Feeling grateful while we persevere

February 10, 2022by Carina furlong0

Reflections from Co-Presidents Carina Furlong & Sheila Gemin

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives and this can balance out the challenges that we experience.

In the last months we came across difficult moments in our role as Presidents. Moments that pushed our boundaries and made us question everything.  Given the personal and professional impact this whole pandemic has, everybody faces moments that lead to doubt and even anxiety. Aside from the pandemic, life is already challenging according to the different roles we play, as we are both full time working parents. Being overwhelmed, feeling insecure, or not sure what the future will bring is our new normal. We see this happening across our community and personal lives.

We don’t have all the answers, but we know that we have a lot to be thankful for, and we are grateful and privileged for the opportunity that has been given to us in our roles as Presidents of our wonderful global community. We took the opportunity to engage with the different Presidents from our city networks in the last couple of weeks to express our gratitude to them, their boards and for their efforts. Aside from the fantastic projects, they are creating so much impact in their communities. We also noticed a great sense of optimism, gratitude and camaraderie amongst us. This has always been the cornerstone and foundation on which our community is built. It has been such a great pleasure to experience this again. It has given us the strength and energy to map out the future ahead.

In our role we can get caught up operationally in strengthening the foundation of PWN Global, where the focus has been on the essential topics of governance, financial stability and sustainability. Knowing that we will not see each other this year for the PWN Global Gender Balance Leadership Awards, nor at the Presidents offsite, stimulates us to engage even more through virtual channels to ensure we keep our connection to each other alive. Below are the building blocks of gratitude we would like to express and nurture.

  •  We are both grateful to all our volunteers within our 30 City Networks for their engagement, support and drive.
  • We feel grateful to all our City networks – for constantly engaging with organizations on how to accelerate gender balanced leadership. We are now in contact with over 300 organizations throughout the world, supporting them to make sustainable progress, including focusing on engaging their male colleagues to help shift the needle.
  •  We feel very grateful to our global team for their dedication to their roles.
  •  Finally, we are grateful to our families who support and champion us in our role.

Our work as president is not always as glamorous as it might appear. The challenges we face now and in the future are complex, however we have the energy and inspiration from our community to keep the purpose of our work to accelerate gender balance leadership in business and society as our guiding light.

Our call to action for you today is to think about ‘what are you grateful for’?

 “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” Melanie Beattie

Carina Furlong & Sheila Gemin Co-Presidents, PWN Global 

Carina furlong

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