How to Form a WIL Committee in Your Local

There are multiple pathways available for the establishment of WIL/WIEL committees. Outlined below are some ideas for starting a WIL/WIEL committee, but even though the points are presented in a linear fashion, your local’s path may be different!    

Potential Pathways for Establishing a WIL Committee.

  1. Inspiration! Starting a WIL committee may be as simple as starting a conversation with close colleagues about women in educational leadership. Perhaps in those conversations, a spark is created and you find a group of like – minded colleagues who wish to open the conversation on women in educational leaders within your local. In exploring the idea, perhaps you and / or your colleagues attend the Women In Leadership Summit conference and connect with other local teachers who have Women in Leadership Committees. You are inspired to starting working on building networks of support for women in educational leadership and want to start a committee.
  2. What’s next? Once a local teacher or groups of teachers decides they want to establish a local WIL committee, it will be important to connect with your local President and local Executive to let them know that you and your colleagues would like to set up a committee. In those discussions, the President can be influential in helping to establish support, including financial support, for a Women in Leadership Committee.
  3. Congratulations, you’ve got a local WIL/WIEL committee! Now what?
    1. How will you populate your committee? Will you encourage all members to join, will it be one representative from each school or site in your local, will you have elections for a defined number of roles? All of these questions will be relevant and if you decide on one method for populating your committee, you can always review that decision when you review your frame of reference every year.
    2. Review the sample frame of reference for Local WIL / WIEL committees and decide what you want to do as committee. Set out an annual plan with a view to establish a three-year plan as your committee gets established and a clearer picture its priorities.
    3. Decide how often you will meet and how. Right now, during the pandemic, all Association meetings are virtual but once the pandemic ends, what format will you use to meet?
    4. Budget – what is your budget and how will you use it? Many committees use budget to provide for in person meetings, to host events at the local level, plan social events, conduct a book study, or to support committee members to attend provincial events such as the annual Women in Leadership Summit.
  4. Its your first committee meeting. How do you plan your agenda?

    *Hint: prior to the meeting, you will want to make sure you have someone who will act as a chair and someone who will act as a record keeper – this helps keep the meeting orderly and you will also have a record of the conversation and decisions taken.  You may also want to provide refreshments or snacks if you are meeting in person.

    1. Approval of the Agenda
    2. Introductions are the first step to ensuring a great start for your committee. It is helpful in the first meeting to include time and space for your committee members to explain why they have decided to join the local WIL committee. This exercise helps to set out the kinds of actions you might contemplate as a committee.
    3. Frame of Reference. Provide each committee member with a sample frame of reference, go through it and decide what parts of the sample frame of reference you will adopt for yourselves. Your frame of reference will also drive your agendas going forward as they
    4. Elections. As a committee, if you have not already elected the chair, vice-chair or secretary through your Annual General Meeting, you may need to determine this in your first meeting.
    5. Annual plan. Once the frame of reference is adopted and positions are chosen, the committee can begin to set out your goals for the year. Your annual plan should identify what your committee wishes to accomplish and who will be most responsible for the planning of the task. This is your opportunity to dream big!
    6. Other. In most meeting agendas, it is important to establish a place in the agenda where matters can be brought up by committee members – this is usually done when the agenda is approved.
    7. Future meeting date(s).It is important to make sure your meeting dates are determined at your inaugural meeting.This will allow your committee members to set aside the dates early so in order to guarantee good attendance. The committee may also want to discuss what time works best for meetings given busy schedules and childcare commitments.