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Women called to focus on leadership rewards


The Director of Catholic Education in Cairns Diocese, Carmel Ross, has encouraged participants at the Women in Leadership Conference in Cairnsto look beyond the hardships faced by women taking on leadership roles in the Catholic Church.

She described as "tragic" the fact that women are intimidated by the "superwoman" image many professional women emit, and the the Church therefore finds it hard to attract women into leadership roles in its organisations.

"There is a growing realization that to the extent that many of us find it hard to attract women into leadership roles in our organisations, it is because it simply looks too hard, and the personal and professional rewards seem too few to justify the effort," she said in yesterday's keynote address.

Ms Ross spoke of the rewards, and urging participants to focus on these, rather than the many challenges that often discourage women called to leadership roles in the Church.

"As a female leader in the Catholic Church, I see it as important that those around me see that I love the work I do," she said. "I hope they see that I am focused on the mission elements of my leadership role, but I also hope they see that despite the hard work, long hours, limitations and disappointments, there is an inner joy and a deep satisfaction in being in the privileged position of exercising leadership in the contemporary Catholic Church in Australia."

Ms Ross, a registered psychiologist, has been Director of Catholic Education, Diocese of Cairns, since 2002. She holds a number of positions including membership of the Council of James Cook University. She also leads the Cairns Steering Committee of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women.

The three-day Conference for Women leaders of Catholic Church Agencies, organised jointly by the Diocese of Cairns and the Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women, concludes today. The Conference Website makes available abstracts and texts of many of the speakers.

SOURCE
Carmel Ross: Follow me - Women in Church Leadership - Stewardship, succession and sustainability (Conference for Women leaders of Catholic Church Agencies April 05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Conference for Women leaders of Catholic Church Agencies 27-29 April 2005 (Diocese of Cairns and Commission for Australian Catholic Women)
Commission for Australian Catholic Women
Catholic Education Services, Diocese of Cairns | Letter from Carmel Ross - Building RE & Faith Development for Schools

ARCHIVE
Advance Cairns

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29 Apr 2005