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A Message From the Executive Director

 

December 2017

 

 Thank you!  Thank you for being a supporter of California Women Lead and our mission to inspire women in civic engagement. As 2017 comes to a close, I am humbled and thankful for all of you.  I am thankful for our dynamic board of directors who inspire me every day.  What an awesome experience to work with a group of women from various parts of the state, various political affiliations and various opinions on issues who collectively work together under the California Women Lead mission to help increase women’s participation in elected and appointed office.  We are truly a unique organization and there is nothing like this anywhere in the county – I am humbled to be part of it.

 

This past year, we hosted a number of leadership academies in all parts of California.  What a privilege to meet and engage with so many diverse women leaders.  Women are leading in all parts of the state, in so many capacities – we are leading in elected office, leading in appointed office, in our communities and in business.  The energy each of these academies had was inspirational – thank you for allowing me to be part of it and help in some small way inspire women in their leadership journeys.

 

In 2017, we continued our focus on helping women navigate the appointments process.  We hosted trainings, provided personal coaching on the process and worked to inspire women to take the risk and apply.  We are excited for 2018 and the launch of our statewide project and encouraging the new governor (whoever that might be) to make the same commitment to California’s women by reaching the same level of women appointees that Governor Brown did – 50 percent!  More on this project later, but I hope you will join me and the board of directors (and a few other special guests) at our 2018 Women’s Conference where we will have a few surprises pertaining to our work around political appointments.

 

As I reflect on this past year, it has been one of ups and downs for women in leadership, but I am hopeful that in 2018 women will come together to support each other as we run for office, apply for appointments or flex our leadership while standing up for issues we believe in.  One of the greatest compliments we have received, as an organization, is that California Women Lead provides a forum for women, for diverse background and opinions, to come together and share perspectives and viewpoints in a forum that is respectful and free of judgment.  Just the other day, while in Orange County, we had a thoughtful discussion on the issue of #metoo – not everyone agreed on specific viewpoints, but everyone agreed we had a thoughtful conversation on the issue – and these types of discussions are sorely lacking in today’s political environment – both at the state and local level.  Our commitment, at California Women Lead, is to provide forums for women to have tough conversations, to vet issues and to see if we can find common ground in an environment that is positive.  I truly believe, now more than ever, it will be women who make changes for a better in California and across the nation.  I hope you will join us as we look at fulfilling that goal in 2018.

 

As we enter the busiest time of the holiday season, on behalf of the state board of directors, I want to wish you and all of your loved ones a very happy and healthy season and a New Year filled with success.

 

Here’s to a great 2018 for women leaders in California!!

 

Rachel

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