On March 8th, 2022, the SFU Beedie Graduate Women’s Council (GWC) hosted an in-person and virtual event to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD is a global day that marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, with the 2022 theme being ‘Break the Bias’. The GWC was proud to welcome over 60 attendees to the event, where we gained incredible insight from the following panelists:
- Carmen Gonzalez (Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture, City of Delta)
- Kerris Hougardy (VP People, Ada)
- Shalyma Cambridge (Partner and Director, HRx)
- Raphael Ochil (Portfolio Manager, RADIUS SFU)
The event started off with a refreshing change of pace from two years’ worth of Zoom calls: mingling face to face over food and beverages. As the attendees and speakers took their seats, there was an obvious sense of excitement to engage and learn about such a critical topic. The speakers addressed numerous issues, including dismantling the double bind, identifying and silencing our implicit biases, repairing the broken run, becoming a better ally, and intersectionality.
What stood out most to us was the level of engagement from both the Zoom and the in-person audience. Excellent thought-provoking questions were asked from the audience to the panelists, and vice versa. Kerris even got the audience to close their eyes and complete an exercise that involved picturing a secretary and CEO, and admittedly, many of us pictured a female secretary and male CEO, demonstrating the implicit biases many of us have and the need for self-reflection. After a successful panelist discussion, each of the speakers entered their own breakout rooms where even more great conversations took place.
This event was truly inspiring, and by the end, we can confidently say that we are stronger at recognizing and fighting the underlying causes of the leadership gender gap that deeply impact equity, diversity, and inclusion in organizations. While there is still much work to do, we are encouraged by the passion and energy we witnessed. Thank you to everyone who attended and made this incredible evening possible.
The GWC would also like to thank Mila Lazarova (Professor, SFU) for moderating as well as Brian MacIver for photographing the event.
If you would like to follow the GWC for updates and future event details, feel free to join the following:
- LinkedIn Networking Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/14014263/
- Instagram: @gwc_beedie
Take care, and we hope to see you at our next event!
SFU Beedie Graduate Women’s Council: (President: Sommer Hines; VP Events & Engagement: Arushi Parmar; VP Communications & Media: Ruth Ibarra, VP Finance: Simran Chavda; Diversity Consultant: Timothy Lau)
About the Author
Timothy is a FT MBA candidate at the SFU Beedie School of Business. He has experience in the healthcare industry having worked as a Registered Dietitian at Vancouver General Hospital. Further, he is a recognized and respected leader in his professional community, having been elected onto the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors and having published valuable research for a nutrition database. Passionate to represent his school and program, Timothy is involved as a case competition participant and is involved in both the BC and National MBA Games. Further, he is a proud Diversity Consultant for the Graduate Women’s Council and Student Ambassador for the MBA program.