Three Legislative Actions to Enhance the Likelihood of a Woman as President

Editor’s Note: The following is a fourth excerpt from the 2013 paper “Women Still a Challenge for Rotary” by 14 Rotarians, representing 11 zones, 14 Districts and 13 countries.

Our desire is to enhance the opportunities for women to experience leadership within Rotary beyond the level of club president in order to increase the number of candidates  from which a future woman as president may be drawn as quickly as possible.

To achieve this end requires modification of Rotary legislation. In particular there must be a shortening of the numbers of years leading to advanced leadership possibility in Rotary.

We therefore recommend:

CoL-400x3001. A thorough revision of the required prior service qualifications for a governor-nominee, governor, director and RI president. (Italic section not in original)

a. Permit a person to stand for District Governor-Nominee during their year as president;

b. Decrease the minimum number of years of qualifications to be a Governor from seven to five;

c. Eliminate the 3 year wait period after completion of the term of a District Governor and permit a person to be nominated to the position of Director after completing the term of Governor*

2. Membership requirements for nominating committees at all levels in Rotary are broadened to include a wider range of experience consistent with the range of experience among all Rotarians and that each adheres to a gender distribution that is proportional to the total membership

And further, with respect to the RI presidential nomination committee that the following three conditions be added.

a. Where the proportional number results in a fraction that member is from the minority gender.

b. Zones be permitted to nominate one male and one female nominating committee candidate, and if and when necessary, the Board of Directors Executive Committee in consultation with the General Secretary may determine the appropriate candidate.

c. And where a Zone nominates a male and female candidate both of who are past directors of RI, and both have chosen to serve on the nominating committee, preference be given to the female candidate if doing so will result in proportional representation without the necessity of an election.

3. With respect to the lexicon of “best” as in “10.010, Best Qualified Rotarian” the meaning of the word ‘best’ be defined annually* with qualifying descriptors to support objective selection of the best candidate. This may mean a Rotarian who possesses the best combination of years of service, positions of responsibility, knowledge of Rotary, and a variety of experiences and skills which reflect the particular exigencies of the moment in time and place and are in the best interests of RI, Districts and Clubs.

*Added, not in 2013 submission

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About John Borst

John Borst’s career in education spans the years 1960 to 1996. During those 36 years, he spent an equal amount of time working int he English language, Public and Catholic school boards. Borst taught in both elementary and high school environments. Positions of responsibilities held included department head in Geography, curriculum coordinator of Social and Environmental Studies, Principal, Education Officer with the Ministry of Education, Superintendent of Schools, and Superintendent of Student Services. Borst retired in 1996 as Director of Education for the legacy Dryden Board of Education. During this time, Borst has lived in the Ontario communities of Brampton, Toronto, Newmarket, Thunder Bay, Aurora and Dryden. Currently, Borst splits his time between Dryden and Toronto. Since retirement, Borst has served as a Supervisory Officer with a remote School Authority; been a freelance writer of articles on education in particular for Education Today, the magazine of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA); founded and edited from 2006 - 2010 the Education blog Tomorrow’s Trust: A Review of Catholic Education; and from 2003-2010 was a trustee of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
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