Friday, November 30, 2007

On How to Show Who's Boss: Oh, it's a woman's thing

Dorothy Nelson has always inspired. -gw

As a member of the Bahá’í Faith, I believe in the process of consultation to resolve conflicts peacefully. I inserted materials on mediation, the closest thing to consultation, in my seminar on the administration of justice. One day at a faculty meeting, I overheard a faculty member say to another, just what is this thing called mediation that Dorothy is teaching in her seminar? The response was: “Oh, it’s a woman’s thing. She is trying to get everyone to love each other”. Well, it gives me the greatest pleasure to say that alternative dispute resolution (particularly mediation) is one of the hottest topics in the justice system today.

When I became the first woman dean, one of the senior faculty members called me into his office and advised me to arrive at the next faculty meeting 15 minutes late to show the faculty who was boss. Instead, I rushed home and baked 5 dozen chocolate cookies and arrived 15 minutes early to greet everyone. I also announced that we would have food at all faculty meetings henceforth.

No comments: