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MWI Rolls Out “Women In Leadership” Series

Rural women who aspire to leadership roles but also ask “what does it take?” may find some answers in a series of workshops beginning next month.

Four workshops will be held over the next eight weeks featuring speakers and panel discussions devoted to building capacity among rural women eyeing greater involvement in the voluntary sector.

The Women in Leadership workshop series is being rolled out as a special project by the Manitoba Women’s Institute in conjunction with other 100th anniversary events.

The workshops are aimed at helping expose more women to other female role models and increase women’s confidence and desire to become involved in leadership roles, said Grandview-area Manitoba Women’s Institute member Barbara Stienwandt.

Many women are already wholly engaged in the voluntary sector, but it’s also clear many more could become involved, she said.

A case in point is the Association of Manitoba Municipalities’ report on women’s low participation in local government. It pointed out while women comprise 50 per cent of the population, only 15 per cent of all elected municipal officials are female.

“It’s evident there’s a genuine lack of women coming forward to fill those roles,” said Stienwandt.

Other studies identify an increasing – and potentially off-putting – complexity to voluntary board service.

The first workshop to be held Oct. 2 at the Shamrock Centre in Killarney is billed “Critical Conversations for Board Members” and will offer professional development sessions those already serving, or eyeing service, on community boards.

On Oct. 7 a panel discussion featuring four women leaders successful in both political and non-political arenas will be held in Portage la Prairie.

On Oct. 21 the series is bringing in keynote speaker Eliane Silverman, author and University of Calgary women’s studies professor to speak in Brandon. She will be in Winnipeg the following day.

On Nov. 16 Carolyn Pletsch, interim manager of the Centre for Families, Work and Wellbeing at the University of Guelph will be in Steinbach to talk about the findings of a Canada-wide study on rural women’s organizations.

The province announced at MWI’s centennial celebrations in May it would contribute up to $10,700 to support the project.

“We’re entering our 101 year now,” said Stienwandt. “We’re looking for ways to again be able to contribute to the lives of women.”

[email protected]

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TheWomenin

Leadershipworkshop seriesisbeingrolled outasaspecialproject bytheManitoba Women’sInstitute inconjunction withother100th anniversaryevents.

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For more information on the

Women In Leadership series log on to www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/organizations/wi/or telephone(204) 945-8976or

email [email protected]

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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