Happy November! Yes, we are at the turning point of the calendar year where we make the mad dash into, through, and past the holiday season. I want to encourage you though to slow down, enjoy, and be present. One way you can do this is to engage in Tiana’s new yoga video included in this edition. Don’t forget that we have a Wellness Corner on our Flamboyan Network that gives you access to past videos and wellness tips, or you can also access these videos on our YouTube channel.

Now that we are well into the school year, this is a great time to talk about the mission of Voice4Equity to serve as a powerful network of sponsors for emerging executive-level leaders. The concept of sponsorship is not a new one, although the terminology may be unfamiliar to some of you. Sponsorship is when a leader leverages both their positional power and their broad professional network to get your name out there, to ensure others know that you are a leader to watch and to tap for new leadership opportunities from prestigious committee roles, to board seats, to position advancements.

This month’s feature, Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong talks in part about becoming aware of her power in making space for other women in an intentional way – an attribute that is key to sponsorship. She states, “I remember being asked the question about how I was intentionally making space for other leaders of color. That sat with me for a while, because at the time, I don’t know if I could call out specific strategies I was using to make space. And I will tell you, from that moment on, I made sure to be intentional about a variety of things.” It’s important to note that sponsorship is a reciprocal relationship, but the return is not sameness. The reciprocity actually is in the form of network engagement, mutual respect, and celebrations of other’s successes. In other words, paying it forward while being appreciative of those who paved the way for your access.

As you peruse this November edition, take a look at the ways in which you can engage in the networking that is a precursor to sponsorship. Join our Flamboyan Network and share your experiences with other women. On the network, you can connect with other leaders informally or participate in quality programming such as the upcoming discussion on Money Management for Women Leaders with Angela Moore, CEO of Modern Money. Sign up for a deeper discussion around digital innovation in December or sign up for the upcoming online Women Superintendents’ Policy Leadership Academy where through policy exploration we build our expertise as education policy leaders.

Don’t forget to join our culminating network event of the school year, the When Women Lead education summit on June 20-22, 2024 where 250 women leaders will convene for three powerful days of learning and friendship! Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, who attended the summit this past June, shares with you in her interview, “We know that many of us are from cultures where we move as a collective, we find energy and we find strength from that collective. And sometimes that collective tends to exist in our personal life. So how amazing is it to have professional networks where that collective is strong and thriving, and even better, being a part of it.”

Enjoy the stories and opportunities found in this newsletter, and stay connected with one another in a space owned and designed by women for women. Lean into the power of the Flamboyan Network, and experience the world of collective leadership for collective action.