By the time you read these lines, our big annual SIE meetings, (the Growth Academy and Governor’s Meeting) will have ended and those of you who attended will have returned home. Your Union and hometown meetings will have also already been held.


During official and unofficial meetings there will have been informative and inspirational sessions; moments of discussion and of brainstorming. In most cases, we will have had the opportunity to celebrate a return to connecting in person.


For sure, everyone who attended will go home with plenty of stories, brimming with renewed energy. However, the nicest story would be that when you return home, you can simply, fully and honestly declare:


‘I recognise myself in this organisation,

I recognise myself in what Soroptimist stands for,

I recognise myself in the values we embrace,

I recognise myself in the goals we strive for.’


And, as you embrace this recognition of belonging, you enthusiastically communicate your recent experience to your loved ones. To your partners, your friends, your colleagues, and your neighbours – all of whom witness the energy you get from spending your time with other members on Soroptimist matters.


So, beyond recognising yourself as a Soroptimist, you will also be recognised as such by those outside of our organisation. The secondary benefit of communicating your experiences is the positive visibility you bring to SIE. Even nicer would be that, along with being recognised as a member, you receive recognition for the time and energy you dedicate to Soroptimism.


As an organisation, we receive recognition on many levels, from the institutions where we have a seat, to ministers and other highly placed people who want to support Soroptimism. But do we each give recognition to one another, to the people actually making everything happen? Our Presidents and board members on a club, union or federation level, and our members who are active in task forces are all enormously deserving of recognition for the work they do, holding tough positions and helping to drive change.


It costs nothing to give recognition to those who represent our organisation, so let’s stand up and do so! It would encourage those hesitant to take a position for the first time, so give them a hand, showcase not only Soroptimism, but also our motto of Sorores ad Optimum (always doing ‘the best for women’).


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023