Written by Holly Dunne, President 2017-2019
On Sunday, March 25, 2018, Western Women in Leadership (WWIL) hosted MOMENTUM, WWIL’s 3rd Annual Conference, at The Great Hall on Western University’s campus. The theme of MOMENTUM was progress; WWIL wanted to highlight—through the day’s speakers, workshops, and activities—the great strides that women in leadership have made in recent history, and how we can work together to keep pushing forward.
MOMENTUM kicked off with the first keynote speaker of the day: Maria Mavroyanis, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Canada Revenue Agency. Maria spoke about the ways in which she has been able to find confidence in herself as a woman in her field, and draw inspiration from her much-valued female mentors that helped her along her journey.
In keeping with WWIL’s mission to arm professional women with the knowledge and confidence to make an impact in any role they choose to pursue, Dr. Barry Wright, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Brock University, was invited to lead an engaging and interactive workshop on strategic planning. Attendees discovered valuable skills for future leadership positions, and thoughtfully filled out a take-home exercise that solidified their understanding of how best to effect organizational change.
Following Professor Wright’s workshop, a delicious buffet lunch was served by the catering team at Western University’s Great Hall. Attendees enjoyed mingling with like-minded students, attending professionals, and representatives from sponsoring organizations.
The Strength in Diversity Panel began as the mid-day break came to a close. WWIL was honoured to host four distinguished panelists for this portion of the day: Tara Conway, VP Business Banking at BMO; Andrea Feddema, Partner at EY; Jackie Mistry, VP Private Client Services at Stonegate Private Counsel; and Anita Stefan, Managing Director and Head of Business Management and Business Services at RBC Capital Markets. Aptly named, our diverse panel spoke about their experiences with successfully fitting into a working culture not entirely geared toward their unique traits, talents, and knowledge. These women also lent their perspectives beyond how to fit into one’s workplace, also touching on how to be an agent of change to mould the professional environment into one that is inclusive and accessible to all.
After a short networking break to allow guests and attendees to become further acquainted, Finka Jerkovic, Personal Branding Consultant and Leadership Coach at BMO Financial Group, took the stage to deliver MOMENTUM’s second keynote speech. Finka gave an excellent talk on the concept of personal branding, what it means to know and understand passion and purpose, and how to translate these ideas into actionable steps to grow into a better leader.
Sari Shatil, owner of Neuphysio Rehabilitation and member of Canada’s Paralympic medical squad, closed out the afternoon with her inspirational and uplifting stories of her work with athletes that have had to overcome unimaginable adversities, and achieved massive successes despite it all.
WWIL Conference 2018: MOMENTUM was certainly a day to remember. The event would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the entire 2017-2018 WWIL Executive Team, who came together as a cohesive unit
Written by Holly Dunne, WWIL President 2017-2019