Women and authority


#1

Hi,

Does anyone on this forum know of orthodox Catholic women in positions of authority and power?

I’m asking this question because the company I work for has restructured, and the head of North American business is a woman, and the executive CEO of the global corporation is also a woman (The company has over 80 000 employees worldwide). I have this nagging thought (prejudice?) that woman who achieve this level of power and authority are probably not orthodox, probably feminist, pro-choice, and pro contraception… etc…The director of my division is also a woman and she certainly falls into the catagories I’ve listed above. Is there a necessary connection between women who achieve high levels of power and authority, and the above errors, and if not, can you provide example of orthodox woman in positions of power and authority? (Excluding religious examples such as St. Catherine of Siena, Theresa of Avila, etc…)

I also want to say that I highly respect the abilities of my director, and the women I mention above. By the way, I’m a guy, if that isn’t obvious already:) .

Thanks, and God bless.


#2

I am a Mom. I have a company of one.:stuck_out_tongue: On the serious side how about Mother Angelica, or Mother Theresa.


#3

I think that women in positions of management and ‘authority’ is great…I don’t think that just because a woman runs a company, or a department means that in any way…she will be immoral…there is absolutely no connection between a woman in ‘power,’ and her being immoral. No different than a man being in power, really.:smiley:


#4

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a doctor, mother, and president of the women’s Catholic Action.

Also, look to the Catholic queens and royalty of the past. Here are some saints:

[LIST]
*]Clotilde
*]Elizabeth of Portugal
*]Hedwig, Queen of Poland
*]Margaret of Scotland
*]Matilda[/LIST]


#5

Our Blessed Mary, mother to us all is definately setting a fine example for women and authority.

I work in a nursing home and I have noticed the women who have chosen a career over family are not the happiest. One woman was 106, and her biggest regret was never having children.


#6

I used to be Director of Public Affairs of a large company. However, at the time, I was protestant. Fundamentalist, conservative protestant, but protestant none the less. I don’t see how my current beliefs would affect that job any differently, though … I quit because I had a baby. I would do that today, too. And if I hadn’t had a baby, I’d probably still be working there today, even as a Catholic. Heck, I’d probably have been a vice president by now.

Look up “Maria Montessori,” though – she was a very famous educator with great influence and as far as I can tell, she was orthodox.


#7

before I moved I was a member of a professional women’s group, all of whom had influential or executive positions in various businesses, hospitals, colleges, non-profits, social service agencies, local government and the professions and the strident, agressively feminist, pro-“choice” brand of modern woman was definitely in the minority in this group, although they were well represented and tried, and sometimes succeeded in making their views carry more weight than their numbers warranted. I think supposition in OP is a generalization, and like most such statements while may be true in some instances, does not stand up as a a statement of reality across the board. There was also a solid minority of good, practicing Catholic women in this group, and they also carried more weight in proportion to their numbers, among other things, we thwarted moves made each year by the fems to add an anti-life “platform” statement and to prevent political contributions from anti-life candidates.


#8

Hi again,

Thanks for all these great responses.

One thought I have from your answers is that the only reason we don’t have more women CEOs and managers, is that family life and having kids is just more appealing, and its really hard to do both. I have to respect those who can juggle both and achieve high positions (and those who decide not to.)

God Bless,
Ut


#9

There was also a solid minority of good, practicing Catholic women in this group, and they also carried more weight in proportion to their numbers, among other things, we thwarted moves made each year by the fems to add an anti-life “platform” statement and to prevent political contributions from anti-life candidates.

Point well taken. I guess I haven’t met any in my own circles. Probably because I live in a very liberal part of the world. In stating my generalization, I was also calling it into question. I don’t like the idea that women (and men) have to fit into one mold. Its heartening to see that it isn’t so.

Thanks for your response.
Ut.


#10

Change the word “appealing” to “important” and I’d wholeheartedly agree.

Kids don’t deserve to be juggled. If you have found a position where you can rise to the top without forcing your kids to feel like they are being juggled, then that’s wonderful and I applaud your success. I have a friend who has found that balance as a partner in a law firm (working 2-3 days a week, making enough money to hire a loving long-term nanny instead of daycare, plus fat college funds) and her whole family is blessed because of it.

But I know that before I quit, I was juggling. Juggling the demands of a newborn baby with the demands of a national corporation. Guess who kept winning? My son deserved better and I knew it. I finally sucked it up and resigned. It was the hardest thing I ever did … but also the best.

I don’t judge those who keep working. We all do what we need to do to get by. But I don’t for a minute pretend it doesn’t affect the children when Mommy’s identity as a Leader is more important than her identity as a Wife and Mom. I had to take a hard look at WHY I was working. I didn’t “need” the money, but it was my career and I loved it … just not as much as I loved my kid. Between the two of them, something had to give. I couldn’t ask my sweet son to be the one to sacrifice. I was the one who invited him into my life. I had to make him first priority.

Trust me, the difference between dual income and single income is significant. But it’s been worth the sacrifice. And the only ones who miss my former prestige are my non-Catholic parents. “Catholic housewife” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Director of Public Affairs” or even “Vice President.” But my son wouldn’t have it any other way. And frankly, neither would I.


#11

Hi Philothea 2.0,

My wife and I have just read your post, and we both understand exactly what you mean, because we also have a young baby who just turned one, and it is amazing how much a little person like that demands your undivided love and attention. My wife couldn’t agree with you more. She would never want to juggle the time she spends with our little one, although she does take one afternoon a week to teach.

God Bless,
Ut


#12

…and also it’s still a hard thing for the tides to turn…where women are taken seriously over men. i work in a very male dominated field, and there are women in higher positions, i have been promoted recently, but women are not as commonly seen in CFO/CEO positions, as men…for some reason, the world still has a hard time accepting a woman ‘in charge.’ in my line of work, i market to CEO’s and CFO’s everyday, and if I talk to 15 people per week, there will be 12 out of those 15 who are men…so, it’s not just a hunch, i see it every day…women are just not as often, put into these roles, as men. i often think once we see a woman as President of the USA, maybe these things will change in the workplace. Just my 2 cents worth.:slight_smile:

but…nothing compares to being a mom…and putting our children first. i’m just saying that it’s tough for women who are trying to build their resumes, to climb as fast as men…for some reason?


#13

Are you asking out of curiosity, or do your manager’s views on Contraception, feminism, etc. actually influence the nature of your job and workplace?


#14

One of the greatest leaders of the second half of the 20th Century was a woman, Maggie Thatcher. BTW, I’d put some of her contemporaries in the same category of greatness…Regan, JPII, Gorbachev.


#15

I am Director of Information Technology for an international company. I make all the networking and computer decisions as well as most of the electronic devices for my technology based company. It is a pretty respectable position for anyone, man or woman, but I happen to be a woman. My kids are all in high school or college so I am not torn between work and home for the most part. I am free to go to mass during my work day, leave work to take kids to school or appointments, or just to interact with their schools. Last year the boss sent me on a trip out of state, when he found out it would be on my son’s 19th bday, he asked him to fly out with me and take a mini vacation at his lodge. Ds and I flew out, (ds got to ride shotgun with our pilot) then spent 3 days together working and playing for his birthday… it was nice! We went 4 wheeling, shot at targets, and generally “played” for most of the 3 days. In September my dd was altar serving for mass before school every Thursday, so I would drive her in and stay for mass, which of course made my arrival at work later than I normally show up. Neither the CEO or the President had a problem with it at all. The only person that wasn’t thrilled was our office manager, mostly because she gets jealous of any time anyone else gets away from the office. Incidently, she also gets jealous when everyone leaves for mass on holy days just because she is the only non Catholic in the office. You should see the mass exodus (pun intended) CEO, President, me, CEO’s wife(she is a CEO of her company that operates out of our office too), pilot, and some of the other folks… we all go to mass, meet our spouses there if possible, then we all lunch together.

My CEO’s son and my dd go to the same school so we see each other at all the school events too. My CEO’s wife is also on the board of directors for the Catholic HS. If you want to see a very Catholic CEO woman…she’s definitely one for the books! Every year she takes time off to organize the back to school clothing and school supply drive for the low income folks, she personally shopped for over 100 pairs of sneakers for these kids. At Christmas she is the one who does the angel tree in our town. She organizes all the names of kids that come from low income homes, their gender, sizes, and what they want for Christmas and gets people to donate gifts or money for these kids. Each kid gets clothes and toys. She does a million other things too…she is an amazing woman. I do alot of work at their house as well as at the office. They have a well used chapel set up in their home. You don’t often hear of rich folks like that do you?


#16

I just wonder whether we need to reconsider what true power is. Is it wielding massive money or influence over others for one’s own sake or is it really transforming people’s hearts through grace and mercy to become better people. That was Christ’s power and if that is what power is, then women like Mother Teresa have more power than the leaders of many nations and companies. Obviously the BVM would rank as most powerful… those who humble themselves shall be exaulted and those that exualt themselves shall be humbled.


#17

QUOTE]women are just not as often, put into these roles, as men. i often think once we see a woman as President of the USA, maybe these things will change in the workplace. Just my 2 cents worth.

I agree, but I would also like to see (or know about) more examples of orthodox catholic women in these positions.

Are you asking out of curiosity, or do your manager’s views on Contraception, feminism, etc. actually influence the nature of your job and workplace?

Nope, it doesn’t affect my job. As I said before, I have a high respect for the abilities of my manager.

I ask more for the sake of my wife, since she wants to stay at home with our son. She works hard at what she does, and our son is thriving. However, there is a lot of social pressure, for example, to only have one child, contracept, put our child into full day daycare, etc… in order to work full time, climb the corporate ladder, and “make something out of her life.” There can be, sometimes, a kind of discrimination for women who decide to stay at home by those who chose to go back to work. These experiences have created a negative impression in us about those women who do return to work. I knew that this impression wasn’t fair, so I wanted to know about examples of orthodox Catholic women in positions of authority.

Its good to know that there is no necessary connection between being a woman in the workplace and accepting a culture of death. Its also interesting to see how different women have juggled the demands of work and family, and how the tempation can be strong to value the needs of your work above the needs of your family. I think this holds true for men as well as women.

One of the greatest leaders of the second half of the 20th Century was a woman, Maggie Thatcher. BTW, I’d put some of her contemporaries in the same category of greatness…Regan, JPII, Gorbachev.

I agree, but is she Catholic? Catholics have different kinds of social obstacles to work through than non-catholics, I think.

I am Director of Information Technology for an international company. I make all the networking and computer decisions as well as most of the electronic devices for my technology based company. It is a pretty respectable position for anyone, man or woman, but I happen to be a woman. My kids are all in high school or college so I am not torn between work and home for the most part. I am free to go to mass during my work day, leave work to take kids to school or appointments, or just to interact with their schools.

I work in the same field. Its good to be in a work environment where your co-wokers respect the needs of your family. For the most part, this is the case where I work as well.

I just wonder whether we need to reconsider what true power is.

I think this statement holds true for both men and women.

God bless,
Ut


#18

while we all applaud and uphold as an ideal woman’s vocation as wife and mother, this is not a thread about SAHM vs “working moms” (how I hate that term). So let us not side-trak the topic.

This is a thread in response to an allegation that women who do rise to power and influence through their work are by definition rabid feminists, anti-life, ungodly, immoral, or whatever other generalization you care to make. I point out that such generalizations are dangerous and not likely to be true. Such a comment about women CEOs, politicians etc. also implies that men in positions of power and influence are be definition ungodly, corrupt etc., an equally unsound generalization.

this discussion according to OP is limited to those in present day, not religious or secular figures of the past


#19

I’d assume that Maggie Thatcher is an Anglican, although I don’t know for certain.


#20

Most all of the first women CEOs in America were nuns running hospitals, orphanages and the like.


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