By Anna Harman
March is an important month in the history of women’s rights that brings attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. This month is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day took place on March 8. In honor of this, we talked to some of the women in leadership on Cedarville University’s campus and talked to students about the importance of these women.
Professor of Psychology Dr. Kristin DeWitt believes that having women in leadership is incredibly valuable.
“Not only do they bring diverse talents and experiences to the table, but women also tend to have a good measure of empathy,” DeWitt said A leader who shows empathy often listens to their team effectively which builds trust and a sense of worth for the members of the team.”
This interaction with team members can promote an effective change of thinking and give a fresh perspective on an issue. Additionally, DeWitt believes that it is beneficial to have women in leadership because they can serve as mentors for the next generation of women. The importance of spiritual and professional mentoring cannot be overstated.
“I am so grateful for the women in leadership at CU,”DeWitt said. “I appreciate that they are willing to take me under their wing and speak truth into my life. Observing their leadership and communication skills has been instrumental in shaping my ministry at Cedarville University.”
Assistant Professor of Women’s Ministry Dr. Erin Shaw affirms that having women in leadership is very beneficial.
“At Cedarville University, we train both men and women to practice their discipline with excellence and to interact with the culture from a biblical worldview,” Shaw said. “If there are unique challenges to a woman in a particular field, then it is helpful for others to see how it can be navigated through.
“I have been blessed to work alongside women who are extremely capable and gifted in their roles at the university all while displaying maturity in their faith as Christians. I have learned from many of them how they balance maintaining their high professional standards while also placing a high priority on their home, marriage, children, and church service.”
Professor of English Dr. Michelle Wood thinks that it is important to have women in leadership roles at Cedarville University so they can serve as models and examples for students and faculty/staff that God may choose to put into leadership positions in the future.
“The women in leadership on campus illustrate the myriad of ways God uses and equips His servants to serve Him,” Wood said.
These women in leadership have influenced her own ministry at Cedarville University.
“My chairperson, Dr. Shaver, has exemplified how Jesus Christ can give joy even when His followers endure trials, and she has encouraged me and my colleagues to ‘choose joy.’” Wood said.
Wood expressed that Dr. Shaver has allowed her to participate in department projects and minor leadership roles within the department. In these ways, she has taken the time to mentor Wood professionally. Dr. Pam Johnson, Senior Professor of Kinesiology and Allied Health, has encouraged Wood in her work at Cedarville for the past thirty years.
“Her smile and positivity give me the courage to do what God has asked me to do at Cedarville,” Wood said. “I am thankful for these women whose lives are a testimony of Jesus Christ in the workplace.”
Anna Harman is a junior Biblical Studies major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, peppermint tea, flowers, and going to concerts.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.