Leading Ladies Celebrated

Bosque Arts Center, in collaboration with local newspapers & Market at the Mill, celebrate Bosque County women in leadership with luncheon and style show

CLIFTON – According to a 2018 Texas Comptroller’s report, women account for nearly half of Texas’ workforce. And with that, Texas ranks third among all states for women-owned businesses – a 146 percent growth in the past 20 years.

But in spite of women having excellent leadership traits, there is gender-discrepancy when it comes to top-level executive jobs. Women hold fewer than a third (27.8 percent) of all top-level executive positions in the state and just 22.6 percent of chief executive positions.

To celebrate local women in leadership, local newspapers The Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune highlighted 12 female Bosque County leaders in a September special section, presenting a view of the women, beyond their professional titles. To take it a step further, these Bosque County women were spotlighted at a Ladies In Leadership Luncheon & Style Show Nov. 9 at the Bosque Arts Center – an organization and its clubs that is presently run by all women teams.

The women featured in the special section represented the state’s most female-dominated major occupational categories — local government, health care support, personal care and service and office and administrative support. The ladies were Bosque County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sarah Brunner, Real Estate Broker Sidney Carlisle, First United Methodist Church Clifton’s Pastor Mary Gean Cope, Meridian Independent School District Superintendent Kim Edwards, Law Firm owner and attorney Patricia Ferguson, Meridian City Administrator Marie Garland, Clifton Chamber of Commerce President Paige Key, Texas Health and Human Services Commission Texas Works Advisor Kristy Kuykendahl, Goodall-Witcher Healthcare Head of Nursing Joycesarah McCabe, Bosque County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Assistant Kelly Olsen, Bosque County Treasurer Carla Sigler, and Bosque County Judge Cindy Vanlandingham,

Newspapers are obligated to report on the news, including city council meetings, school board meetings and commissioners court, but Bosque County Publishing Publisher Rita Hamilton believes other projects that tell the stories of local people are just as important.

“As publisher, I believe one of my responsibilities to the communities I serve is to do things that highlight good things and the good people that make up my NDM [newspaper dedicated market],” Hamilton said. “It's why I decided to do Women in Leadership. Breast Cancer Awareness and the Veterans Day sections.”

According to a Sept. 2018 PEW Research Center report by Julian Menasce Horowitz, Ruth Igielnik and Kim Parker on views on leadership traits and competencies and how they intersect with gender.

“Being honest, holding up under pressure and standing up for what they believe in are some examples of traits that are viewed as essential for leaders in both politics and business and areas where majorities of the public say neither gender has the upper hand,” the report states.

Being compassionate and empathetic and being able to work out compromises are prominent examples of more feminine leadership styles. In politics, women are much more likely than men to be viewed as better role models; in business more see them as better able to create a safe and respectful workplace. For their part, men are seen as being more willing to take risks.

An article for the Harvard Business Review by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Cindy Gallop in April, 2020, stated although the majority of people at the top of organizations are men, studies show that it is actually women who have what it takes to effectively lead. So, rather than advising female executives to act more like men to get ahead, society would be better served by more male leaders trying to emulate women.

“There are seven big lessons they can learn from the opposite sex,” the article states. “Don’t lean in without the talent to back it up. Know your own limitations. Motivate through transformation. Put your people ahead of yourself. Don’t command; empathize. Focus on elevating others. And be humble.”

Most women in leadership will recognize these traits in themselves, and then some. Women are generally better multi-taskers, and they have to be, to juggle their jobs, their families, their church and their friends every single day.

So for the ladies enjoying the BAC luncheon that day, it was an extra treat to leisurely view a style show by the Market at the Mill with everything from glittery festive wear to comfortable PJ’s and slippers. And as bonus, it was fun that the models were all women they knew and recognized from local businesses and organizations.


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