A few weeks ago, I had the delightful opportunity to meet and be interviewed by the talented Amy Simpson of Christianity Today. We talked all about the story of 4word; about what it stands for and how it is growing and developing. Instead of my regular Monday blog this week, I’d like to share an exerpt of that interview (you can read the whole thing here).
Enjoy! I’ll be back with my regular blog next week.
Diane Paddison’s professional career has taught her that many women struggle to make family, career, and faith fit on the same plate. So she’s doing something to help. The founder of 4word and author of Work, Love, Pray. Paddison seeks to connect, lead, and support professional Christian women. TCW (Today’s Christian Woman) talked with her about how women can achieve their God-given potential at work and at home.
How has God uniquely equipped you for connecting, leading, and supporting professional Christian women to achieve their God-given potential?
I had the opportunity to be a farm girl, go to the East Coast, get my MBA, then go to work in the commercial real estate business. I ended up in the C-suite of two Fortune 500s and one Fortune 1000 company. During that time I was married, then a single mom with two kids, and then remarried, and now have a blended family with four kids. So I’ve been in different stages of relationships and can relate to single moms, blended families, and all in between. I knew the whole time there was no way I was doing all this on my own. If it wasn’t for my faith through those ups and downs, there is no way I could have done it.
I’ve had a lot of women come to me and ask, “Can we have coffee?” “Can we talk about how you do this?” “How did you navigate your career when you made more than your spouse?” It was obvious there was a need out there. And I also felt pleasure when I had the opportunity to mentor other women.
So tell us what 4word is all about.
The strategy of 4word is like a three-legged stool: connection, leadership, and support.
We help women connect in three ways: online, through local groups, and in mentoring relationships. We have a website and blogs, and local Facebook groups for women who don’t have time to be in a local group. Mentoring is really important too. A LinkedIn survey said 66 percent of women Baby Boomers never had mentors. And then research says you are 56 percent more likely to be promoted from middle management if you have a mentor versus not. We’re getting ready to launch our second group of mentoring pairs. Women apply, and we match them with mentors from all over the United States.
Going through life with a group of like-minded women has been just an amazing Godsend.
We talk about how to balance family, relationships, work, and faith 24/7. We discuss this through books, a blog, TV interviews, radio, and online articles. We also want to advocate for professional women in the faith-based community. We don’t want to create something that’s already there, so we try to partner with any group that has resources that will help our audience…
Want to hear more? You can read more of Diane’s interview at Today’s Christian Woman.