Over the past two years, I’ve been proud to help guide five program cohorts — and more than one hundred and fifty participants from across the Bay Area — through Coro’s Women in Leadership program.
Women in Leadership (WIL) creates a tapestry from a range of lived experiences. Each individual participant weaves their unique story into the broader fabric of the program cohort. Together, participants gain a host of Coro tools and share wisdom in the name of making their value visible in the workplace, building cross-sector networks, creating organizational impact, and strengthening our democracy.
To my mind, the most striking learning from the Women in Leadership program is clear: our most precious resource is the most fleeting — our time. In a world that demands women spend our time in countless ways, how do we focus?
Women in Leadership invites our participants to boldly identify and prioritize what matters most to them in the coming five years. We strive to create an experiential learning context that elevates and acknowledges the needs, competing demands, and opportunities of our participants.
The result? WIL participants forge a path that is uniquely theirs — alongside friends and colleagues who embrace, relate to, and respect these newly designed roadmaps.
For some participants, this new path requires embracing change and facing fears. Examples include negotiating new arrangements at work and at home, advocating for meaningful new projects, delegating assignments, and leaning into inquiry rather than assumption-making and advice-giving. With each bold new action, WIL participants reclaim their time and expand the sense of possibility for their lives.
I’m most inspired by Women in Leadership — and the amazing participants who make the program what it is — each time I witness a cohort member recognize an internal shift of power. This is the moment she chooses to step into leadership, care for herself, or prioritize time with loved ones.
It requires a powerful self-awareness and focus: clarity about what matters most, diligence to stay the course, and strategies for maximizing each moment we have.
Witnessing these moments of empowered growth are a gift and a privilege. I see it this way: Women in Leadership gives our participants an opportunity to gain a deeper perspective, learning to take care of the moments so that the years take care of themselves.
Interested in Women in Leadership? We’re now recruiting for our Fall 2020 Cohort! In the program’s newest iteration, Women in Leadership: Strengthening Our Community, we’re bringing a cutting edge virtual training to women who are passionate about working to make positive change. We’ll focus the program on critical pillars of our community — education, healthcare, housing, and governance — that need to be strengthened as we work to restore a sense of equilibrium during and after COVID-19. Visit our program page to learn more.
Senior Director of Training Masharika Prejean Maddison facilitates Women in Leadership, the Coro-UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development, and the Workforce Leadership Network.