLC 12/99
2) Coach’s Column
A fantastic way to end the year by Jennifer Hibbits
Women For Hire is recognized as a groundbreaking venue for America’s leading businesses to recruit dynamic, talented women candidates. Their expertise is connecting top employers with a diverse pool of women. Post your resume or post a position at their site.
B) Helping Afghani Women
Many of you have an interest in serving, supporting, or being informed about women in Afghanistan. One reliable resource for information and action is V-Day. V-Day is an award-winning charity and global movement to stop violence against women and girls, founded by Eve Ensler, an award-winning playwright, activist and screenwriter. V-Day was instrumental in the recent Afghan Women’s Summit that took place in Brussels, Belgium earlier this month.
4) A Note from Rayona
As we approach the holidays and bring the year 2001 to an end, there is much to be grateful for. While this year will go down in infamy as a historical moment that forever changed humankind, I believe it could also be the beginning of a whole new possibility for us as human beings. How we choose to go forward is up to each and every one of us as leaders within our families, our organizations and our communities. As your partners for the next 50 years, we offer you an open hand to stay in communication and relationship and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you.
As you recall, each year we encourage you to complete a register for accomplishment and value. It is important that you take time to see how you spent your life this last year and how many people you impacted. We recommend that you find other alumni, either inside or outside your organization, so that you are not left solely with The Committee to complete this exercise. You can revisit the May 2000 newsletter to remember how to do this process.
December 2001 also marks an end of an era for the Institute for Women’s Leadership where we have been primarily focused on our award winning program Women Leading Change (WLC). We will continue to offer WLC twice a year in the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as to any organization that would like to sponsor it as an in-house program. In 2002, we are moving ever closer to a yearlong curriculum where our clients (you!) can engage at deeper levels of proficiency in the practice of Contextual Leadership. Next year I will select 20-25 women from our alumni network of hundreds of women (and any interested new clients) to work with them in focusing on sustainable large-scale, systemic change. This is a natural evolution of the work we have been in the past 11 years, and it will contain cutting edge methodologies from experts who I believe are rewriting the definition of what it means to be a leader in the 21st century. This new program, Women Mastering Leadership will be a deep and powerful immersion in the practices and contextual shifts necessary for an organization, an institution or a government to change and sustain a new culture of performance, learning and human dignity. Together, we will reach out and forge powerful partnerships with others in your organizations and build a new collaborative model that honors the full possibility of men and women in partnership.
Ultimately, I see this as a 3-year curriculum with students, mentors, experts and coaches who are dedicated to mastering the art and science of Contextual Leadership. We will launch this new offer in May of 2002, but participant selections are intended to be complete by March 30th. If you are interested in interviewing for the limited seats in WML then please let me know ASAP and I will schedule a call with you after the first of the year. We are also committed to significantly increasing the visibility and recognition of women leaders who are making a tremendous contribution to their organizations simply by “doing their day job.” Given how much you have accomplished it is very important that it be amplified and disseminated more widely.
Although the September 11th terrorist attack has changed our lives forever, let it inspire and increase our resolve to end the presence of sexism and racism in our society. Let there never be another Afghani woman who is silenced, an aboriginal woman who is denied equal opportunity for employment, or another idea stolen from a woman and credited to her male colleague while WE are on duty. We invite you to use this next year as an opportunity to dramatically increase your support of other women. Take time to “toot the horn” of your co-workers, reach out and mentor a younger woman in your organization or community, and make sure to publicly recognize the contribution of the men in your organization who consistently support women. Practice one act like this every day and together we will change the world.
In closing, let me say that Jennifer, I and our associates from IWL have had the best year ever with you. We have reached far and wide across 3 countries and dozens of organizations to touch people’s lives and make the world a better place. Like most people, we hope that the global recession, which has affected so many of us, directly and indirectly, will turn around early in 2002. There is one certainty that rises above all the stock market changes and fluctuating interest rates…we will always be here for you. In good times and bad, in great jobs and times of transition, you can always count on us to partner with you in realizing your dreams and commitments as leaders. Thank you for blessing our lives and keep up the great work!
Love and Blessings, Rayona
5) Hot Off the Presses
We would like to congratulate Verna Bruce, Associate Deputy Minister of Veteran Affairs Canada (and one of our alumni!) on winning the Head of the Public Service Award for Valuing and Supporting People. This national award is for exemplary federal government employees in public service. Thank you Verna for being an incredible inspiration and example of 21st century leadership.