Raymond Lawrence approached me to chair a working group promoting Women in Leadership (WIL) within CPSP. Raymond spoke of the “vagueness” of this initiative which I embraced as an opportunity and a challenge to reach out to women in CPSP across many time zones and experiences. From the beginning I saw this as a ‘we’ endeavor.
The initial response to the debut of Women in Leadership was encouraging. A survey was developed and sent to all the women the CPSP directory at that time to assess the level of interest in providing a platform for their voices to be heard. The survey focused on interest level; interests, skills and experiences you could bring to this committee; and the goals and purpose you would like WIL to concentrate on. There were numerous responses to the survey.
In addition, we gathered at the 2018 Plenary to meet in-person with women members and to gather additional data. The gathering was led by me to share possibilities and explore where WIL was in the moment. Approximately 30 women attended. They appeared open and engaged in sharing their thoughts and experiences.
The data gathered from the survey and Plenary was categorized in three areas: Organizing, Focus and Opportunities. Two working groups were created, "Organizing" led by Lori Whittemore and Denise Parker Lawrence, and "Focus/Opportunities" led by Marta Gordon Dufis and Elaine Barry.
Through Zoom meetings we established our mission statement:
Our aim is to inspire and empower persons for community growth through relational nurturing, conviction, and confidence.
Through these committees we began to hear a theme “bubbling up”: Having Our Voices Heard in the #MeToo Movement. A workshop was held at the 2019 Plenary facilitated by Elaine Barry and Marta Gordon Dufis. Approximately twenty women participated expressing whether they felt their voices were heard within CPSP. We asked if their voices weren’t being heard would they be interested in participating by writing articles about this subject matter in the Pastoral Report; or maybe through participating in a program on privilege and how it impacts women in CPSP.
Throughout the Women in Leadership movement we continue to focus on our Action Plan (Questions to get us to the How):
What is the impact we are looking to make?
What is the strategy underneath and behind it?
What does growth look like for us?
If you have an interest in engaging in this endeavor please contact me at [email protected] and let me know in what way you want to lead.
Nancy Schaffer, Diplomate Supervisor, BCCC, BCPC
Member of the Central Nassau, NY Chapter
Chair, Women in Leadership Committee