If you know me outside See Jane Write you know that I’m a church-going gal. If you’ve known me for approximately five minutes you know I am extremely ambitious and that I consider empowering women my life’s work. For years I’ve felt these two passions of mine were mutually exclusive. In my Christian women’s small groups — with the exception of the ones I led or co-led — there were few conversations about career goals and instead a focus on family. Meanwhile, the women in my life who seemed to really understand and support my lofty aspirations were atheist or agnostic.
Then I discovered Women Business Leaders, a networking group for professional Christian women. According to the group’s Facebook page, WBL “provides fellowship and support among women in the marketplace, while impacting the community for Christ.”
Women Business Leaders meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month at the Vestavia Hills Library, 1221 Montgomery Highway. The meetings feature speakers who cover topics such as how to put God and family first and still be a successful businesswoman, being a beacon of light on your job, and the importance of praying for colleagues and clients.
WBL is a non-denominational organization and members include women of all ages and all stages of life and career — from women fresh out of college to CEOs to women who are retired. And it doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, divorced, a working mom or happily childfree.
Women Business Leaders is the sister organization to Young Business Leaders, a national organization based in Birmingham designed to reach Christian businessmen.
From the first meeting I attended, it was clear to me that this group really is dedicated to empowering career-minded women of faith.
During that meeting a young mom in the group shared that she was feeling guilty about returning to work after having her baby because most of her peers are stay-at-home moms and were judging her for her decision to work outside the home. But her career is important to her, she said, and she doesn’t understand why the young mothers in her community believe she should give that up.
Another woman in the room boldly declared that the guilt she was feeling was not of God, especially since this young woman believed that her career was part of her life’s calling.
The woman quoted 2 Timothy 1:7, which reads, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
She then said, “That was written by Apostle Paul, but if it had been written by a woman, by Apostle Paulina, I think she would have said God has not given us a spirit of guilt.”
And with that I knew I was at home.
The next WBL meeting is Saturday, Oct. 4. and you can be sure I’ll be there. If you’re interested in joining me, email me at email@example.com.