Dear Leadership Women:

This newsletter is a challenging one to write. When the March letter was being written, it was very early days in the Covid-19 pandemic, and we were just beginning to monitor the information being issued by government health departments. I recall our sense of optimism that it would quickly be brought under control and that, despite an anxious spring, we would be able to enjoy a pleasant and more relaxed summer.

Well, obviously, that has not been the case. None of us were prepared for the scale and speed with which this international health crisis has ripped through our communities and the country. It is clear to all of us by now that ‘returning to normal’ is not going to be as easy or as fast as we hoped. We also know – and we hear from you – that women are being disproportionately affected by heavier workloads, meeting the needs of children and older family members. All of this is resulting in record levels of stress, particularly for women.

Of course, as many of you know, we have had to put our in-person programming on hold which is, quite frankly, painful to us. We all agree that our favorite part of our programming is the chance to meet and get to know our classes. But we have not been idle here in the offices of Leadership Women! We have quickly all become (somewhat) tech-savvy, and began the transition to online training. Both the current LT and LA classes have been enjoying our virtual LW Café Series which tackle various Covid-19 related topics developed specifically for each class, as well as Meet and Greet sessions designed to allow classes to get to know each other. Plans are to continue with these throughout the year, unless we are able to gradually get back to in person sessions.

In acknowledgement of the nation-wide reaction to the killing of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor, we are committed to ensuring the discussions around systemic racism become an even stronger element in our programming than in the past. Last week we were proud to introduce our special Speaker Series,  “Addressing Racism – A National Flaw” with a panel of 3 of our own LW Board members – Sheilah Clay, Juliet Hall and Jodi Joyce. If you missed this insightful and heartfelt panel presentation, you can watch the video by going to the LW Cafe Events page of our website. You can register or watch the videos of our next threes sessions in this series by going to the same page.  The LW Cafe Events page also gives you access to the extensive list of resources on the subject of eradicating racism provided by Jodi Joyce.  Watch the website and your email inboxes for more to come on this issue.

We are working hard to deliver our very first virtual Pipeline program for emerging women leaders September 2nd – a day of fabulous speakers, interactive sessions with the class and an opportunity to meet with LW graduate Mentors over a glass of wine (virtually, of course…!) This special day is being offered for $175.00, and includes 6 follow up sessions via Zoom over the next 8 months. As a graduate, perhaps you would like to treat yourself to a ‘refresher’ class to spend some time with us or consider sponsoring a woman you know could benefit from the program and becoming part of the LW network? To register, or obtain a copy of the draft agenda or the program flyer, simply go to Leadership Pipeline.  This is an excellent way to pass along the benefit of the Leadership Women Network – and also support us during this difficult time.

We are getting into the whole virtual ‘swing of things’ and promise to have some more fun offerings over the next weeks – so stay tuned! And of course, we look forward to the day when we can see you all again in person – even if only in small groups initially – but together! We miss you.

Stay healthy – and in touch.

Warm wishes

Linda Crompton