Interview: Lenore Rogers
Carol Ariano, présidente-élue du CCPEF, fait ici une entrevue avec Lenore Rogers, présidente de notre organisme de 1981 à 1983. Lenore est directrice du Programme relais pour les femmes à Regina Plains Community College.
Lenore explique à Carol que, quand elle était jeune, son rêve était de se marier et d'avoir des enfants. Mais son mariage fut un échec, et elle décida de faire ses études universitaires pour avoir une carrière. Elle eut alors la chance de se retrouver parmi un groupe de femmes qui reprenaient elles aussi leurs études, dont le soutien l'encouragea à vouloir faire quelque chose pour les femmes, et finalement pour la cause féminine.
Au départ, dit Lenore, le CCPEF à Regina était fondamentalement un groupe-réseau. Par la suite, ce groupe est devenu plus centralisé et s'est donné principalement pour but de faire des pressions au nom des femmes, de présenter des requêtes au gouvernement et de créer ce programme relais. Maintenant, les membres aimeraient en refaire un réseau. Lenore est profondément convaincue que, à mesure qu'un nombre plus important de femmes entrent dans les grandes organisations et compagnies, les changements en leur faveur deviendront inévitables. Cette conviction justifie tous les efforts entrepris, dit-elle.
Lenore Rogers, Past-President of CCLOW ( 1981-83 ), is Director of the Bridging Program for Women at Regina Plains Community College. Lenore has been involved with CCLOW for many years and has been active in Women's issues most of her professional life. She is interviewed here by Carol Ariano, President-Elect of CCLOW.
Carol: Your personal history reflects the experience of the majority of women seeking training and education as adults. Would you like to share that?
Lenore: When I was younger, much to the chagrin of my mother, my career ambition was to get married and have kids. I had accomplished all of that by the time I was twenty-one. After a marriage break-up, I decided to enroll in university - something I had not even contemplated earlier - and return to studies after a fifteen year absence. I was 32 years old.
Once at university, I was fortunate to become involved with a group of women in similar circumstances, returning to learning. The experience of participating in this group is what awakened my commitment to women - and ultimately to feminism.
Having the unconditional support of this group of women more than once saw me through a difficult week. I survived - even thrived - knowing that if I could just make it to Wednesday, I would be able to talk things out with the encouragement of the group.
It is because of this experience that I so strongly value support groups for women learners and have ensured that this is built into the Bridging Program for Women.
Carol: From this exciting experience as a student, you moved into the workforce; but not to the receptionist job you had held earlier. What kinds of work did you find?
Lenore: The first job I had, while still completing my Bachelor of Arts, was working for Florence Flynn [now Saskatchewan Director for CCLOW]. The job was setting up a summer camp for sole-support mothers on assistance and their children. This was intended as a non-traditional learning experience for women.
It strikes me, as I remember this unique program, that it happened because of the women who held all of the key decision-making positions at the community college which sponsored the camp. They appreciated the women's needs, and were willing to try something innovative to address those needs. Interesting... Later, I became the Coordinator of Women in Society Today, C.E.I.C. Outreach project whose aim was to facilitate women's re-entry into the workforce. [This program continues today and is called Working for Women.] From there I went to the Women's Division, Department of Labor, Government of Saskatchewan, first as Information Officer and then as Education and Extension Officer.