You may be a leader of tomorrow
By Deliana Speights, Secretary-Treasurer
I was inspired by our recent UFCW Women’s Network webinar, “Preparing Leaders for the Future,” because it reminded me of the hopes we all share for a better tomorrow.
These hopes can become reality when we find, nurture and promote leaders with confidence and empathy, leaders who inspire courage and action to create positive change.
This is why we are reaching out to members who have the potential to take on the challenges of the future.
Who knows what those challenges will be? None of us could have predicted the year we just went through. We navigated through a pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen in 100 years, working overtime to secure sick pay, personal protective equipment and hero pay for our members. We recently hosted a clinic where more than 300 Local 1428 members and others in the community received their COVID-19 vaccines.
What will a leader look like in the future? Our core goals of the Labor Movement — fair pay, protections on the job, and dignity in retirement — won’t change. What will change is the voices of those who, with a strong and united membership to support them, will move us closer to those goals.
Women are, and will continue to be, a huge part of that voice. Our job as leaders is to help amplify their voices as they rise from different age groups, races, expressions and religions. They all play a role in our diversity and our ability to change for the better.
Some people don’t realize they’ll be great leaders until they’re put in that position, so it is often up to us to recognize their potential when we see it.
Our desire is not just to bring diverse members to the table. We aim to make sure they’re included in the decision making. It’s about not just being in the room but participating in the room.
According to the United States Census Bureau, 34 million women have been classified as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving the public in such industries as health care, food and agriculture, health care and law enforcement. Yet only 42 percent of them have full-time jobs. Women still make only 82 cents on the dollar compared to men.
To remedy this situation, we need to look at how women can grow to be leaders in their workplaces and in their unions. We need more women stewards, spokespersons, executive board members and bargaining committee members.
Do you think you have the potential? If you can give one hour a month to mentor or be mentored, we’re looking for you. We have training programs for all aspects of leadership.
The UFCW is a valuable resource, but we’re only as strong as our members and the leaders who rise among them. One of them could be you!
If interested call Connie Baxley at (909) 626-3333, Ext. 239.
Deliana can be reached at: 909-626-3333 ext. 226 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deliana services the following locations:
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