The Council's Women's Initiative
Last year, I began a Women’s Initiative at The Council.
However, with a workforce made up of about 80% women only 30% of superintendents in New York State are women.It is unusual to think that in education there would be a shortage of women. The goal of the initiative is to support our women leaders in a variety of ways and to identify women in education who have leadership potential. We will be looking to all of our members to support and cultivate the leadership potential of women in their organizations.
In addition, I have heard many stories from women superintendents about being treated very poorly and even being physically threatened just for being a leader in education; many of the experiences that are shared with me by women are markedly distinct from the experiences that men face as educational leaders.
Between both the statistics and the stories that have been shared with me over the years, it became evidently clear that, as an organization, we need to do more to support our women leaders and to cultivate the leadership potential of more women in education overall.
I am very excited to take on this initiative on behalf of The Council and look forward to carrying it forward especially with the women educational leaders on our steering committee who came together this summer including:
Lynn Allen, Assistant Superintendent, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES
Lori S. Caplan, Superintendent, Watervliet City
Constance D. Evelyn, Superintendent, Valley Stream UFSD #13
Jan Jehring, Superintendent, Argyle CSD
Suzanne E. McLeod, Superintendent, Union-Endicott UFSD
Kimberly Moritz, Superintendent, Randolph CSD
Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, Superintendent, West Hempstead UFSD
Based on my personal experiences and observations, women leaders also don’t talk about the dynamics or challenges of being a woman leader. I watched a TED talk by Sheryl Sandberg who elaborated on this dynamic - she was told: “if you talk about being a woman in business it will end your business career” and “you cannot be a serious business executive and speak about being a woman – you’ll never be taken seriously again.” It is my hope that this Women’s Initiative will not only start the conversation and it will continue to grow and build an environment where we support our women leaders and cultivate the leadership potential in many women in education.
The Council kicked off a Women’s Initiative at the 2016 Winter Institute. Our guest speaker Corey Jamison, a business consultant, identified issues that our women leaders are facing and we began to formulate a plan to move The Council’s Women’s Initiative forward.
We will welcome Corey back at the 2017 Winter Institute and Lobby Day where we will be discussing difficult conversations.
In addition, we hosted regional programs, the first of which was jointly hosted with Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES on August 11, 2016 and the second was held in November 2016.
Read the press release here to learn more about it.
November 15, 2016 - Education Week - Few Women Run the Nation's School Districts - Why?
November 15, 2016 - Education Week - N.C. Superintendent's Philosophy on Being a Woman and a Schools Chief: 'You Just Do the Work'
November 29, 2016 - Briarcliff Daily Voice - Briarcliff Workshop Helps Women Become Educational Leaders
Monday March 6, 2017 - Corey Jamison at 2017 Winter Institute & Lobby Day / Albany Hilton, Albany, NY - Registration information here.
May 18 & 19, 2017 - Women’s Initiative & Cabinet Leadership Summits / Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs, NY $200 pp for one day/ $350 pp to attend both events.
For the first time, The Council and LEAF, Inc. are holding these two events back-to-back in Saratoga Springs, NY. Both events are in partnership with Capital Region BOCES and BOCES Aid is also available.
The Women’s Initiative Summit will focus on supporting women educational leaders to inspire more women to seek leadership positions in education. The program will feature Commissioner of Education Mary Ellen Elia; Apple, Inc. executives to draw parallels from the business world to the education world; and compensation negotiation for women.
Contact Vren Banks, Assistant Director, at 518/694-4875 or email@example.com for more information about this program.
For more information about The Women's Initiative or to get involved, please contact me, Jacinda H. Conboy, Esq., General Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518.449.1063