Revs #9, Part Two

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We continue our conversation with Bishop Julian Gordy!  This segment is about leadership, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (yes, AGAIN…we’re excited!), and what the church of the future might look like.  Thanks for listening!

3 thoughts on “Revs #9, Part Two

  1. Why do the women “lean out”? I’m trying to understand why/how women get so far in the election or call process but then at the last moment lean out? Is it because the assumption is that a man will get the job? If they’re going to lean out, why enter in at all?

    I was raised in an “old-school” traditional house with males and females having certain roles and expectations because of their gender. So I think in my mind there will always be ingrained gender expectation for roles in society as a whole. But, I am not your stereo-typical woman in terms of likes, abilities or temperament (at least I don’t think I am) so I often feel like I am at odds with myself over the topic of gender issues. I am not opposed to women leaders, far from it, but I think I am more comfortable with the idea of a male as the leader – in general – because of how I was brought up and the fact that most leaders in the community where I grew up were men. As a result, I think I have lower and different expectations of women in leadership positions even though I think that is unfair and illogical. It is difficult to truly overcome what we learn at a young age, isn’t it?

    Before I had kids I worked for a large corporation. I was fortunate in that the division I worked in was very aware of gender and race issues and didn’t feel like I had a strike against me because I was a woman. But I will say that of all the bosses I had or had to work with, I preferred working with the men to the women. There was only one female manager that I thought was excellent and all the other women I thought were excellent were not in leadership positions. I’m not sure if it was a leadership style issue, me not being exposed to many women leaders up to that point or something else. I wonder how it will be if I ever go back to work, which would likely be 15+ years since I left. Come to think of it, my age probably had a lot to do with it.

    My experience with women in leadership positions in church is very small. Chickpastor you are only the second female pastor of a church I’ve been a member of. As a relatively new member, I’m still trying to figure out how things work at church – it is unlike any other church I’ve been a member of, but I continue to be impressed with the passion you have that comes through in every sermon as well as your use of technology. I am not tech savvy at all, so this whole podcast/comment thing is new and fun and is helping me to keep up with the rest of the world.

  2. First of all, thank you! I try above all to preach the message that *I* need to hear, and if it involves technology, that’s because it’s how I live my life (and most of us do to some degree at this point).

    I think the answer to why women lean out is complicated. Sometimes, we feel like we’re not qualified for the job, even though we’re every bit as qualified (or more) than the others running. The other answers get into family. I have heard women who were in the running for bishop of a synod say that they didn’t want to be bishop until their kids were out of the house, at least in college. So I think those are the two big ones: lack of confidence or perceived lack of skills, and anticipated loss of family time.

    I have issues with both of those, and Lean In addresses them too. I think when women are in positions of leadership, we can change it. Who says that a bishop can’t be there for her kids? Maybe not every night (which is why a supportive partner or caregiver would be essential!), but changing the job so that it is liveable. Perhaps this isn’t possible…I’ve never been a bishop, so I don’t know…but I do know that my job has changed to become more parent-friendly both because of men who want to be there for their children in the important ways, and women who want the same thing.

    • Good morning – and thank you for sharing your answer to my question. I can certainly relate to lack of confidence/perceived skills and anticipated loss of family time. I just read the blurb on Lean In on Amazon’s website and I was surprised by what I read there, “Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry.” It sounds like a very interesting book and one that I could benefit from reading as I’m figuring out what the next phase of my life holds. I think what you wrote at the end is very key – both the women and the men want the same thing. Fortunately for me, I think my husband and I share that also.

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