Woman in Leadership’s Annual Conference Inspires to Aspire
Our student organization, Woman in Leadership (WIL), hosted their 15th annual two-day conference, Inspire to Aspire, last week.
The event kicked off on Thursday evening with a keynote speech by Camilla Sutton, President and CEO of Woman in Capital Markets, and followed with a case competition with a $500 grand prize, and a networking session.
The following morning, attendees were invited back for a full-day of panel discussions, workshops and networking sessions.
Pauline Alimchandani (BBA ‘05), EVP and CFO at Dream Unlimited Corp., was the opening keynote speaker. During her speech, she attributed her success to hard work, diligence and mentors. She also shared the following reminders: never give up, do not be afraid to take a leap of faith, be humble, stand your ground, travel the world and treat everyone with respect.
The following panel discussed the diversity and inclusion efforts within their organizations and featured Zainab Walji, Deals Partner at PwC, Bhiravi Ravichandran, Associate Director, GBM Diversity and Inclusion Office at Scotiabank, and Hafsa Naveed, Senior Manager, Loyalty and Retention Strategy at Bell.
Sean Mullin, Student Recruiter at CPA Ontario, took the stage in the afternoon to share valuable networking tips. “You will break the relationship if you ask for a job. If you go around asking for a job, you will get advice. If you go around asking for advice, you will sometimes get a job.”
The final panel brought together some of Canada’s top female executives, Michele Molino (BBA ’15), Founder of Female CoFounder, Rose Taylor, Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant and Ntuitive Consulting, Tammy Cunningham, Manager of Cash Management Group at TD Commercial Banking, Caitlin Walsh, Portfolio Manager of Thematic Investing at CPP Investment Board, and Roya Rezaie, Director of Digital Planning at Rogers. They examined the rewards and challenges facing women in their pursuit of leadership roles.
Rachel Blake (MBA ‘13), Regional Lead, Canada and LATAM, Revenue Strategy and Operations with Twitter, was the closing keynote speaker and left the crowd with many salient points. “When you decide to leave a job, take a moment to recognize if you’re running from something or running to something,” says Blake. “If you don’t like what you see, you should fix it before you flee.”
The WIL’s Inspire to Aspire conference lived up to its name and served as an important reminder to our female students that their voices and ideas do matter in any organization.