A version of this article was previously published on February 13, 2023. We are re-posting now that the membership survey is live! Please complete the survey today so that the CWBA can better serve you.
As we collectively and individually move beyond the pandemic, it seems fitting for 2023 to be the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Rabbit. Some describe Rabbit years as a time of reflection and thoughtful action; a time to take stock of where one is and where one is headed, to think creatively about a path forward.
As CWBA President-Elect Emma Garrison discussed in her November 21, 2022 blog post, "Reimagining the CWBA's Leadership Structure: A Look at the Strategic Planning Working Group", the CWBA board is taking stock of where the organization is headed post-pandemic and what you, our members, want.
To help shape CWBA into a nimbler organization that better serves you and your changing needs, CWBA leadership has just launched our first membership survey since 2017. That 2017 survey helped shape CWBA’s strategic plans and organizational priorities for the last several years. While the survey responses demonstrated members’ satisfaction with the many ways CWBA serves its members and the larger legal community, the survey highlighted the significant diversity, equity, and inclusion work we needed to undertake. CWBA leadership heard you and took swift action.
In response to the 2017 survey results, CWBA leadership incorporated diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused goals into the strategic plan, established the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and created the Inclusion Officer position on the Executive Committee. As a result of those efforts, CWBA’s Board of Directors is more diverse, and CWBA has become a more inclusive, welcoming organization. With continued commitment to these efforts, more women of various backgrounds, perspectives, and life paths are finding themselves at home in the CWBA and increasing their involvement and participation.
A lot has changed since 2017, thanks to the pandemic. The pandemic caused many of us to shift our priorities and how we invest our increasingly precious and dwindling “free” time. The 2023 membership survey is your opportunity to let CWBA leadership know where your priorities are post-pandemic and what you want from the organization.
I highly encourage each of you to participate in the survey, which launched on February 17th. It will only take 15 minutes or less to complete and your responses will remain anonymous. In addition to collecting demographic information about membership, the survey also provides insight into what aspects of CWBA’s mission matter most to you, areas where CWBA excels and the programs it should maintain, areas for improvement and the programs CWBA should retire, and the value of CWBA membership. As I said in my President’s Letter, “CWBA is your home and your place where you can authentically belong, in the truth of our life.” Tell CWBA leadership how to make CWBA more relevant to where you are in life right now.
Thanks to Membership Committee Co-Chairs Hannah Seigel Proff and Sylvia Geiger whose leadership has made this survey possible. I am also grateful to the members of the Membership Survey Working Group for their insight, perspective, and strategic thinking during the survey drafting process. The Working Group members are: Emma Garrison, Carime Lee, Nicki Cerasoli, Michelle Rafik, Harshwinder Badhesha, Alison Noon McMahon, and Kim Sporrer, along with the Membership Co-Chairs and me.
And to each of you who is a CWBA member: Thanks for the ways your membership and involvement in this organization create an environment where everyone can uniquely belong. Your survey responses will continue to foster and strengthen that environment and draw more people into our organization.
Kathryn Starnella is CWBA’s 2022-23 President and an attorney on the Cross-Unit Litigation Team at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office where she handles a variety of litigation matters, ranging from civil rights to education law to natural resources.