National President’s Message

August 2020

As women, we have a lot of reasons – real and imagined – to not raise our hand, to not volunteer, to not lead. We actually read the job description, and we don’t apply unless we meet every criteria listed. We disproportionately bear the responsibility of caring for others – be it children, parents, partners, or pets. And, we fear failure, criticism, and our voices not being heard. Why step up when you may not succeed?

Perhaps because I grew up in a small town. Perhaps because of the example set by my parents and the fact that they never suggested to me that there was anything I couldn’t do. Perhaps because my childhood girlfriends and I weren’t about to let anyone else run the show . I’ve always raised my hand. I am often in over my head. I’ve learned and grown and become a better (but forever imperfect) leader over time. And, I believe that a healthy amount of fear makes us better. 

Which brings me to my request to all WEN members. August is when the nominations process begins for WEN chapter and WEN national board positions and committee chairs for 2021. I encourage you to self-nominate or ask someone to nominate you, to find a role that you think is a stretch, something you feel you don’t have time to do, and to put yourself out there anyway. It’s the best way to expand your network in a meaningful way, to develop leadership and other skills you are not getting at work, and to experience your edge. What have you got to lose? My experience is that I always get more than I give, even though there are certainly moments when that’s not readily apparent. There are opportunities for everyone within WEN. Please look them over and consider raising your hand! WEN needs your unique perspective in order to do all the good work in front of us and to be the best that our organization can be. 

Jana Grauberger
Liskow & Lewis
WEN National President