Zonta International is a worldwide organization of women committed to enhancing the status of women on a global scale. These include battered, mentally, physically and financially abused women.
To effectively carry out its various projects, the Zonta Leadership Program was established during the 2014-2016 Biennium. This program was designed to provide members with organizational knowledge, personal and professional development and opportunities to expand their leadership skills.
Today, we are living in uncertain times and for most Zonta clubs worldwide, uncharted waters. The Covid-19 pandemic has organizations like Zonta struggling to adapt, plan and deliver the same level of service to its beneficiaries, while abiding by the stringent measures imposed to keep the pandemic at bay.
To best prepare Zonta leaders, District 17 hosted various online learning and leadership sessions that would normally have been done face to face at Leadership Training Workshops. These sessions are intended to boost confidence in the exercise of Zonta governance, and enable officers to improve communication and become effective leaders. To create responsive, and innovative meetings, virtual webinars have been going on. Zonta Club of Cebu 2 has initiated a number of these webinars.
Is there an etiquette manual to follow while on teleconferencing and other forms of virtual fora? Yes, there is, answered Ethelbert Ouano, lawyer and professor at the University of San Jose-Recoletos and resource speaker at the Zonta Cebu 2 meeting. It’s called “netiquette” and refers to courtesies at the dining table, at the office as the boss, or as subordinate, in a board meeting, at an interview, at church etc.
Is there a code of behavior to follow while seated and glued to a screen? To continue, participants should feel they are part of the meeting, and that the resource speaker is approachable as well as the presentation being a two-way communication.
To keep the participants interested and interactive, there are rules and roles as well as do’s and don’ts of video conferencing, namely, respect and consideration for everyone in the room, regardless if you see only faces in a small square.
Another occasion was the talk of literary queen, PDI columnist, multi-awarded writer, public relations consultant and mental health advocate Cathy Sanchez Babao. She delivered a most relevant issue on “Resilience in the Midst of the Covid-19 Crisis.” To mark Oct. 10 as National Mental Health Day, the Zontians invited GAD Focal persons of local government units, barangay health workers, women’s desk officers and local government officials of Mandaue City, a constant partner of the Club, in advancing its mission and vision to empower women.
Babao’s webinar discussed, among others, the possible physical, emotional and mental symptoms that would help frontline workers deal with economic recession, increased isolation and decreased access to physical and mental health care. She also offered several approaches to manage stress and better cope with isolation, and when and where to seek help.
With these two very informative and intelligent personalities, the energetic Zontians are not passing up the chance to upgrade their capacity to master gadgets and improve their internet skills to connect with sister Zontians locally and around the world!