The Beedie School of Business’ Graduate Women’s Council event in celebration of International Women’s Day, titled ‘Mentorship During a Pandemic’, commenced on the 16th of March 2021 and saw a rich attendance of 60 people. It hosted a panel discussion with notable alumni of the Beedie School of Business such as Bina Bawa, Dr. Shirin Abadi, Cynthia Shippam, Aina Aliieva, Siya Mishra and Kerry Brock- all from different programs and cohorts. It also featured a breakout session where each panelist spoke about topics ranging from “Impact of COVID-19 on sustainability measures from a macro and micro perspective” to “Leadership and mentorship for minority groups: Diversity and Inclusivity in the workplace”.
In one breakout room, the importance of initiating ‘uncomfortable’ conversations at one’s workplace was explored. The speaker spoke about demanding the respect you believe you deserve and added that it will almost be impossible to get sidetracked when being consistent with your values. The speaker also chimed in towards the end of their session, a brief note to allies in the workplace i.e., male co-workers. They encouraged them to educate themselves by asking questions and remembering that the conversation is a dialogue.
In another breakout room, the topic of “work-life balance” was also discussed. Ever since the pandemic started, work-life balance has seemed impossible for many individuals because technology makes workers accessible around the clock and there could be a fear of job loss incentivizing longer hours. Work-life balance means something different to every individual; however, it is important for you to reflect on the things that allow you to remove yourself from your work and give you the opportunity to ‘recharge’. Whether it is exercising, meditating, reading, or spending time with family or friends, you can only be your best self at work if you prioritize your health and well-being.
We were fortunate to address the topic of imposter syndrome in a smaller setting in one of our breakout rooms. A question arose around the topic of feeling like you aren’t good enough once you have been given your title, position or raise. The panelist said something that really stood out to the group which was “As a woman, if you have made it that far as to get the job or promotion over a man, you have to know that you are already enough.” It was a powerful takeaway for our group to recognize that not only is there space for us to be successful but if we find ourselves questioning our worth, know that we made it to where we are for a reason.
To wrap up the event, guests and attendees posed for a virtual photoshoot, which was awkward but got everyone to laugh and smile together. The MC thanked everyone in attendance and encouraged everyone to reach out to the guest speakers to continue the conversation on mentorship. For those of you who took away a thing or two from the event wrap-up and would love to be in the loop of our future events, feel free to follow our Instagram page @gwc_beedie.
About the Author
Chinomso Onuoha (Nomso) is a member of the Full-Time MBA program at the Beedie School of Business and the Vice President, Events and Engagement for the Beedie School of Business’s Graduate Women’s Council. She has a BSc in Marketing from Covenant University, Nigeria and four years of work experience in brand marketing and sales. She currently works as an independent contractor for Telus Communication. In her spare time, she loves to swim, cycle and play basketball.