Women in Leadership – AFL Winter School

“We must open doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through”- Rosemary Brown

I am sure we can all think of people who have inspired us.  They are usually people who have done things we perceive to be daring, edgy, things that take us out of our comfort zone…..and that we wish we would have had the guts to take on.  I am very thankful to the women who have come before me and opened doors.  I am very thankful for the women who have kept those doors open for me to pass through.  I envision a world where my daughters and my granddaughters will see a clear path before them.  A path that leads them wherever their heart desire……….a world where everyone is equal and every one is valued……That power to change a small piece of the world is in each and every one of us.

The Women in leadership course explored the styles of leadership,skills of leaders, common obstacles women face, equality, conflict resolution, public image, and the power of social media including digital story telling. The course was designed to be very interactive – which provides the magic!!!  A group of women from diverse backgrounds sharing ideas and stories…….yet there is always a common thread.  Over the 4 days of classes, friendships are formed, goals are set, information is shared, plans are formulated and best of all your fellow classmates help you to see yourself, by allowing you to be yourself…..

The digital storytelling portion of the program was very interesting.  After we all got over the fear of technology.  Our creative juices flowed.  I was very impressed with the quality of the finished products of each of the groups.  I also experienced the power of storytelling.  After all, we all have a story to tell.  Here is the link to start your own storytelling.  (download-for free-Photo Story 3 for Windows from Microsoft)

We spoke about many issues affecting women today.  Violence against women being one of them.  Which led us to the website onebillionrising.org  We watched a very graphic video One Billion Rising (Short Film) YouTube (See Below), which personally left me feeling angry and wanting to do something.  One Billion Rising is promoting a global dance party February 14, 2013.  Break the Chain is a song about doing just that. Breaking the chain of violence against women.  There is choreographed dance that is featured on the website, complete with dance lessons.

Our group decided to put ourselves out there. I was so very, very proud of us!!  So at lunch we positioned ourselves at different tables throughout the room.  The video started to play on the two big screens……one by one we rose up out of our chairs….and then we started to dance, the dance we had practiced in our small group.  The looks on the faces of the people sitting at my table were priceless. Everyone else in the group reported similar reactions. They did not know what the heck we were doing.  Half way through the dance we encouraged everyone to join us……..the dance party was on!!!!! I am happy, and not surprised to report, many of our Brothers joined in! Good on you Gentlemen! Personally this was one of the highlights of my week at the Labour School.

So I challenge you to plan a dance party on February 14, 2013.  Lets all be a part of 1 Billion Rising!!!!

Our course would not have been possible without our two wonderful facilitates.  A Big Thank-you to Vicky Smallman and Karen Craik. Two incredible women with so much knowledge to share!!!

Heather Dean


2 thoughts on “Women in Leadership – AFL Winter School

  1. Great posts Heather! Thanks for initiating this interactive discussion on the Local 115 Blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. Really enjoyed this post and the opportunity to check out “One Billion Rising”. Had no idea and had never really heard of it till now.
    “That power to change a small piece of the world is in each and every one of us.” – so true and great words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.
    – Shonna Lamb

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