Celebrating WACL’s honorary members
With around 270 members, WACL is not a huge organisation. In our 100th year, we have just eight honorary members.
What is an honorary? The honorary position is the highest order of membership in WACL. This status is awarded. It cannot be applied for, but rather is given to members who have been judged by the Executive Committee to have gone above and beyond their roles in WACL and business to develop women and their standing in the industry.
And what are the criteria to be selected? There are no defined criteria. However, when the characteristics of the honorary members are examined, they share the following:
- All have clear focus on the development and promotion of women both within the club and industry.
- All are former Club presidents who either introduced initiatives to raise the status of WACL, develop its members and/or led the club through progressive transitional change.
- All have served on the Executive Committee for at least 10 years in various capacities and have chaired multiple committees ranging from hon dinner secretary, hon treasurer, hon secretary, to chairing and running the Summer and Christmas galas, the Talent Awards, and New Members.
- All are high profile leaders, who have achieved significant success in industry roles.
- All are trailblazers who have broken new ground for women in business, frequently being the first woman in the positions they have held.
The status of honorary was established in 1989. The appointments so far: Joan Barrell (1989), Judith Salinson, Lyndy Payne CBE (1998), Stevie Spring (2007), Tess Alps (2011), Dame Cilla Snowball (2013), Dame Carolyn McCall (2017) and Kerry Glazer (2021).
Honorary members are free to interpret the responsibilities in any way they choose. They frequently provide an informal sounding board, given their networks and body of experience, for new presidents. And as some of the most experienced members, they provide a sense of legacy and history while remaining highly interested in the development of the club.
They are also a very humble group. When asked why they thought they had been selected they seemed well and truly … stumped!
“I don’t have access to the selection process or criteria, I don’t know why I got it, but I’m delighted to have it.”
“I’m not sure if I deserve this as I can think of a dozen or more who do.”
“The title doesn’t mean much but it’s nice to have.”
“I was a bit stunned when they asked me – I was in total shock.”