MRU hosts ‘Women in leadership’ event
By Ryleigh Kampman, Contributor
Navigating the workplace as a woman has its own unique challenges.
The Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University (MRU) is hosting a conference where Calgary leaders can come together to inspire future leaders to navigate the workplace and business world — both as innovators and as women in a time of marketplace disruption.
Event organizer Rachel Pettigrew, an assistant professor at the Bissett School of Business at MRU says, “We’re really excited, we’ve been planning this event for three to four months now.”
The event, which is sponsored by Chevron and ATB, is free to current full-time MRU students. The event costs $25 for alumni and for any others who would like to attend. It will be hosted at Ross Glen Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 8.
Pettigrew encourages students to attend, “Make sure you register,” lightheartedly adding, “bring five friends, too!”
The event is geared to address a changing dynamic in a business where disruptive innovations change the market so drastically that the old innovations can no longer compete. Such disruptors could be what Uber is to taxis. As well, the development of new and upcoming tech and artificial intelligence possibilities.
Pettigrew says these are just a few of the topics that are going to be discussed by panelists and keynote speaker, Denise Man, who is head and senior vice president of Digital Transformation at ATB. The former U of C graduate will be speaking to relevant topics, as well as her personal career, journey and various successes.
The day will start with Man’s keynote presentation and then filter into a breakout session. The breakout session will offer five to six workshops and an opportunity to do three of those within an hour and a half.
“The workshops will cover topics such as managing stress and burnout as well as things such as knowing your employment rights,” says Pettigrew. She adds the workshops address career tools to help students move into their career, advice about grad school and gender in the workplace.
Dr. Kimberly Williams, a Women’s and Gender Studies professor at MRU says, “the notion of having people there in the fields that you want to go into is a hugely valuable experience. Women don’t often get to see ourselves in leadership roles explicitly in that way. I think it’s a really great opportunity to make that happen.”
The workshops will be followed by an hour and a half panel discussion. The audience will hear from MRU alumni Kylie Woods, founder and executive director of Chic Geek. As well, Dr. Amanda Williams, MRU’s very own assistant communications professor, Paula Blackmore-White, manager of people development at Benevity, Dr. Nadine Pearson, a petroleum geoscientist with Chevron Canada Resources and Jake Stika, the executive director and co-founder of NextGen Men and Equity Leaders.
Williams says that she’s excited for participants to hear from panelists who work in traditionally male-dominated fields such as tech and law. She goes on to say, “We’re very underrepresented in those fields so it’s kind of cool to have role models come in and say, ‘Hey you, you can do this,’ … It’s really cool.”
Williams recalls, “It’s a really exciting thing that they’re doing. I’ve been here 10 years and it’s not been done in my time here.
“You know best case scenario you get to meet all these great people and have really cool experiences and hear really fun stuff,” says Williams. “And worst case scenario is you hear something you don’t like and be like, ‘Well I won’t be doing that with my career, or I won’t do that when I’m in a position of leadership or maybe even that really works for me’ right?”
Williams also stated, “I’m also hoping that they will open it up intersectionally to think about gender non-conforming folks. Women in the workplace face particular kinds of challenges, but then gender non-conforming folks face different kinds of challenges [that are] still related to gender.”
For a full list and a brief bio of panelist speakers and workshop facilitators, or the day’s schedule, you can do that by clicking this link.