In honor of the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month in Canada, Teranet held the last Market Insight Forum of 2022 on October 28th dedicated to celebrating Women in Leadership. The forum was hosted by Teranet’s CHRO, Sudha Dwivedi and featured an esteemed panel of female leaders including:
- Beverley Thomas-Barnes, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Registries and Licencing Services Division, Service Ontario, Ministry of Public and Business Services Delivery (MPBSD)
- Lauren van den Berg, President and CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada
- Tannis Waugh, Barrister & Solicitor at Waugh and Co Professional Corporation
- Tracey Foulds, Director, Product, Financial Solutions at Teranet Inc.
During the hour and a half long session the panel discussed and challenges they have faced throughout their careers, what allyship means to them, advice they’d give to young women entering their own industry, and much more. Collectively our panelists and host agreed that effecting change is allowed by continuing to have these conversations.
Our panelists provided these key takeaways during the discussion:
- How an individual builds and shapes their career is exciting. It will never be just a straight line and it is never going to be the same path for everyone.
- Individuals may look at things or certain situations and know they can can do it but there are personal barriers to move past. Work on yourself, be open and honest in a safe space in order to not overcome them, but to better manage them.
- Women in leadership positions help to change the dynamic of the culture, change the conversation, and enhance/increase better understanding of others. Women and allies can foster an environment where women have greater opportunities, more allies, and more sponsorships.
- As women there are personal and societal barriers put in front of us. Manage those personal barriers, forge past the barriers society creates, and help others overcome their own barriers.
How can we work together as an organization and in our communities to be better allies?
The need for allyship in the ever-evolving championing of women in leadership is highly important. As allies, both males and females should be willing to ask themselves the hard questions, to speak up at the table and put their thoughts into action. Being an ally is about making a commitment to be present, available and listen. Women make up the majority of the workforce in Canada so the need for women to become better allies with other women is rising. Our panelists agreed that, as females in senior positions, it’s their responsibility to help those who have been overlooked.
Lauren van den Berg highlighted that if anyone is looking to be better allies within their organization or communities then they should look into ‘Bystander Intervention’ courses. These courses aim to empower individuals to confidently intervene in an incident in order to stop it. This allows for men and women alike to push past the discomfort in saying ‘they’re uncomfortable’ with raising their voices.
It’s everyone’s fight to stand up and speak up with integrity and by leading as an example to normalize it in our day to day culture. As our host, Teranet’s CHRO, Sudha mentioned, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to say ‘people’ in leadership without saying ‘women’ in leadership?’. We should remember that we should not have to be divined by our genders in leadership positions – we’re on a good path, but we still have a lot of work to do.
Each panelist provided a piece of advice to young women entering their respective industries. Here’s what they said:
- ‘In the vein of not going alone – surround yourself with a good support system: someone who can listen, someone who challenges you, and someone who can be brutally honest with you’ – Tracey Foulds
- ‘Stay angry because things don’t fix themselves’ – Lauren van den Berg
- ‘You should look for not just one mentor, but many. From each mentor you can pull new pieces of information and be provided a different kind of perspective and support’ – Beverley Thomas-Barnes
- ‘We have been told as women that when something is off we’re irrational and not looking at things logically. Trust your gut and your instincts throughout your career’ – Tannis Waugh
- ‘Pay It forward. I pay it forward to you in the form of mentorship and the expectation is for you to pay it forward to someone else, and help bring her along in your journey’ – Sudha Dwivedi
Click this link to watch the full recording of the Market Insight Forum.