Past Events

Past Events

Toronto Event

-TORONTO: Strategic Career Management: What, Why, and How

Date: January 30, 2018

Good careers require management. Whatever stage you are in your career, it is important to spend time and energy actively managing it. This process involves understanding who you are, what you want to accomplish and how to take appropriate action to achieve your career goals. This session will introduce the concept of strategic career management and how it can increase your level of success and satisfaction in your current job or prepare for your next step.


Day Merrill, President of career management firm 2BDetermined Inc. will be facilitating this interactive session including Q&A and will be available for individual questions after the workshop. In addition, she is offering a free one hour 1:1 career consultation to all attendees. For entrepreneurs who would like career advice, her partner Michael Locey specializes in entrepreneurial coaching and will also be available for consultation.


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-VANCOUVER: Strategies to Move Ahead

Date: January 18, 2018

The Vancouver Chapter of Lean In Canada is kicking off the new year with a discussion point that will help you set your personal and professional goals in 2018. When’s a better time to start planning for your next milestone?

Lean In Canada is excited to welcome Iris Cai to lead a workshop on how to set SMART goals to advance in your career and personal lives. In addition to being the Manager of the MBA Careers team at the University of British Columbia, Iris Cai is also a certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and founder of Bolt Careers.

Take advantage of the early bird registration today – tickets (including appetizers and a glass of wine) are $25 + GST – general admission tickets will be available afterwards for $30 + GST. Limited tickets available – reserve your spot today!

If you have always wanted to be a part of a diverse network of inspiring, supportive women, you’re in the right place. Lean In is a community of professional women empowering each other to build purposeful and fulfilling careers. Sign up for our mailing list to be up to date on our monthly events and socials.

Help us share the Lean In Canada cause with your social media platforms:

LinkedIn | Instagram/Twitter: @leanincanada

#LeanInTogether #LeanInVancouver #WomenEmpoweringWomen #StrongerTogether 

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men lean in

-Lean In Canada – Toronto: Men Lean In

Date: November 28, 2017


Throughout the year we focus on bringing you strong female speakers and panelists that are trailblazing in their fields and breaking down barriers as they go. To achieve true equality however we know that we must include men as part of the conversation. For this reason, every November we invite men to our #MenLeanIn panel. We bring men that are leaders in business and true champions of equality. This is year is no different as we bring you a group of men that have a vision for the industries that they are in and recognize the power we can harness by improving equality in the workplace.

Our panelists are:

Courtney Charles
Director, Basketball Operations & Player Development, The Toronto Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

John Wiggins
Director, Team Operations, Raptors 905, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Ryan Couvrette
Partner PWC

Mehran Malek
VP of Professional Services, Nuology

We’re also pleased to introduce Ainka Jess as the moderator of this year’s #MenLeanIn panel. Ainka is passionate about communications and empowering women. She combined her love of sport and over 10 years of communications and media relations experience to launch She’s4Sports in 2016.


6:00 – 7:00 pm Registration & Networking
7:00 – 8:00 pm Talk by Panelists
8:00 – 8:40 pm Q & A
8:40 – 9:30 pm Networking

We’re also thrilled to feature an exciting silent auction at this event. Come prepared to bid on your favourite items  – you will certainly find a treat for yourself or someone on your holiday shopping list!

We look forward to seeing you on November 28th!
Space is limited, so get your ticket early to avoid disappointment!
Follow the event and let others know you are coming using #LeanInCanada. 

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-Lean In Canada – Vancouver: Men & Women Lean In

Date: November 23, 2017

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” -Sheryl Sandberg

Join a panel of successful leaders – of both genders – as they address a common topic that many men and women struggle with – gender bias in the workplace. Regardless of your title, seniority, industry or business function, you will leave our November event with valuable advice from some of the most inspirational leaders in the city on their perspective and experience empowering women to lean in.

This will be an energetic, healthy and honest discussion that we hope hits close to home. Everyone is invited- please share this event with your family, friends, and colleagues – this will be one of the most crucial conversations about women in leadership this year!

In addition to staying updated with the Vancouver Chapter of Lean In Canada via our social media channels, we encourage you to register to become a Lean In Canada member. Lean In Canada is a community of professional women empowering each other to build purposeful and fulfilling careers.

#LeanInTogether #LeanInVancouver #WomenEmpoweringWomen #StrongerTogether 


6:00PM Doors Open

6:30PM Welcome & Introduction

6:35PM Men and Women Lean In

8:00PM Mingling & Networking

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-Lean in Canada – Toronto: Why Smart People Derail

Date: October 24, 2017

Career missteps can carry consequences. For ambitious career professionals, our greatest strengths can often be our biggest liabilities if we’re not careful. So, what can you do to make sure you’re not inadvertently limiting our opportunities and, instead, setting yourself up for success?


Join Glain Roberts-McCabe, President of The Roundtable, as she shares her top five insights on why smart people derail and what steps you can take to keep your career ambitions on track. Leveraging over 25 years in leadership positions and thousands of hours coaching high potential leaders and executives, Glain will share with you the problem behaviours and blind spots that get talked about in talent reviews and what you can proactively do to manage your career path.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • five key blind spots that derail ambitious people
  • five strategies to prevent a career crisis
  • how to put a plan into action



6:00 – 7:00 pm Registration & Networking

7:00 – 8:10 pm Talk by Glain Roberts-McCabe

8:10 – 8:35 pm Q & A

8:35 – 9:30 pm Networking


We look forward to seeing you on October 24th!



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-Lean In Canada – Vancouver: Building Win-Win Relationships With Management

Date: October 19, 2017

“Managing up is a process of consciously working with your boss to obtain the best possible results for you, your boss, and your organization.”

– Thomas Zuber and Erica James

Maintaining a positive, effective, “win-win” working relationship with your boss and direct reports can be tricky and this is a common topic irrespective of industries, titles, and functions. The Vancouver Chapter of Lean In Canada will be welcoming Tara Jean (@tarajeanonline) of Breakfast TV to lead the discussion and Q&A period on how to navigate this important dynamic and work with different management styles.

Sign up now – first 20 tickets sold will enjoy early bird pricing ($30 per registration; $35 after early bird pricing ends)! Your ticket comes with delicious appetizers and one drink ticket!

Don’t forget to connect with the rest of the Vancouver Chapter of Lean in Canada on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Tag us, like us, share us – join the conversation!

#LeanInTogether #LeanInVancouver #WomenEmpoweringWomen #StrongerTogether #ManagingUp


Tara Jean Stevens was born & raised up and down the coast of beautiful British Columbia. She is a broadcaster, actress, & writer and the new co-host of Breakfast Television on CITY. As part of the morning radio duo “Kiah & Tara Jean”, TJ was a two-time winner of the BCAB’s “Broadcast Performer of the Year” award. She is happily married and raising her 2 kids in Ladner.


6:00PM Doors open

6:30PM Welcome & Introduction

6:35PM Managing Up Discussion, led by Tara Jean Stevens

8:00PM Mingling & Networking

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Toronto Event

-Save the Date: Lean In Canada – Toronto:

Date: January 30, 2018

Save the Date Toronto!
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-Vancouver – How to Create a Strong Personal Brand

Date: September 20, 2017

And… we’re back! After a short summer break in August, Lean In Canada’s Vancouver Chapter is back with another thought provoking, engaging event that is sure to ignite positive and creative conversation.

How will strengthening your personal brand help YOU?

Having a clear, strong personal brand tells others what your strengths are, where you can add the most value, and how they can help you realize your potential; this means you have a better chance of being placed on a career path and in a position that best suits YOU.

We are honoured to have University of British Columbia Professor and Lecturer, Ann Stone, MBA (@ann_m_stone), from the Sauder School of Business’ Marketing and Behavioural Science Division lead an interactive workshop on personal branding. She came to teaching after leadership roles at VP or above at The Coca-Cola Company, Church’s Chicken, International Dairy Queen and Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Expect to walk out of this 2-hour session with a clear vision and tangible action plan to build a stronger brand for yourself.

Join us for tasty appies and a glass of wine and reengage with the growing Lean In community after the long summer break. Remember to use the hashtags below to spread the Lean In love!

#LeanInTogether #LeanInVancouver #WomenEmpoweringWomen #PersonalBranding


First off, I’m honored to be working with you. The process of finding your personal brand and communicating it well to others with intent is a passion of mine. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas with you and learning from the great ideas in the room in return

Secondly, I’m a university instructor, which means I think about ideas now in a way that is “how can I teach this effectively to others”.

And thirdly, while I’m in a university now I still am, and have been all of my adult life, a “real life working person in a real life business situation.” I’ve worked in companies as big as the Fortune 500 and as small as my own one person consulting practice. Thinking about “Ann’s Brand” and evaluating others’ has been a part of my management and leadership life for a long time now.


6:00 – Doors Open

6:15 – 8:00 – Interactive Personal Branding Workshop

8:00 – 8:30 – Mingling / Networking

8:30 – Event Wrap – until next month!

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-Toronto – Come Meet the Trailblazing Women of STEM

Date: September 26, 2017

Lean In Canada invites you to get to know the women who are at the forefront of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. When it comes to the sciences, women tend to choose professions more focused on life sciences and social sciences, so there is a wide gender gap in fields such as computer science and engineering. Our panel of women in STEM will be discussing what the past has been and what the future can look like for STEM if we encourage more diverse involvement in this area.  So, join us as we bring together a panel of women to discuss the need for promoting women’s education and career growth in STEM. Our panel includes Dr. Imogen Coe, Tamar Huggins, Inmar Givoni, Dr. Eugenia Duodu and Atanaska Novakova. These women come from a variety of backgrounds and we look forward to hearing their candid opinions and stories.

We are relocating to Arcadian Court for this exciting event to ensure we can make more room for everyone to attend. We’d like to thank our lead event sponsor TD Bank Financial Group for making this possible as this is sure to be a great, thought-provoking discussion.


6:00-7:00 pm Registration & Networking

7:00-7:45 pm Talk by Speakers

7:45-8:15 pm Q & A

8:15-9:30 pm Networking


We look forward to seeing you on September 26!


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-Vancouver: Networking – How To Become The Most Interesting Person In The Room

Date: July 20, 2017

Join us for our Summer Social on July 20th to connect with other members of the Lean In community and meet our Vancouver committee! We want to know what we can do to make the Lean In Vancouver experience better for you, so come grab a drink with us and share your ideas!

Our theme for the social is Networking – How To Become The Most Interesting Person In The Room and disussions will be led by Z94.5 Radio Host Nira Arora. Our guided discussion topics will spark interesting conversations around the room and help you gain more in-depth knowledge about the people you connect with at the event. Our goal at Lean In is to help build valuable, lasting relationships between our members.

Since this is our annual social, we want offer all of you a BUY 1 GET ONE FREE deal – with your ticket you are able to bring an additional guest for free! If you feel there is someone in your network who can benefit from joining the Lean In community or meeting new friends in the city bring them on down!

We look forward to seeing you there!


6:00 pm – Doors Open

6:30 – 6:45 pm – Speaker Welcome ft Nira Arora

6:45 – 7:30 pm – Guided discussion on Networking: Becoming The Most Interesting Person In The Room

7:30 – 8:30 pm – Networking

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-Toronto: Networking and Defining your Narrative

Date: July 18, 2017

Networking is one of the most important skills a person can develop to build their career and expand their circles. With this in mind, we are very excited to announce a special two-part Lean In Canada event for July. We’re relocating to the Thompson Hotel so we have a little more space to accomodate as many people as possible. We’ve got a little something for everyone so please read on!

An Intimate Workshop with Sharon Irwin-Foulon

Preparing to Sit at the Table: Defining Your Narrative

This 80 minute workshop with Ivey Executive Director Sharon Irwin-Foulon will help you prepare for and get comfortable with speaking about yourself. Most of us don’t have to talk about ourselves on a regular basis, so when we’re put in this situation in social or professional settings, it can be uncomfortable. We also know that so much of career mobility requires this exact skill set. In the workshop, we will work on defining what to talk about and how best to express it. You’ll also have the chance to rehearse it with others in the room. You will leave this session with skills that enable you to speak about yourself in a way that feels honest and relaxed. You’ll also have frameworks for planning future conversations, assessing your interaction and defining action plans.

Space will be very limited here to ensure that it’s a valuable and intimate session, so act quickly!


5:50-6:15 pm Registration

6:15-7:30 pm Networking Workshop with Sharon

7:30-8:30 pm Networking Activity with Sharon and the rest of the attendees on the Thompson patio

8:30-9:30 pm Networking

Facilitated Networking on the Patio

If workshops aren’t really your style or if you just missed out on the tickets, we’ll be hosting a larger networking event up on the Thompson patio. After the workshop, Sharon and the workshoppers will be joining the larger group for a facilitated networking activity. We won’t go into the full structure of the activity here just yet, but as a teaser you can expect to learn how to exit/enter a conversation and how to talk about yourself without all the awkwardness that often comes with such interactions. As a bonus, you can expect to come away with at least 3 new contacts after this!

For an extra catalyst to help make networking a little easier, we’ll also be offering a guest book with attendee photos and bios prior to the event. Register by July 9th and opt-in via the registration form to ensure you’re included! If you prefer a digital approach to connecting, we are very excited to introduce our exclusive online community for Lean In Canada Members. Head over to now and create your profile!


6:00-7:30 pm Registration and Networking

7:30-8:30 pm Networking Activity with Sharon

8:30-9:30 pm Networking (with new confidence)

Silent Auction

Last but not least, we’re also thrilled to feature an exciting silent auction at this event. Given the networking theme, we have reached out to many senior leaders who offer career guidance, mentorship and executive coaching for a living. They are all offering up their time so come prepared to bid on exclusive, networking dates!

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Toronto Event

-Toronto: A Primer on Effective Negotiation

Date: June 20, 2017

Good negotiators are not just born – they can be made!

This month Lean In Canada is joined by Ivey Business School Professor Ann Frost to tackle the topic of negotiation within the workplace.  In this interactive session with Ann, we will recognize the ubiquity of negotiations and put some basic models of practice into place using a live simulation.  Come prepared to negotiate!  We’ll discuss tactics, strategies and general best practices to help you become a more effective negotiator.

Ann has a very impressive academic history with a list of incredible achievements along the way.  Her specific research interests include workplace restructuring and high performance in the workplace. Her work has been funded by the Russel Sage and Rockefeller Foundations as well as the SSHRC.

We are excited to learn and discuss more during the evening with Ann, and hope to see you there!


6:00-7:00 pm Registration & Networking
7:00-8:30 pm Ann Frost
8:30-9:30 pm Networking

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-Vancouver: Leadership And Influence – It Starts With You

Date: June 15, 2017

Join us for our Leadership and Influence event on June 15th at the Chali-Rosso Gallery. Learn from international speaker, author and entrepreneur Michelle Ray on how to strengthen your leadership ability to take charge of your thoughts and actions in any situation. You will be able to use her strategies long after the event ends to embrace challenges and create new opportunities.

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-Toronto: Breaking the Rules of Business That Trip Women Up

Date: May 30, 2017

The theme of the May 30 event is “Breaking Invisible Rules of Business That Trip Women Up”. Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk will draw upon their best-selling HarperCollins book, Darling You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up)” to help you achieve your goals.

A big ‘rule’ to break: “Nice girls don’t get in your face”. You’ll leave with insights and tools to get past the hardwired “pleaser” behaviours that hold you back. You’ll learn techniques to navigate conflict effectively, and prevent “death by yes”.

The duo will explode the myth that “Good things come to those who wait.” It takes more than doing a great job to get the well-deserved promotion, raise, choice project. You’ll take away new strategies for getting what you want. Ways to beat stage fright and make networking work are among the career-altering outcomes you can expect

6:00-7:00 pm Registration & Networking
7:00-8:30 pm Nancy Vonk & Janet Kestin (Talk and Q&A)
8:30-9:30 pm Networking

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-How to Create Possibilities in Your Career

Date: May 11, 2017

Lean In Canada is expanding coast to coast! Join us for the Lean In Vancouver launch event to celebrate the forming of a supportive community for women who want to pursue purposeful and fulfilling careers. In this jam-packed evening where you will network with other members of the Lean In Vancouver community, our diverse speakers will share stories and tips on how to create possibilities in your career. We are all here to empower women to achieve their ambitions, and our goal is to have you will leave inspired and ready for action.



6:00-6:30 Registration and networking

6:30 – 6:45: Speaker – Fereshteh Zeinneddin – Tesla Regional Manager

6:45-7:00: Speaker – TBD

7:00-7:20 Devon Brooks – Babe Rally, Blo Blow Dry Bar

7:20-7:40 Fireside Chat with Devon and Q&A

7:40-8:30 Networking

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-Take Charge of Your Career: Data-driven Insights and Strategies to Get Ahead

Date: April 25, 2017

Are you looking to advance to the next stage of your career? Figuring out what that path looks like? We know that reflecting on our career advancement journey and securing mentors and sponsors can play important roles. Pay is also probably one of the first things that come to mind when considering advancement, workplace negotiations and gender equality. It’s all about the money… except when it isn’t. While salary is important, ambitious leaders negotiate many aspects of their careers – including salary, but also bids for more satisfying and challenging roles.

Join Vandana Juneja, Senior Director, Catalyst for a conversation on successfully negotiating your role today. We will consider tips on both negotiating your own way to a more challenging and satisfying role, as well as empowering your employees to negotiate their roles, maximizing access to what Catalyst refers to as “hot jobs” – large, highly-visible projects, mission-critical roles, and international assignments that provide critical on-the-job development opportunities and create career advancement. Invest in yourself and your direct reports, and come away with insights on mentoring, sponsorship, making your achievements visible, confidently taking charge of your career and negotiating towards success!

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Toronto Event

-The Secret Stress of Success

Date: March 28, 2017

This month Lean In Canada wants to help you harness your Secret Power! Sponsored by our partner, Secret, this event will touch on topics that will help you cultivate your inner superwoman and encourage you to break through barriers to achieve your goals. Women can accomplish great things when we come together and support one another, and that is certainly no secret!

Our keynote speaker this month is Joanna Griffiths, Founder and CEO of KNIX Wear Inc. The company launched in the winter of 2013 and it only took three short years for Knix Wear to become a leader in active intimate apparel. Knix Wear also holds the record for the most-funded fashion project and the most-funded women’s project in Kickstarter history! Joanna holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, Dragon’s Den and hundreds of other media outlets.

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-An Evening with Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister

Date: February 28, 2017

In November we shared a personalized greeting from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, where he highlighted his support for our mission and his belief in equality which was pretty amazing to see. Now, three months later, we are continuing the conversation with our February event and are excited to announce our next speaker.

You are invited to attend a very special Lean In Canada evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario with Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Katie has had an amazing career which has included providing senior counsel on a wide range of federal and provincial issues to non-profit organizations, the private and public sectors, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Ontario Liberal Party.

This marquee event will offer you a glimpse into Katie’s world and is sure to leave you inspired by her tenacity and optimism. Please note that all questions for the Q&A period will be collected prior to the event and there is space provided on your ticket order form should you have a question you would like to submit.

UPDATE: Katie Telford’s talk will be followed by a fireside chat with bestselling author, innovation speaker, television host and marketing entrepreneur, Amber Mac.

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Toronto Event

-Make This Your Year: What Can You Do Better in 2017?

Date: January 31, 2017

January. That month when the new year commences and everyone begins making lists of all the things they are going to do better in the future. The focus turns to life goals, self-improvement and considering what it will take to live the life one truly wants to lead. Unfortunately, many resolutions are abandoned or forgotten mere weeks after they are set, but #LeanInCanada is here to help.  

On January 31, right around the time that motivation tends to flag, we’ll be hosting a panel of women that are certifiable experts in the realms of goal setting and living that authentic life. Come armed with questions and an open mind to see what you can do differently to achieve your goals in 2017.

Joining us for the evening will be:

Cindy Stradling Training Agent, Founder of Athena Training and Consulting Inc.

Ann Marie MacDougall Founder and President at LeaderBoom Inc.,

Marguerite Orane Founder of Free and Laughing Inc

Karlyn Percil Leadership Coach

We’ll kick off the event with each speaker taking the floor in TEDx Talk style to speak about what they think is most important in achieving your goals. A panel discussion will follow, moderated by Cindy Stradling, in order to delve deeper into the matters of personal growth and leadership. To conclude, we will have a Q&A session. Questions can either be submitted through Eventbrite when you purchase your ticket or added to the pot when you arrive at the event.

Space is limited, so get your ticket early to avoid disappointment! 

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leain in

-Men Lean In

Date: November 29, 2016

Our #MenLeanIn event is always one not to miss. This year’s will be no different, as we will be hearing from a panel of men who have all taken a stance to promote diversity and inclusion to support and empower women in the workplace.

Our panelists are:
Andrew Kirby, Vice-President of SapientNitro,
Andrew MacDougall, Partner at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP
Scott Schieman, Canada Research Chair, Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto
Paul Clark, Executive Vice President, Specialized Commercial Banking at TD.

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be another lively and engaging discussion, and to hear how these men have taken it upon themselves to Lean In.

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Toronto Event

-Entrepreneurship Panel: Enterprising Women in Powerful Positions

Date: October 25, 2016

The women of Lean In Canada are celebrating small business month with their October Entrepreneurship Networking Event. Led by Emily Mills, founder of How She Hustles, our panel of female entrepreneurs, coming from diverse industries, will answer questions about their personal and professional experiences that have gotten them to where they are today. Our panelists include, Liz Falconer of Brees Communications, Sara Cohen founder of Fertility Law Canada at D2Law LLP and Anat Davidzon co-founder of aroma espresso bar.

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-Webinar: How To Start and Lead Your Own Lean In Circle

Date: September 29, 2016

Interested in leading your own Lean In Circle, but not sure how to get started?

Join Co-founder and President of Lean In Canada, Sarah Kwan, for a complimentary webinar session and learn everything you need to know about leading your own Lean In Circle. Also joining the conversation will be Amaryllis Jones, who started her own Lean In Canada Circle while working at P&G. Amaryllis will share her personal experiences and helpful tips for starting and leading your own circle. 

Whether you’re in the early stages of starting your own circle or even if you’re further along, there is something for everyone. Learn the basics of starting your own circle and how to progressively grow your circle, deal with issues that arise and learn how to continually keep your members engaged and committed to coming back. 

Have questions? Great! This online event will be interactive, so have your questions handy and learn from others with similar experiences. 


6:30pm-6:45 Introductions

6:45pm-7:15pm Co-founder and President, Sarah Kwan 

7:15pm-7:30pm Q/A with Sarah Kwan and Amaryllis Jones

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-Negotiate with Confidence

Date: September 27, 2016

Ever wonder how to get more out of your negotiations or how to even handle one in the first place? Want to figure out ways to quiet the voice in your head that is holding you back? Trying to figure out how to avoid nasty labels in what seems like a male dominated activity?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, join us at our next event with Fotini Iconomopoulos to gain an understanding of the implications of gender in negotiation and learn how women can rely on their superpowers to become more effective negotiators!

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-Patio Networking – Find Your Career Wingwomen

Date: July 19, 2016

Women accomplish amazing things when we support each other.

It’s no secret that having a strong network to support you is instrumental in building your career. Join us for a fun evening of making new connections and strengthening existing ones! We’ve reserved The Spoke Club’s patio for a great summer event and we can’t wait to see you there. If you’re not sure where to start, not to worry! We’ll facilitate your networking experience with activities, icebreakers and tips you can use right away as you get to know the wonderful women of our community. Find new friends, like-minded peers, mentors and/or mentees within the Lean In Canada network – in short, the women who will #leanintogether with you.

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Toronto Event

-10 Key Lessons to Guide Your Career and Get You Further, Faster

Date: June 21, 2016

How do I get to the next level in my career, and how do I know if the path I’m on is what I want?

Shelli Baltman is the President and Founder of The Idea Suite, a Toronto based boutique Innovation Agency. She started her career as a management consultant with Mercer Management Consulting in Toronto and then joined McKinsey & Co. in London, UK after completing her MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Her career has taken many twists and turns along the way, and in a funny, relatable and inspiring talk she’ll share with us the 10 key lessons she’s learned in her career – as well as how we can put them into action to get to the next level and build a career path that excites us!

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-Are YOU Branded for Business?

Date: May 31, 2016

Social media has changed the way we do business. People check you out on Linkedin. Google you under the boardroom table. Read your tweets and look you up on Facebook BEFORE they respond to your email, return your call, say yes to your meeting, invite you for an interview or refer you a client. What happens when someone looks you up? Is your online personal brand ready for business?

In this highly interactive session, Social Media Trainer and Personal Branding Strategist Cher Jones will show you how to use social media to create a business-ready personal brand. You’ll learn the 6 key components every social media profile must have to appear professional, trustworthy and focused. You’ll discover how to use social media to find opportunities, tap into your network, make valuable new connections and showcase your skills, knowledge and experience while avoiding career killing mistakes. By the end of the session you will have worked on a few key areas of your profile and created your own social media action plan checklist to help you build a powerful online brand that means business.

On social media? Hashtag #leanincanada to join the conversation!

Missed the event?
See photos here.

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-Women in the C-Suite

Date: April 26, 2016

For our 3 year anniversary celebration, we’re exploring the journeys and insights of women who have reached the highest levels of executive leadership!

Join us for an engaging discussion with a panel of accomplished C-level women executives. We’ll learn about their career paths and uncover the secrets to their success in reaching the C-Suite and being role models for women in leadership.


Susan Hodkinson – COO, Crowe Soberman
Alison Dantas – CEO, Canadian Chiropractic Association
Jackie Foo – COO, The Source

Missed the event?
See photos here.

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-The Facts on Women in the Workplace (and How We Can Move Forward Together)

Date: March 29, 2016

“We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through. Sisterhood is powerful.” ~Rosemary Brown

March is Women’s History Month! We’re celebrating with two very special speakers, as we look not only at how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go towards equality:

Vandana Juneja is a Senior Regional Director at global equity research and strategy thinktank Catalyst Inc. Using fact-based, scientific methods to examine today’s work environments, Catalyst has become a trusted resource for knowledge on gender, leadership, and inclusive talent management in business.

Emanuela Heyninck is Ontario’s Pay Equity Commissioner, and heads up the Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee for Ontario. With a recent report stating it will take over 100 years for us to reach pay equity at our current rate, we look forward to learning what strategies and actions we can take to close the gender wage gap. We certainly don’t intend to wait that long!

We also want to hear from you! Bring your unique perspective and questions on how we can build better, more inclusive and equitable workplaces together. Due to popular request, we’ve also extended our start time to 6pm so you can enjoy more networking when you arrive!

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Toronto Event

-Workplace Harassment – What Can You Do?

Date: February 23, 2016

Have you ever experienced harassment or bullying on the job, or witnessed a situation that might have been workplace harassment?

Workplace harassment is an issue which affects many people in the workplace. Left unchecked, it can have long-term damaging effects on one’s career, eroding one’s reputation, sense of confidence and well-being, as well as destroying the culture and productivity in a workplace. Whether a victim or an observer of harassment, many people do not report it for fear of repercussions, and because of inadequate understanding of ways to deal with the issue. So, we’re bringing together a panel of professionals who deal with workplace issues, to share their expertise on what you can do if you experience or observe harassment at work.

Joining us will be:

Hena Singh, Lawyer & Partner, Singh Lamarche LLC | @SinghLamarche
Hena Singh is one of the founding lawyers/partners of Singh Lamarche LLP. Hena assists with workplace issues of all types, and has also conducted hundreds of workplace investigations for companies of all types and sizes, ranging from workplace harassment to violence, fraud, theft and misuse of property. Co-author of Law of Termination in Ontario and a frequent presenter on various employment law, human rights and workplace investigation issues, Hena is recognized for providing her clients with practical and tailored solutions to employment issues.

Clare Freeman, Executive Director, Dr. Bob Kemp Centre for Hospice Palliative Care
Clare Freeman wrote the Canadian Football League’s workplace anti-violence policy, which includes verbal, physical and sexual harassment. She has worked with many individuals who have been a victim of harassment in the work place, and was invited to speak to the round table committee for Premier Kathleen Wynne’s harassment policy.

Missed the event?
See our infographic here.

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Lean In Canada mentorship panel

-2016 Kickoff & Mentorship Panel

Date: January 26, 2016

January is National Mentorship Month, and we’re kicking off our year with a panel on the highly requested topic!

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg writes, “mentorship and sponsorship are crucial for career progression.”

Whether you’re the mentor or mentee, mentorship can have remarkable effects on your career. A study of over 1,000 workers at Sun Microsystems found that mentors were promoted 6x more often than those who did not mentor formally, and mentees were promoted 5x more often than those who were not formally mentored.

As Sheryl goes on to write in her chapter, “Are You My Mentor?”, mentorship can come from many different sources. So what does good mentorship look like, what benefits does it provide, and how do you find a mentor or mentee? Join us at the Spoke Club for an interactive panel that will include our very own co-founder, Despina Zanganas, as well as Judi Hughes, one of Lean In Canada’s earliest supporters and advisors. Seeking your own mentor or mentee? We’ll have lots of opportunity for networking, so don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Despina Zanganas – Co-Founder, Lean In Canada & Partner, 108 ideaspace Inc.
Judi Hughes – Partner, Your Planning Partners
Sylvia Link – Director of Marketing and Communications, Retired Teachers of Ontario
Arpita Agarwal – Senior Manager, Capgemini

Missed the event?
See photos here, read our summary here, and see our infographic on the evening’s insights here.

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-#MenLeanIn & Holiday Party

Date: November 24, 2015

Don’t miss our last event of the year!

For our holiday party, we’ll be featuring a special panel and putting men on the spot to discuss how men can be allies in achieving gender equality. Our #MenLeanIn event last year was such a success, we’re thrilled to present Part 2!

A specially selected panel of men in various industries, backgrounds and life situations will join us to share what “Leaning In” means to them, come to an understanding of each others’ perspectives, and learn how we can enlist more men to actively work with us towards true equality in life and in the workplace. We invite everyone to join us for what will be an engaging and generative discussion!

Trevor Mayoh, Project Manager, White Ribbon
Bobby Umar, President & Leadership Catalyst, Raeallan
Raymond Luk, Entrepreneur and Investor, Technology Industry

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Noelle Richardson Gender Bias & Diversity

-Gender Bias in the Workplace

Date: October 27, 2015

What should women know about gender bias? How do we handle sexism when it arises, and how can we create a more inclusive workplace for everyone to succeed?

Our October event will feature an interactive discussion with Noelle Richardson, a pioneering leader in diversity and a consultant in organizational change strategies to maximize human potential. In 2008, Noelle was hired as the Chief Diversity Officer of the Ontario Public Service (OPS), the first such position in any public sector organization in Canada. She has led the creation and implementation of a diversity and inclusion strategy for both the OPS and the broader public sector agencies of the Ministry of the Attorney General. As a result of her seminal work on creating an inclusive public service, the OPS has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers since 2008.

Sharing our own diverse experiences with gender bias and how we can tackle and solve issues and challenges, our conversations, ideas and learnings using a World Cafe approach will be illustrated by Alison Garwood-Jones. Join us for a great evening of sharing insights and perspectives!

Missed the event? Read our summary here and see photos here.

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-Women on Boards

Date: September 29, 2015

What does it mean to be on a board? How can you set yourself up for a future of board directorship, regardless of where you are in your career today?

Women are under-represented (or not represented at all) in the top levels of many companies. According to a 2013 Catalyst census:

– Only 15.9% of board seats in corporate Canada are held by women
– 40% of companies have no women board directors

We’re gathering a few women who serve as board directors to discuss why women should aim for board roles, and how we can set ourselves up to join boards and influence companies at the highest level. Bring your expertise, ambition and verve to the boardroom table!

Deborah Rosati – Corporate Director & Co-Founder of Women Get On Board
Fariba Anderson – Chief Executive Officer at AcuteNet
Lally Rementilla – CPA, CMA, Vice President Finance at Nulogy Corporation and founder of Coco Capital and The Gal’s Got Game

Missed the event? Read our summary here and see photos here.

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-Lean In and Build Your Network!

Date: July 20, 2015

It’s no secret that having a strong network to support you is instrumental in building your career.

Join us for a fun evening of making new connections and strengthening existing ones! We’ve reserved The Spoke Club’s patio for a great summer event and we can’t wait to see you there. If you’re not sure where to start, not to worry! We’ll begin with some speed networking, icebreakers and tips you can use right away as you get to know the wonderful women of our community. Find new friends, like-minded peers, mentors and/or mentees within the Lean In Canada network!

Missed the event? See photos here.

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Samantha Hurwitz leadership & followership

-Leadership is Half the Story: Advance Your Career with Leadership & Followership

Date: June 23, 2014

Have you ever found it challenging to get in sync with a boss, or experienced a direct report who couldn’t meet your expectations?

There is a notion that everyone should be a leader all the time and, if leadership is so game changing, we must need more of it from everyone, all the time. In fact, research shows that it takes both roles – leadership AND followership – to get the best results, in any relationship and in every career. They are equally valuable. Leadership is only one half of a partnership.

Based on scholarly research and years of coaching, training and consulting, Samantha Hurwitz, Co-Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of FliPskills, offers an interactive workshop, with a host of new ideas and practical career advice based on her new book, Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership and Collaboration. She will help us to identify and hone our leadership and followership skills, so we can strengthen and build productive working partnerships in any situation. You won’t want to miss this thought-provoking session!

Missed the event? Read our summary here and see photos here.

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-Explore Your Edgeness™

Date: May 26, 2015

What’s your Edgeness™? In order to discover it, you need to push far enough outside your comfort zone that you meet someone you’ve never met before – an enhanced version of you.

Suzanne F. Stevens has interviewed 70 pioneering leaders, mostly in Africa, and they all share two common traits:
1. They all reached their aspirations by doing something that pushed the edge of their comfort zone.
2. Although they challenged their own ability, the true beneficiaries were their companies, community and country.

Over the last fifteen years Suzanne has coached leaders, business and sales professionals how to move from average to awesome by challenging their perception of self and coaching them to creating a new reality. She will encourage you to look at yourself, personally and professionally. She will share what we should examine, discover, grab and express to look beyond your immediate circumstance and to explore your edgeness™. In essence – pushing your edge in everyday living, in business and beyond. Life begins at the edge.

Suzanne is the Founder and Chief Edge Optimizer at Ignite Excellence Inc. Group of Initiatives, and the Host & Co-Producer of

Missed the event? Read our summary here and see photos here.

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-How To Build a Strong Personal Brand

Date: April 28, 2015

Your brand precedes you. That could not be more true than today. If someone is looking to hire you, work with you or meet with you for a coffee, they’re bound to search for you on Google, Twitter or LinkedIn, or all of the above. Research shows that 63% of recruiters check social media sites to find out more about potential employees (Globe and Mail). If you don’t take charge of your online brand, the search engines will do that for you!

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or full-time professional, building a personal brand is key to positioning yourself as a subject matter expert in your space.

Join us as social media strategist and personal branding expert Lina Duque, MBA shares tips and tactics to help you craft and manage a strong and authentic personal brand.

Lina coaches C-suite executives and entrepreneurs on developing online presence and thought leadership. Her work has appeared in the likes of Forbes and the Globe and Mail. Lina has presented at various organizations, including the University of Toronto, York University, International Association of Business Communicators, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank. She’s a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.

Read Lina’s own lean in story on how she juggled full-time work, school and motherhood, as featured on

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Diane Craig Executive Presence

-Executive Presence is Neither Exclusive Nor Elusive

Date: March 31, 2015

What is Executive Presence, and how do I get it?

Experts agree that executive presence is far more than leadership abilities. Yes, the ability to lead is a component. Communication is also a significant skill set and a facility for powerful, interpersonal engagement is pivotal. According to a Center for Talent Innovation study, executive presence accounts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted – and yet 81% of women say they’re unclear on how to act on the often contradictory and confusing executive presence feedback they receive.

Join us as Diane Craig, the corporate world’s choice for Executive Presence Training, shares with us the four pillars of Executive Presence – and how these pillars work together to form a secure base for Executive Presence. The core of Diane’s System is her conviction; “Executive Presence is neither exclusive nor elusive. It can be learned.”

As President and Founder of Corporate Class Inc., Diane’s ongoing 30-year career mentoring business professionals internationally spans Fortune 500 companies, multinationals and numerous educational institutions. She has consulted with political leaders and celebrities, prepped guests of Royal families and prepared attendees of the G20 summit.

She is acclaimed for her Executive Presence Training System. While providing customized training aligned with organizational goals, Diane’s System, recognized as “the gold standard for corporate training,” facilitates employee advancement at every stage of corporate life. Its focus is to ensure key employees and leaders – from new recruits to C-suite executives – achieve their optimum potential.

Missed the event? See photos here.

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-Make Your Partner A True Partner

Date: February 24, 2015

“The single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is.” ~Sheryl Sandberg

Is it possible for women and men to live and/or work together in True Partnership?

In our December #MenLeanIn event, Mark Shekter expressed that real partnership isn’t 50%/50%, but 100%/100%, where both people are able to bring their whole selves and full potential to the table. Now, Mark returns to Lean In Canada with his own partner, Nancy Trites Botkin, to deliver five practical steps for partnering successfully in Business and Life.

Nancy and Mark work and live together – and have for 15 years, sharing five combined off-spring, and co-founding two companies: First Star International (a film, TV and media company), and THINK8 (a consulting firm operating worldwide).

After being asked repeatedly how they successfully live and work together 24/7 (and are still crazy about each other) they have decided to co-author a book on True Partnership exploring life in partnership – from a woman’s perspective and from a man’s perspective.

Join us on Feb 24th as this couple share their fundamental secrets for harmonious partnership for the first time in a public forum. Life partners, business partners, and all others are welcome!

Missed the event? See photos here.

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-How to Break the Glass Ceiling and Create Your Dream into a Movement

Date: February 3, 2015

How do you make your career truly impactful and channel your passion into your work? Our first event of 2015 features Theresa Laurico, a passionate, award-winning mediapreneur and founding Chair of the SociaLIGHT Conference, which focuses on empowering and inspiring startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners with an emphasis on the triple bottom line “People. Planet. Profit.” An expert in the startup and social innovation space, her greatest passion is to source others’ greatness and combine media, systemic leadership, and entrepreneurship for positive global impact.

Theresa will be joining us to share her insights on:
How to break the glass ceiling and create your dream into a movement, and the future of #Cool for entrepreneurship, social innovation and global impact

Theresa is also a seasoned media producer and personality with several national television series, commercials, music videos and international broadcast experience for clients like CTV, Muchmusic, HGTV, Rogers and Citytv.
Her “Love in Action” projects include national campaigns that have resulted in supplying medical supplies in the Philippines, housing and education resources in Kenya, local support in Peru, and 208 eye restoration surgeries in Tibet.

Missed the event? See photos here.

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-Men Lean In

Date: December 8, 2014

Our holiday party and special panel: Men join the conversation on “Lean In” and gender equality

How do we achieve gender equality without the input of 50% of the population? Simple answer: we don’t. Whether we “make our partner a real partner” a la Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In”, or call men to action with the #HeforShe movement, we need men to lean into our common goal of gender equality. A specially selected panel of men in various industries and life situations joins us to share what “Leaning In” means to them, come to an understanding of each others’ perspectives, and learn how we can enlist more men to actively work with us towards true equality in life and in the workplace.

Mark Shekter – Founder, Think8 Systems Inc.
Scott Schieman – Canada Research Chair & Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto
Subhas Sen – Chief Operating Officer, BMO Asset Management Inc.
Jesse Jones – President, TEN81 Lifestyle Inc.
Casey Palmer – Blogger,

Missed the event? See photos here.

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-“The Mom Shift”: Finding Your Path to Success

Date: October 28, 2014

Motherhood or career? Much of the common “wisdom” out there tells us that to succeed at both is difficult at best, if not impossible. Yet there are many women who have done just this – in fact, many women who say that motherhood has helped them to succeed in their careers and given them focus and purpose. That is the topic of author Reva Seth’s book, “The Mom Shift” – and we’re happy to have her share her findings and lessons from the over 500 women she has interviewed. Join us for a insightful evening of casual drinks and conversation with Reva.

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-The Advantages of Being a Woman Leader

Date: September 30, 2014

Articles about how women face disadvantages and challenges in the workplace dominate the discussion on professional women and equality – but can being a woman leader actually be an advantage? Marilyn McHarg has a unique perspective on being a woman in leadership.

As the President and CEO of Dignitas International, Marilyn runs a leading medical humanitarian organization dedicated to improving access to treatment and quality of care for people with HIV/AIDS and related diseases. She has more than 20 years of medical humanitarian experience, notably as the executive director for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders, the world’s leading independent medical humanitarian organization.

Get to know Marilyn and how she grew her career, from front-line clinician to CEO in global humanitarian aid.

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-Celebrating a New Partnership with Pantene!

Date: September 24, 2014

Join us for a partnership launch celebration, chapter announcement and networking fun!

What have we been working on during our August hiatus? It’s been a challenge to keep this a secret, but we are finally ready to share the great news! We couldn’t have made this such a great Lean In chapter without you, and we’d love for you to join us in celebrating the next phase of our growth. Please save the date for September 24th, and get ready for some very exciting announcements.

We also have a great speaker joining us for the evening – social digital expert, Tara Hunt. Tara is a pioneer in online marketing and one of the most respected authorities on online communities. She was named one of the most influential women in tech by Fast Company.

Missed the event? See photos here, and see our collection of #ShineStrong photos here.

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-Effective Networking Strategies

Date: July 29, 2014

Effective Networking – It’s all in the Power of Leverage!

What better time than summer to mingle and meet people? Join us on July 29th for a fun and informative workshop, and learn how to make the most of your social interactions!

Through interactive training and strategic planning, Donna Messer of ConnectUs Communications Canada will share systematic techniques for networking that can be immediately put into action. Donna is one of Canada’s foremost experts when it comes to leveraging her network. An inspirational speaker, coach and mentor, she is Canada’s “Queen of Networking, and a Leveraging Legend.” She is the author of the Canadian best seller, Effective Networking Strategies.

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-Mean Girls at Work

Date: June 24, 2014

Get ready for an entertaining and interactive evening! Back by popular demand, Nancy Trites Botkin of Think8 is here to present:

Mean Girls at Work

…they didn’t grow up and go away…
in fact, in most work places they are here to stay.

Although the majority of workplace bullies are men (60%), female bullies target other women 71% of the time. So let’s look at who these bullies are, what their intention is, and how you can effectively deal with ‘Mean Girls’ in the workplace.

Bring your worst experiences and best wisdom and let’s wrestle this one to the ground.

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-Leaning in with Karen Stintz, Toronto Mayoral Candidate

Date: May 13, 2014

How are you leaning in? Join us and Karen Stintz as she leans into her career as Toronto mayoral candidate.

A dedicated Torontonian, Karen is the former Chair of the TTC and has been a City Councillor since 2003, prior to which she spent seven years in the healthcare sector.

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-Unleash Your Creativity

Date: April 29, 2014

Do you know any women whose stories and accomplishments inspire you? Our next event features Shannon Skinner of Extraordinary Women TV. Shannon has an extensive career in media and public relations, and has parlayed her media and communications experience into a show that highlights inspiring women from all walks of life.

The topic of the evening will be: Unleash Your Creativity

Based upon her acclaimed book: The Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity, Shannon provides insights and the tools to get beyond the obstacles that are holding you back, so that you can step into your inspired, creative power. Whatever lies within you — a book, painting, starting a business, making a movie, traveling the world, or gardening – learn how to release it to the world.

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-#BanBossy : The Other “B” Word

Date: March 25, 2014

Have you heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s latest campaign, #BanBossy?

There’s been a lot of spirited talk about it, and we’re getting in on the conversation. What do you think? Join us for an lively discussion of what it actually means, the arguments for and against banning bossy, what we are trying to accomplish for women, and how to reframe the context of women in leadership.

For more on the campaign, go to:

Hear our own Despina Zanganas discuss #BanBossy in her interview with the CBC.

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-Are You My Mentor?

Date: February 25, 2014

“Are You My Mentor?” Join us for an interactive discussion with our panel of professional women. By popular demand, this evening’s topic will be all about mentorship. How do you find a mentor? What are all the forms mentoring can take on? How do you become a mentor?

Sylvia Link, APR – Communication and Stakeholder Relations, Ontario Ministry of Education
Natasha Fatah – Journalist at CBC News and Current Affairs
Roshni Wijayasinha, MBA – Senior Product Marketing Manager, Kobo
Janet Spreitzer, PMP – Transition Manager, Manulife Financial & Director of Strategy and Finance, Counter Design Studio

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-Living Life Out Loud: Knowing My Message

Date: January 28, 2014

Happy New Year! We have an amazing speaker lined up for our 2014 kick-off: Nancy Trites Botkin. As a founding co-partner of two companies: First Star International (film, TV and media) and Think8, (consulting) she is a working woman in every sense of the word. But what she loves more than anything is empowering women. Her purpose in life is to help women be authentic.

Why does Nancy focus her work with women?
– Because as women we are different than men: we have different needs and different challenges.
– Because juggling life and work for women is always more difficult: we’re so good at multi-tasking that we often end up taking care of everything and everyone only to lose sight of our own purposes and ourselves.
– Because our self-esteem issues are different: we are very good at pushing down our feelings of inadequacies, and smiling, determined to work harder.

Nancy’s talk will be: Living Life Out Loud: Knowing My Message

We all send a message, conscious or unconscious. Maybe it’s time we took a look at what our message is to make sure it is the message that clearly states to the world who we are. Find your own message – and proclaim it!

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