Helping New Members Get Started
One of the most rewarding aspects of a women’s committee is the role it can play in helping members develop into union leaders. For many women, this is the first chance they have had to gain the skills and experience necessary to be effective union leaders. The committee must be a place where women can feel comfortable in trying new things such as chairing a meeting, speaking to a group, or simply calling a few co-workers to invite them to a meeting. There are several kinds of action members can undertake to make sure the committee fosters leadership development:
- Be a mentor to committee members. For instance, if you’ve chaired a lot of meetings, offer to help someone new through the process until they get comfortable.
- Provide training on leadership skills (for example, public speaking, chairing a meeting, parliamentary procedures).
- Praise members who try something new and offer helpful tips in areas where they can improve.
- Make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you and your friends are the only ones who can and will do things. Get as many people involved as you can, give them something to do, and let them do it. This will help new leaders develop.