Course grooming women for top Church jobs unmasks rampant careerism
By Julian Mann
Episcopal churches are not the only denominations to be marred by careerism. But they have a huge problem with it.
Nowhere is this illustrated more disturbingly than in Friday’s Church Times feature by Rebecca Paveley about a coaching course to groom selected women for the top jobs in the Church of England.
Run by the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, it is aimed at encouraging women to ‘imagine’ themselves in senior posts.
But the course does not just do imagining. A professional coach – Claire Pedrick who wrote a book about how to make ‘good’ ecclesiastical appointments – is laid on to guide the participants through the application process and give advice on interviewing technique.
According to Ms Paveley, Ms Pedrick also
touches on the tricky question of the social-interaction part of the interview process – otherwise known as “death by quiche”.
The course has funding from grant-making trust the Panacea Society but Ms Paveley reports ominously that the organisers hope that it might get central funding from the Church.
Certainly, the attendees display a strong sense of entitlement. One said:
We’re in the habit of not selling ourselves, aren’t we? But there are some here whose stars are going to fly very high indeed.
I suppose most of us are called to senior leadership, or we wouldn’t be here.
Sadly, it would appear that this coaching course, fired by feminism, simply unmasks the rampant careerism that has long been a feature of the ‘preferment’ process.