Website FAQs

In this article is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the members-only section of this website.

How do I edit/update my profile information?

Once logged in, registered members who wish to modify their Web Profile information can do so by clicking on the Login/Logout panel at the top of the page and clicking on the “Manage Profile” link or by clicking on the Toolbox menu item under the Members menu. Members are provided the ability update their First Name, Last Name, Email, and Password.
NOTE: This is for your Web Member Profile only, this will not update your Member Directory contact information.

Registered members who wish to modify their Member Directory contact information must do so by providing their updated details in writing, via email, or by using the online form (accessed from your Member Directory page) to the active Membership Director. The Membership Director will ensure that the information is updated in any documents and the online Directory in a timely manner.

What is RSS?

RSS “feeds” are a simple and free way to access content that is important to you, as soon as it becomes available. When new content is relevent, it will immediately be shown to you which means that you won’t need to keep checking to see if the information has been updated. Whereever you see the RSS logo RSS Feed Icon on the website you will be able to subscribe to our information to recieve updates. To subscribe, you can click on the link if you are using an up to date browser. Otherwise you will need to copy the page address from your browser’s address bar into your RSS news feed reader.

To use RSS you will need a “RSS feed reader”, or “news reader”. This allows the RSS to be read and viewed on your screen. Most common browsers now check for feeds when you visit a website and display an icon letting you know it is an RSS feed. They can add the RSS feed automatically to your favourites or your toolbar in your browser. This means you will not need a seperate application to read the RSS.

You can also use an RSS Reader. Standalone feed reader programs, such as FeedReader, need to be installed on your PC, alternatively web-based readers can be used to read RSS feeds. Both Google and Yahoo have web based readers.

Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work

The women appear to prefer their own kind to bully at work, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time. YELLING, scheming and sabotaging: all are tell-tale signs that a bully is at work, laying traps for employees at every pass.

During this downturn, as stress levels rise, workplace researchers say, bullies are likely to sharpen their elbows and ratchet up their attacks.

It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.

In the name of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, what is going on here?

Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called “the pink elephant” in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?

Women don’t like to talk about it because it is “so antithetical to the way that we are supposed to behave to other women,” Ms. Klaus said. “We are supposed to be the nurturers and the supporters.”

Ask women about run-ins with other women at work and some will point out that people of both sexes can misbehave. Others will nod in instant recognition and recount examples of how women — more so than men — have mistreated them.

“I’ve been sabotaged so many times in the workplace by other women, I finally left the corporate world and started my own business,” said Roxy Westphal, who runs the promotional products company Roxy Ventures Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz. She still recalls the sting of an interview she had with a woman 30 years ago that “turned into a one-person firing squad” and led her to leave the building in tears.

Jean Kondek, who recently retired after a 30-year career in advertising, recalled her anger when an administrator in a small agency called a meeting to dress her down in front of co-workers for not following agency procedure in a client emergency.

But Ms. Kondek said she had the last word. “I said, ‘Would everyone please leave?’ ” She added, “and then I told her, ‘This is not how you handle that.’ ”

Many women who are still in the work force were hesitant to speak out publicly for fear of making matters worse or of jeopardizing their careers. A private accountant in California said she recently joined a company and was immediately frozen out by two women working there. One even pushed her in the cafeteria during an argument, the accountant said. “It’s as if we’re back in high school,” she said.

A senior executive said she had “finally broken the glass ceiling” only to have another woman gun for her job by telling management, “I can’t work for her, she’s passive-aggressive.”

The strategy worked: The executive said she soon lost the job to her accuser.

ONE reason women choose other women as targets “is probably some idea that they can find a less confrontative person or someone less likely to respond to aggression with aggression,” said Gary Namie, research director for the Workplace Bullying Institute, which ordered the study in 2007.

But another dynamic may be at work. After five decades of striving for equality, women make up more than 50 percent of management, professional and related occupations, says Catalyst, the nonprofit research group. And yet, its 2008 census found, only 15.7 percent of Fortune 500 officers and 15.2 percent of directors were women.

Leadership specialists wonder, are women being “overly aggressive” because there are too few opportunities for advancement? Or is it stereotyping and women are only perceived as being overly aggressive? Is there a double standard at work?

Research on gender stereotyping from Catalyst suggests that no matter how women choose to lead, they are perceived as “never just right.” What’s more, the group found, women must work twice as hard as men to achieve the same level of recognition and prove they can lead.

“If women business leaders act consistent with gender stereotypes, they are considered too soft,” the group found in a 2007 study. “If they go against gender stereotypes, they are considered too tough.”

“Women are trying to figure out the magical keys to the kingdom,” said Laura Steck, president of the Growth and Leadership Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., and an executive leadership coach.

Women feel they have to be aggressive to be promoted, she said, and then they keep it up. Then, suddenly, they see the need to be collegial and collaborative instead of competitive.

Cleo Lepori-Costello, a vice president at a Silicon Valley software company, came to the center for training. She got off to a bumpy start when she stormed into her new role “like a bull in a china shop,” Ms. Steck said.

In gathering feedback about Ms. Lepori-Costello, Ms. Steck heard comments like: “Cleo is good at getting things done but may have come on too strong in the beginning. She didn’t read the different cultural unspoken rules like she could have.”

So Ms. Steck and Kent Kaufman, another coach at the center, began a one-year, once-a-week individual coaching program. It included role-playing and monthly group discussions with other female executives who acknowledged that they also had major blind spots about being politic at work. (The group was once nicknamed the Bully Broads.)

When she came to the center, Ms. Lepori-Costello said, she thought her colleagues were not initially open to her ideas. Through coaching and conflict role-playing, she came to realize that her behavior was perhaps “too much overkill” and that she was not always attending to all the people around her.

Joel H. Neuman, a researcher at the State University of New York at New Paltz, says most aggressive behavior at work is influenced by a number of factors associated with the bullies, victims and the situations in which they work. “This would include issues related to frustration, personality traits, perceptions of unfair treatment, and an assortment of stresses and strains associated with today’s leaner and ‘meaner’ work settings,” he said.

Mr. Neuman and his colleague Loraleigh Keashly of Wayne State University have developed a questionnaire to identify the full range of behaviors that can constitute bullying, which could help companies uncover problems that largely go unreported.

Bullying involves verbal or psychological forms of aggressive (hostile) behavior that persists for six months or longer. Their 29 questions include: Over the last 12 months, have you regularly: been glared at in a hostile manner, been given the silent treatment, been treated in a rude or disrespectful manner, or had others fail to deny false rumors about you?

The Workplace Bullying Institute says that 37 percent of workers have been bullied. Yet many employers ignore the problem, which hits the bottom line in turnover, health care and productivity costs, the institute says. Litigation is rare, the institute says, because there is no directly applicable law to cite and the costs are high.

Two Canadian researchers recently set out to examine the bullying that pits women against women. They found that some women may sabotage one another because they feel that helping their female co-workers could jeopardize their own careers.

One of the researchers, Grace Lau, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Waterloo, said the goal was to encourage women to help one another. She said: “How? One way we predicted would be to remind women that they are members of the same group.”

“We believe that a sense of pride in women’s accomplishments is important in getting women to help one another,” Ms. Lau said. “To have this sense of pride, women need to be aware of their shared identity as women.”

In the workplace, however, it is unlikely that women will constantly think of themselves as members of one group, she said. They will more likely see themselves as individuals, as they are judged by their performance.

“As a result, women may not feel a need to help one another,” she said. “They may even feel that in order to get ahead, they need to bully their co-workers by withholding information like promotion opportunities, and that women are easier to bully than men because women are supposedly less tough than men.”

WHAT better place to be a bully than in a prison? Even so, that is exactly where Televerde, a company in Phoenix that specializes in generating sales leads and market insight for high-tech companies, set up shop. About 13 years ago, the company created four call centers in the Arizona state prison in Perryville, employing 250 inmates (out of 3,000).

Through immersion training, mentoring and working with real-world clients, these women can overcome their difficult circumstances, said Donna Kent, senior vice president at Televerde. “Often, they will win over bullies and we see the whole thing transform. That’s what gives us inspiration and our clients inspiration.”

TODAY, about half of Televerde’s corporate office is made up of “graduates” from Perryville, including Michelle Cirocco, the director of sales operations. She has seen how women treat one another in other settings and she thinks the root cause is that women are taught to fight with one another for attention at an early age.

“We’re competing with our sisters for dad’s attention, or for our brother’s attention,” Ms. Cirocco said. “And then we go on in school and we’re competing for our teachers’ attention. We’re competing to be on the sports team or the cheer squad.”

To be sure, the Televerde experience is not for every inmate, and those who are in it still must work hard to maintain a highly competitive position.

“As we get into the corporate world,” Ms. Cirocco added, “we’re taught or we’re led to believe that we don’t get ahead because of men. But, we really don’t get ahead because of ourselves. Instead of building each other up and showcasing each other, we’re constantly tearing each other down.”

Televerde reversed that attitude in Perryville, Ms. Cirocco said, by encouraging women to work for a common cause, much like the environment envisioned by the Canadian researchers.

“It becomes a very nurturing environment,” Ms. Cirocco said. “You have all these women who become your friends, and you are personally invested in their success. Everyone wants everyone to get out, to go on to have a good healthy life.”

If the level of support found at Televerde were found elsewhere, Ms. Klaus said, it would solve a lot of problems.

“The time has come,” she said, “for us to really deal with this relationship that women have to women, because it truly is preventing us from being as successful in the workplace as we want to be and should be.

“We’ve got enough obstacles; we don’t need to pile on any more.”

Original article © The New York Times.

Networking Overview

Each of us as executive women and men representing our firms must find our own way to open doors for our firms and ourselves. The tools are made available to us through EWI. The Chapter and International Directories are the best tools you can find. Look through them carefully; become familiar with how they are laid out and determine how they might best serve you and your firm.

Because of the quality of the firms associated with EWI, your company will benefit greatly from the relationships you develop as a member. You will be afforded the ability to network and learn from other members. You will find personal satisfaction in the opportunity for professional growth, camaraderie, and social interaction.

Personal growth through association with EWI is completely in your hands. Opportunities abound at every turn; be creative; be the executive women and men that you are; and take full advantage for your firm and yourself.

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Most people know that the best way to find a job is through networking. You can go to networking meetings, tap into your own personal network, or ask friends who they know.

With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are similarly many ways to use social media in order to network, and eventually find a job. According to an article in DMNews, Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester Research agrees that social networks allow all parties involved to better search for and reach their target.


If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to connect to people you know. It also allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect to them. There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn in a job search:

  • Company Search – One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is if you have a very specific company you are interested in. You search on that company, and hopefully find people who are connected to other people you know. Then, you can ask your personal contact to connect you. Or, if you pay $30/month, you have the opportunity to email people who you don’t have a contact in common with.
  • Job Postings – LinkedIn allows employers to post jobs on the site. The jobs are usually high quality, professional jobs.
  • Email – If you ever find yourself having been laid off, send a large email to everyone in your LinkedIn network, letting them know of my situation, and asking for any help or people they could put you in touch with them.
  • Blog Link – LinkedIn now gives you the ability to link your blog post to your profile. So every time you post a new blog post, it updates on your profile, so anyone looking at your profile will see what you’re writing about. It also includes the updated post in the weekly update emails that go out to your connections.
  • Twitter Link – Similar to Blog Link, LinkedIn also pulls your conversations from Twitter. So, anyone who is not on Twitter, can see what you are tweeting about.

LinkedIn Advice

  • Recommendations – Get recommendations on your profile.
  • Status Updates – Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has status updates. It’s a good idea to update your status, to better inform your connections what you’ve been up to.
  • Headline – LinkedIn gives you a place to add a professional headline. Most don’t realize that this is seen by everyone. Make sure that this isexciting and enticing. Example: “Innovative marketer with a drive for results.”



The best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests. What a great way to do some networking!

  • Basic Networking – With Twitter you can get connected to people who are involved in areas you’re interested in. If you hear about jobs available at a company, check to see if you can tweet to anyone that works there, chances are, within minutes, you’ll have some information about the jobs.
  • Job Postings – Be sure to get connected to a few people who know about jobs that you may not have otherwise known about, i.e. @socialmediajob or other recruiters.
  • Connecting – When someone follows you or you follow them, read their bio thoroughly. If it looks like they work somewhere you might be interested in, or if you think they might be someone who could connect me to others, get in touch with them. A few have said no or not responded at all, but for the most part, everyone is very open to meeting or talking.
  • Companies – Look into a Twitter tool called Twellow, which actually searches people’s bios and URLs on their bios. It’s amazing! For example, if you did a quick search on Shift Communications, a company that you may want to work for, you could see that 13 people from Shift are on Twitter.

Twitter Advice

  • What’s Going On – Be more proactive in talking about what’s going on in regards to your job search. So, mentioning things more often about interviews you have had, or people you have met with. This keeps it fresh in people’s heads that you’re still looking for a job.
  • Reaching Out – Reach out to people you want to network with and saying something like “Hi – I’m looking to break into social media. Is there anyone you can think of to refer me to?”
  • Twitter Name – Your Twitter name should be your name, as it will help in your search engine results.



Most people use Facebook primarily for connecting with friends or people they know and reconnecting with people in my past. But, it can also be an effective networking tool.

  • Notes – While people do know everyone they’re friends with on Facebook, most don’t necessarily know or remember where each person works. And, most definitely don’t know where each of their friends work. So, if you are ever in a situation where you have been laid off, be sure to post a “note” on Facebook, explaining the situation, and what you are looking for. A note tends to stay on people’s screens longer than a status update, and you can write much more.
  • Status Update – Frequently post status updates relating to your job search, to keep it top of mind that you’re still looking for a job. Say things like “I had a great interview this morning… keep your fingers crossed!” or “I have a networking meeting later today with a company I’m really interested in!”. Also, write a status update with a link when you write a new blog post.

Facebook Advice

  • Notes for Blog Posts – Create a “note” for each blog post. Notes stay on people’s screen’s longer. Some people may be more likely to read it if the text is right there on the screen rather than having to click through to the blog. Also, if they comment on it on Facebook, it becomes even more viral.
  • Tag Your Friends – If you write a blog post that includes a reference to a friend on Facebook, tag them. That way, their friends will be alerted to your post, and your message will spread more quickly.

Resource Links

EWI Corporate Social Networking Webinar

Women in Finance – How to Enrich Your Career in an Era of Great Opportunity

The number of women entering the finance industry continues to grow, as does the number of women occupying senior corporate finance positions in a number of organizations. The factors driving this growing success for women in finance range from the obvious (a recognition that women have the skills to do the job) to the practical (rise in flexible working arrangements). By following some important tips for building their networks and their skill sets, women can be better equipped for taking advantage of this rich era of opportunity.

By virtually any measure, this is an era of tremendous growth in opportunities for women who wish to pursue a career in the finance industry.

For the past two decades, women have outnumbered men in both undergraduate and graduate accounting programs, and they now comprise the majority of new hires by public accounting firms. Since the mid-1990s, they have also earned between 30 and 40 percent of all MBAs.

This tremendous growth in the number of women in the finance pipeline is reflected in improvements at the top of the ladder as well. Approximately 20 percent of the senior finance managers at the Fortune 500 – controllers, treasurers and tax directors – are now women. And over the past decade, the number of women CFOs in the Fortune 500 has risen from 10 to 35.

So while there is obviously still much progress to be made with shattering the glass ceiling, the fact is that women in finance are enjoying an era of great career opportunity right now. What is driving this growth?

First, it’s clear that many employers have observed the skills of women in accounting and finance, rejecting some of the stereotypical views that were obstacles in the past. A recent survey by CFO Magazine found that 62 percent of men don’t believe women to be at any disadvantage with their finance skills and only 2 percent believe women lack the financial skills to be elevated to CFO of a company.

Second, as the economy continues to slow and recession fears mount, more women are entering the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the women’s labor force will increase by roughly 11 percent over the next several years and their projection is that women will represent 46.8 percent of the total workforce by 2014, an all-time high.

Third, employers nationwide are more willing to accommodate the lifestyle needs of their employees by offering more flexible work arrangements. These include important changes such as flextime schedules, on-site day care facilities and the option of telecommuting on certain days. These accommodations have been a boon for women in finance because they have allowed highly skilled women to remain on career tracks when they otherwise might have been forced to choose between their jobs and their families.

So in light of this era of great opportunity, here are some helpful tips for women in finance to enrich their careers:

  • Network: Join a professional association such as the American Woman’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA) or the Financial Women’s Association (FWA), or perhaps a local women’s business networking group, where you can meet other women in finance careers, share ideas and build your network of contacts;
  • Mentoring: Register with a mentoring program, which will give you the opportunity to learn from women who have gone before you and also reach out to help younger women who are trying to build their careers;
  • Education: Seek out opportunities to continue and advance your professional education so that employers see you are still trying to improve your skills and knowledge base;
  • Diversify: Consider learning a second language, preferably Spanish, making you better equipped for the opportunities created by the global marketplace; and
  • Technology: Sharpen your technology skills and make yourself aware of what is on the cutting-edge so that you are adapting to rapid changes in the workplace.

The past decade has seen an extraordinary rise in the number of women pursuing a college education in accounting and finance, which has now triggered a significant growth in career opportunities in finance. By following some simple steps to enrich your career now, you can be better positioned to take advantage of this era of opportunity in the field.

Interview Do’s & Don’ts

We all know the importance of making a positive impression – and that’s never more important than during a job interview! A little preparation and homework in advance can help reduce the stress of an interview and give you a game plan for success. Here are some helpful tips to get you prepared for an interview.

Interview Do’s

How to Prepare

  • Know yourself – your goals, your skills and your plans.
  • Know your resumé and be prepared to discuss your past experiences in detail. Spend some time before the interview recalling your past accomplishments and contributions.
  • Take some time to recall relevant work experiences so you’re prepared to talk about them.
  • Come prepared with a list of any questions you have about the position and our company.
  • Dress professionally but keep in mind our office attire is business casual. Suits are not required!
  • Practice, practice, practice! Review the information on your resumé and recall as many professional experiences as you can – projects you’ve led or been a part of, contributions you’ve made, successes and achievements of which you’re especially proud. Be prepared to discuss specific work situations, including actions you took and the end results of those actions. Think of the interview as your chance to tell us stories about your work experiences.
  • Arrive on time for your interview. Make sure that if you don’t know the way you call ahead and get directions ahead of time.

How to Interview

  • Relax! We consider you to be a guest with us, and you’re not the only one who wants to make a good impression – we do too!
  • Show enthusiasm and interest.
  • Use good eye contact.
  • Be specific when answering your questions. Provide specific, not vague or hypothetical information.
  • Show confidence in your abilities.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Be honest and straightforward – if you can’t think of a good example or answer it’s better to say that than to provide a vague, rambling response.

Interview Don’ts

How Not to Prepare

  • Don’t apply for a job without first considering your experiences as they relate to the qualifications for the job.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to think about what you’ll want to say.

How Not to Interview

  • Don’t ramble on aimlessly. Unnecessary details can take up a lot of valuable interview time and make you appear unfocused.
  • Don’t come across as unprepared or lacking in ambition. Don’t rush your answers just to avoid awkward silences.
  • Don’t be negative – about yourself, our company, or any past employers.

If you are selected for an interview, you’ll want to know more about what interviewing with the company is like – do some research so you can be as prepared as possible!

Membership Classification

EWI is an international organization of leading non-competitive business and professional firms. The key phrase for our purpose is: “non-competitive business and professional firms.” First, let’s address the “Rule” and then the “Application of the Rule“.

Each EWI Chapter is comprised of non-competing firms.

Now that we know the rule, how do we apply it?

The Answer:
Each member firm is classified by the nature of its business. Each firm receives two classifications:

The MAJOR classification identifies a company’s general area of business, the MINOR classification identifies a company’s specific area of business.

EWI has defined about 100 MAJOR classifications and about 1,000 MINOR classifications.

Because there are only about 100 MAJOR classifications under which EWI member firms fit, many firms will share the same MAJOR classification.

Admitting or not admitting firms into EWI is the prerogative of each member firm. We each have the right to block or grant the privilege of membership to our individual competitors. Because we “post” each prospective member firm in our Chapter newsletter, the EWI representative and/or executive can accept or reject a firm before the Chapter extends an invitation.

It should be pointed out, however, that an objection must be in writing and be from the executive of the objecting firm and be received by the Membership Director within 10 days of posting. It must be a legitimate objection, i.e.; the firm would be in direct conflict with the existing member firm, etc. In the event the Board feels the circumstances do not warrant such an objection, then the objection can be overturned, but not before the Board carefully weighs the negative effect such an action would have upon the existing member firm.

EWI Meetings

Monthly dinner meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month. However, any meeting may be rescheduled at the discretion of the Board. There are several different types of EWI meetings and they may differ within a given Chapter. Richmond Chapter meetings are as follows:

  • Regular program meetings
  • Firm nights
  • Business meetings
  • Ways & Means fundraisers
  • Firm Recognition Night
  • Officer Installation

Regular Program Meetings

The Program Committee is responsible for selecting the meeting site and planning the activities for those evenings. The format varies, but there is usually a speaker who may select any number of subjects (e.g., motivational, educational, inspirational, etc.).

Firm Nights

Firm Nights are held during any Program meeting month and spotlights one of our member firms. The Richmond Chapter generally holds two to three Firm Nights each year.

The Program Committee assists the Host Firm in planning the evening. The EWI Firm has the prerogative of selecting the meeting site (which could take place at the Firm’s place of business), the menu, the entertainment and the program. Firm Nights are one of the most effective ways for a Member Firm to “tell its story” to other EWI Representatives and Executives. Firm Nights are always special; each one is different, and all are enjoyable.

Business Meetings

Business meetings are generally held in August and October. It is important that all representatives attend these meetings as this is when matters requiring a vote are considered. While guests are welcome, they should be advised that business will be discussed. Business meetings can also be called at any time by the President.

Ways and Means Fundraisers

These events are the responsibility of the Ways and Means Committee and can be held during any month as agreed by the Board. The Committee selects the site, menu, and the fundraising activity which has ranged from a dinner, dance and silent auction, to theatre night at Civic Theatre, to a Murder Mystery. The activity raises funds for the scholarship and philanthropy activities of the organization and members are encouraged to invite co-workers and friends.

Firm Recognition Night

This is a night when we honor our executives and our firms. The Program Committee is responsible for selecting a special speaker or deciding on a very special event for this evening. We usually have a more elaborate evening for our special guests, and the cost of the dinner may be slightly higher for this event. Executives are invited by printed invitation and are encouraged to attend. A mini-trade fair is also generally held during the social hour of the evening and gives member firms an opportunity to showcase their firm.


Installation of Officers and Directors is held in October. The incoming President is given charge of this meeting, working with the outgoing Program Director to choose the site, menu, etc. The program consists of installation of the Board. The newly-installed President makes an acceptance speech and highlights the goals for the upcoming year.


Each member firm must be represented by a representative or an executive at seven (7) meetings within the Chapter year.

Attendance Requirements

The Chapter’s expectation is that a member firm be represented at least at seven (7) meetings within the chapter year, by the Representative or Executive. Representatives missing three (3) consecutive meetings per chapter year will be contacted by a Board Member to discuss options.  Should a Representative have a need to be absent for a period of time, Representative may request a leave of absence from the Board of Directors.  Such request must be made in writing for Board consideration and approval.

Leave Of Absence

Upon a representative’s written request, the Board of Directors may grant a leave of absence, not to exceed three (3) months, free of obligation of attending meetings, providing the applicant at the time of request is in good standing in the chapter and remains in good standing during the leave of absence with respect to payment of dues.

Clarification: if your firm is not represented for three (3) consecutive months, and you request a leave of absence in the third month, a leave of absence will only be granted for a third month, not the first and second. It is important to remember that the Board will grant a leave of absence only when the reason for the absence is deemed appropriate (e.g., illness, work commitment) and repeated leaves are not to be granted to an individual within the same calendar year. An excused leave never provides the firm, the representative or the Chapter with the benefit of attendance at the meeting.