Intention, Site Overview, and About Barbara
As you enter this site know that you are respected and appreciated. We are honored that you are taking time to join us. The site is designed so that you can easily find what most interests you and quickly navigate throughout the site.
We invite you to enjoy and be inspired by each months’ story of a woman who is stepping up to lead the way – in her community, workplace, country or tribe. These women are making a difference in the world. Their stories reveal the many ways that women lead. We expect you will be inspired by their vision, their courage, creativity, and perseverance. Our purpose is to celebrate women who are leading the way!
Our intention is that this site will provide a way for us to learn with and from one another. So we invite you to send us a story – of yourself, or a woman you know, who is making a difference in the world.
Beyond these stories, we’d like to support you in developing and enhancing your own competence as leaders. We know that women are leaders! No one has to teach women how to lead. And, we also know that we can continually add to our skills and knowledge in ways that allow us to increase our effectiveness and expand our influence.
Thus, you will find resources for you and for other women and girls with whom you may work. You will find articles about leadership, and capacity-building activities – models, strategies and exercises that may be useful as you enhance your skills, increase your confidence and extend your influence. Again we invite you to send brief descriptions of strategies you have found valuable in enhancing your effectiveness in leading.
We also encourage you to connect with other women. You will find a variety of resources useful for convening Conversation Circles – calling together like-minded women who can encourage, challenge and support one another to achieve their visions, to create the life they want. We know our personal impact is enhanced when we are aware of being part of something larger than ourselves. Connecting with other women amplifies our power.
And, finally, we will, from time to time, be sharing bits of news from around the world that is important to us as women.
Our intention is that this site will grow in terms of its value to you, and to all of us – that it will increasingly speak to women around the world. We expect it to reflect the ways women think, learn and lead in many cultures, many locations, and many contexts. To do that, we encourage you to contact us. We want to hear and share your stories of women who are making a difference and to learn and share strategies you use for increasing your own effectiveness as leaders.
There are some basic principles on which our work is based. These reflect our values and orientation.
The world needs women’s leadership now!
Women’s leadership is tough and determined, to be sure, and, it is relationship oriented, inclusive, collaborative and nurturing. Women leaders have different agendas than men leaders, and the world needs both of these forms of energy.
We are all part of an interdependent global community.
The challenges we face – basic shelter for all, clean air and clean water, sufficient food, peaceful communities, good education – require the collaboration of good heads and good hearts. The opportunities for creative accomplishment are endless when we leverage all of the resources available to us.
Our future depends on making the most of the rich diversity of this global community
. . . learning with and from one another.
Women are leading the way
. . . in their homes, villages, and cities, in schools, workplaces and governments. They are solving difficult problems, and creating communities where basic needs are met, and where respect, appreciation and care are valued and are generated moment by moment. We celebrate this, as we shift our consciousness from considering these persons, not as rare, somehow especially gifted and courageous individuals, but rather as reflecting what all women can be.
While this site is focused on women leaders, our intention is to be inclusive. We honor and appreciate the men who love us and who are doing their own work of creating a world that works for all.
About Barbara Spraker
Barbara J. Spraker
Passionately interested in women’s leadership, Barbara has led Capacity-Building Workshops for women for over 20 years. In 2007 – 2009 Barbara convened and facilitated monthly Power of Yin Conversation Circles at Antioch University Seattle, an opportunity for women to share their stories, enhance their leadership skills and to engage with visiting women scholars from Nepal, Cameroon, Botswana, Ecuador, Zambia, Burkina Faso, India and Uganda. She is intensely interested in the role of women in global leadership and has convened a number of Conversation Circles in Johannesburg, Shanghai, Beijing and Seattle where women gathered to discuss this topic. She has also met with women in Ecuador and Turkey. A key theme that has emerged is that women are leading. They are increasingly stepping into their own power and leadership. They are seeing things that they care about and engaging others to join them to create positive change and to create new patterns of being together and working together.
Barbara’s professional experience bridges the corporate and academic worlds, including twelve years as Director of Education in the telecommunications industry, and more than 15 years of university teaching. Barbara taught in the Center for Creative Change at Antioch University Seattle from 2000 – 2015. Her teaching included courses in leadership, global pluralism, organizational culture and effectiveness, systems thinking, and practices of management. Her commitment to nurture the emerging understanding of our global interdependence is the foundation of her teaching and writing.
She was co-founder of the Global Issues and Perspectives lecture series at Antioch, has taught master’s level students in the U.S., Germany, Romania and China, and has traveled extensively in China. Barbara regularly presents at international leadership conferences. Her papers and presentations can be downloaded from this site’s Articles page.
In addition to teaching, while at Antioch, Barbara directed the Project, Developing Women’s Leadership ~ Around the Globe. Highlights of this Project may be found on this website’s Developing Women’s Leadership page.
In 2017 she led a Steering Committee of local Seattle women in creating a Celebration of International Women’s Day, bringing together women who were long time residents in the Seattle area and women who were recent immigrants and refugees from other countries and cultures. See http://womenleadingtheway.com/womens-leadership-news/
Barbara’s work continues to focus on creating Global Community through support of activities such as the Pan-African Summit of Women in Nigeria (see the March 2019 story https://womenleadingtheway.com/womens-stories-march2019/) and her participation in the Seattle Chapter of the American Association of University Women.
She continues partnering with many of these inspiring women who are at the heart of the challenging transition in Africa, Vietnam and Central America. “My intention is to collaborate in creating ways all of us can learn with one another and from one another.”