Rose Victoria Beatty 1945-
CFUW President 2004-2006
“Women make great leaders, especially in peace initiatives and in the area of social justice and reform.
The world benefits when women are fully integrated as part of the decision-making process.”
A supremely organized and successful woman, Rose Beatty travelled widely and belonged to CFUW clubs in Oakville, Ottawa and Vancouver before being elected National CFUW President in 2004. Her natural curiosity and thoughtful, thorough preparation influenced her many years of service to the organization. Her lifelong belief in the rights and opportunities for women and her commitment to equal opportunities for education made her values the perfect fit to be CFUW President.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, on VE Day, 1945, Rose Victoria, so named to commemorate the day, spent her childhood years with her sister and parents in Burlington before graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 1966. As the first university graduate in her family Rose worked proudly in her chosen field of education and special education while raising two daughters with husband David. They enjoyed the experience of living and working in several cities in Canada and Europe before moving to Vancouver in 1996. Always seeking new experiences, Rose’s lifelong learning ranged from courses in Investment for Women and Career Planning to studying at the Cordon Bleu and La Varenne Cooking Schools in Paris, France.
Rose discovered and joined CFUW Oakville in 1981, serving as Club President from 1985 to 1986. When she moved to Ottawa in 1987, she was asked to serve as Co-Convenor for the 1988 CFUW/AAUW Conference: Women, Leadership and Sustainable Development at Carleton University, and with the encouragement of Past President, Linda Souter, she agreed to take it on. This experience with the two largest federations in IFUW ignited her interest and was a turning point in her involvement. Rose served on the CFUW National Board as Director of the Status of Women & Human Rights (1988-1990) where she was inspired by then-President Tammy Irwin, to become CFUW Director of Educational Affairs from 1996 to 1998.
In 1998 at the AGM in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Rose was encouraged to consider running for the presidency of CFUW. She continued to serve on the National Board, and having moved to Vancouver, in 1999 became President of UWC Vancouver, which has concurrent with its responsibilities to CFUW membership, the blessing and responsibilities of the ownership of Hycroft, a historic Edwardian mansion. From 2000-2002 she served as CFUW VP BC. These were each important positions and challenging undertakings.
When Rose became President of CFUW in 2004, the organization was facing major problems. Membership had been declining, and the costs of maintaining the National Office, and supporting club and Board representation posed significant challenges. Communication with the National Office from her home in Vancouver was mainly by e-mail and phone, with face-to-face Board meetings taking place in mid-winter and pre- and post-AGM. An excellent relationship with then Executive Director, Susan Russell, with whom she had served on the National Board, facilitated both her transition to leadership and her term of office.
At a time when issues of the day included expanding equal access to non-traditional career choices, higher educational opportunities for women, and measures to eradicate violence towards women, the theme Rose chose for her term of office was “Empowering Women and Girls”. She strongly believed that while we are moving forward there is still work to do in growing the representation of women in positions of power in the marketplace, on boards, and at all levels of government.
During her term, briefs to government were numerous and varied and included those on Sexual Exploitation of Girls in a Polygamous Community; Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking; UN Millennium Development Goals, and the Impact of Family Law. Additional briefs addressed such matters as the environment, public health, students, the military, peace, and nuclear issues. Rose found that although there were declining opportunities for meetings with government cabinet members, meetings with opposition critics were more readily available.
Rose’s aim was for CFUW to be recognized as an organization of active, educated women pursuing goals for equality and thereby inspiring membership among a wider demographic of women. She was particularly interested in CFUW’s attracting younger women and being open to those whose education may not have been traditionally academic.
She has been acknowledged as a thorough and capable leader within and outside CFUW. She acted to improve and record CFUW’s collective knowledge, always a challenge for national organizations with an ever-changing executive membership. She made the clarification of administrative policies and procedures a major undertaking of her term. The CFUW Procedures and Information Manual was produced in the attempt to have leaders understand their responsibilities and the needs of governance, as well as their role in identifying the organization’s goals and practices. In 2005, CFUW produced its first External Annual Report, a concise report suitable for use when meeting government representatives and other groups. It includes information on CFUW as an equality-seeking organization through its policy and activities, and information about the CFUW Charitable Trust. Furthermore, the CFUW Women in Action e-Journal became a regular tool in assisting and encouraging clubs in their advocacy.
As high points of her term Rose cites opportunities to visit members across the country and to see women doing so much, sometimes with so very little. She met with each Council, and with clubs from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia making special recognition of clubs and individual members a focus whenever possible. She welcomed being enabled to lead the CFUW delegation to the IFUW 2004 Triennial in Perth, Australia, as both a responsibility and opportunity of her presidency. The Triennial further instilled in Rose a lasting interest in international connections. She continues to begin each day with the national and international news, particularly items on the Status of Women and Human Rights and she always looks forward to receiving CFUW News and Updates.
Fond memories of her presidency include presenting Flora MacDonald with a certificate of Honorary Membership in CFUW at the 2005 AGM in Oakville. Another outstanding memory involves being presented with a $50 bill signed by the sculptor Barbara Paterson, depicting the newly unveiled statue, the Famous Five, on Parliament Hill.
Following her term as CFUW President, Rose became CIR from 2006 to 2008. She also served on the following CFUW national committees: the Library and Creative Arts Committee as Acting Chair; the Strategic Planning Committee; the International Relations Committee, and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. She was a member of the CFUW Charitable Trust. Rose credits these experiences as inspirational to her continuing interest in international affairs and is still moved by having twice been given the opportunity to represent CFUW at the UNCSW, in 2007 and 2008.
Typical of Rose, she does not consider her presidency as a pinnacle, but rather a stepping stone to more opportunities to learn and share her experiences. She is an active member of the Status of Women and Human Rights Committees of UWC Vancouver where her experience makes her an invaluable member of the organization. She is also a contributing member of the Canadian International Council, which is a non- partisan, non-governmental and non-profit organization that researches and publishes on international topics. An interesting feature of Rose’s service to CFUW lies in the breaks between terms of office when her family and career interests needed to be prioritized. The balance Rose accords her time is reflective of her ability to assess priority, effort, and outcomes; CFUW is the richer for it.
Beatty, Rose. “Moving into a New Biennium” The Communicator Vol. 11.1 (Sept. 2004): 1-2. Print.
Beatty, Rose. “An Appreciation” The Communicator 12.3 (2006):1. Print.
—. Interviews by Louise Carroll. UWC Vancouver. Oct. 2012 and Aug. 2015. TS. “CFUW Honours Flora MacDonald.” The Communicator 11.5 (2005):1. Print.