For over a year now, I have been virtually meeting once a month with a group of women leaders brought together by Bridget McNamer at Side Car Counsel. These influential gatherings have provided opportunities for support, guidance, coaching, and fellowship. They were the light in many dark and difficult days. These gatherings allowed us to specifically discuss and unpack the challenges of being a woman in leadership and reimagine what could be for our future and the young women following us.
During one of these meetings in the doldrums of winter and throws of Covid fatigue, one of the participants, Francesca, I think, said, what if we came together in person this summer? That one tiny question sparked hope, curiosity, and possibility. What if we did meet up this summer, and what if we asked other women leaders to join us to bravely and vulnerably discuss the current and future landscape for daring women leaders?
Of course, we all said YES!!!!! Let’s do this, and the planning began.
A little over a week ago, a group of courageous, resilient, passionate, and fierce women leaders gathered in Red Lodge, Montana, at the Inaugural Side Car Summit for Adventurous Women. Leaders, to examine one fundamental question how do we ‘Womanize’ the school leadership landscape?
Although what happens at Red Lodge stays at Red Lodge, there were so many powerful moments. Women vulnerably, openly, and bravely shared their experiences, challenges, triumphs, and hopes! What did I discover as we gathered in community?
Women are incredibly resilient and primed to take on new challenges. They continue to push boundaries and serve their families and communities despite the crisis of Covid-19, balancing competing priorities, feeling isolated, and caring for partners, children and parents.
Women are creative, innovative risk-takers and problem solvers. They are committed to finding solutions to complex problems.
Women want more for themselves, other women leaders, their daughters, their sisters, their mothers, and their sons and partners. They are not standing passively by and waiting for it to happen; they are taking action.
As a powerful group of women, we need to collectively use our voices to challenge the status quo! Coming together in this forum was the first step in this process.
Everyone has a story—a reason for wanting more and a demand for change. Stop, listen and learn from the brave women in your community.
So what, now what?
This group of fearless women who gathered together are committed to:
- Challenging the status quo.
- Making room at the table for other women.
- Mentoring women of all ages.
- Empowering women.
- Sponsoring women.
- Asking difficult questions
- Getting uncomfortable.
- Pushing limits, boundaries, and thinking.
- Wanting more and demanding more.
- Speaking up.
- Using our singular and collective voices.
- Gathering with other women in the community.
- Journeying together.
- Being vulnerable.
If you want to join a tribe of bad-ass women leaders striving to disrupt and change the landscape for other women leaders, we welcome you! Stay tuned; you never know what might happen next!