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Networking - Learning - Mentorship

Author Archive for: Women of Whistler

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Get to Know Paulina Cameron

Paulina Cameron is a force to be reckoned with: a CEO, founder, keynote speaker, board director and mother, she also became a bestselling author with Canada 150 Women: Conversations with Leaders, Champions, and Luminaries. As the CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, there is no one better than Paulina to lead a discussion about where women in Canada are at (with data) and what’s on the horizon.

The Women of Whistler is excited to welcome Paulina to the stage as our first guest speaker of 2019 for her presentation on The Power of Women in Canada: Inspiring stories and observations from talking with 150 of Canada’s most influential women.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, we chatted with Paulina to get some insight into her experience, and what to expect from of her talk on Wednesday, February 13.

Meantime, make sure you grab your tickets before they sell out! Register here

 

What inspired you to write this book?

 I am constantly inspired by stories of ambitious women around me - I think we all are, right? And, I know how hard it is for each of us to toot our own horns - I’d way rather talk about my amazing friends. So this book was a way to combine both: be a source of inspiration and celebration. Canada is also a very humble country and we are home to incredible leaders that I wanted to highlight. I also frequently hear that there just aren’t enough women - well - I have a spreadsheet of about 1,800 of them in addition to these 150… and I know there are many more!

 

150 women - I’m sure there were lots of differences, but also probably quite a few similarities amongst these inspiring women. What were some of the most common traits you saw repeated?

Many women emphasized how much their community meant and mattered to them. There was also one very specific theme that many women, especially those over the age of 50 expressed. You’ll have to hear about it in person, I don’t think I’m allowed to swear here on the blog… 😉

 

You’re a mother as well as a business woman. Did what you learned while writing this book change who you are as a mother? The topic of our last talk was “The Personal is Professional.” Do you believe that, and vice versa?

I had a one-year-old while writing this book, which was wild. I’ve always felt a blend of personal and professional, and that works well for me. I’ve never thought of myself as “career-driven” but rather “impact” or “purpose” driven, which translates to all aspects of life. One of the narratives that I desperately wish there were more examples and stories of is women who, after having babies, feel even more ambitious and driven. All I heard while pregnant was that my life, and priorities, were going to change. And while that is certainly true, at the same time my ambition and clarity got way stronger and I’m even more focused and targeted with my work and the impact I can make. Also, the phrase “it’s not personal, it’s business” has always been strange to me. We’re all walking bundles of emotions and energy, of course everything we do, whether at home or at work, is personal! We’re humans!

 

How did you come up with the questions? What different layers of these women’s personalities were you trying to reveal, and why was this important?

I had a set of questions each woman answered, and then some that were tailored based on aspects of their story I wanted to draw out. Also because they were live interviews, either via phone or in person, I could just ebb and flow with the conversation based on what came up. Thanks to this, two women decided to open up and for the first time publicly share that they were victims of domestic violence and abuse, and the effects of those stories have continued to be tremendous to date.

 

And, borrowing from one of your questions: If you could have dinner with any woman, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

Such a hard question to answer!  Currently on my mind is Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital - she’s a fierce women advocating for causes I’m totally aligned with, and I’d love to talk with her about resilience, ambition, dreaming big, and building community.

 

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Get to Know: Carol Borghesi

With a career that’s spanned 30+ years and taken her around the globe, to say that Carol Borghesi has learned a lesson or two along the way, about both work and life, is an understatement.

Navigating changing standards, shifting expectations and different cultures, Carol did the only things she knew how to do: challenged convention, took on change without fear, and made it work. In doing so she found great professional success and, unexpectedly, found her way home to herself.

We can’t wait to welcome Carol to the stage as our second guest speaker of the 2018/2019 Women of Whistler season for her presentation on The Personal is Professional.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, we chatted with Carol to get some insight into her experience, and what to expect from of her talk on Tuesday, November 27.

In your bio it says that you’ve moved through moments of “getting it right and getting it spectacularly wrong.” Which do you think have been more powerful?
That’s a toss up. I was and continue to be motivated by positive outcomes. Yet I wasn’t always as open to learning as I was in my younger years. It was later in my career when I had to learn the hard way, thanks to the curse of knowledge. The curse of knowledge is the limiting assumption that you’re usually right when you’re a so-called expert - even if its only in your mind. I made mistakes - some willfully as I thought being right was more important than having people with me. Being knocked back really taught me the most vital lessons in humility and leadership, but it took me longer than I would like to admit to change my approach.
 
Did you have a lightbulb moment in your career where you realized you could be yourself AND successful? Or did this come over time?
I did! When I worked for BC Tel Mobility in the late 80s, I attended a fundraising event which featured a speech by one of the sponsoring companies. He was the first funny, irreverent and extremely good business event speaker I’d seen. I was hooked from then on in: why not be myself instead of a version of professional that struck me as woefully out-of-date. I used my sense of humour and irreverence for hierarchy and bureaucracy to call out the need for innovation and fresh thinking. This came after exposure to the changing leadership theory of that decade. The old command and control model was beginning to fall out of favour. So timing was on my side. In any event, feedback was that I was down to earth. That translated to being approachable, even as I was promoted to increasingly more senior jobs. In turn, I benefited from access to employee feedback. And that made all the difference in our success.
 
Do you still have moments where you struggle to find balance between personal and professional?
Yes. It's progress not perfection - a mindset that took me many years to embrace. I think we are under pressure to be successful in the very narrow sense of the word: financially. We are convinced we need more and better so we work more and harder. I am seduced by it myself because that’s what I did. Very driven, very focused and very tightly wound. And I lapse into that persona every now and again. When it does, my ego takes over and I'm less connected to others.

It is insidious: individualism means we are all leaders when that’s just not the case. Everyone is a follower in some area or another in their lives. Yet we don’t honour that role in popular culture, let alone business literature. Collectivism, social connectivity, and concern and care for community is as much a part of a successful life as our own personal growth.
 
What do you think men can learn from your talk?
The same messages as women. I have masculine characteristics which I value as much as my feminine characteristics. I believe everyone does to some degree - human characteristics are a continuum not separate categories. I know this from working with men and women. I know what expectations and the pressure to fit in can do to people’s behaviour at work. No one is immune to going along to get along. Be aware of why you have the views you have and make room for others ways and means; redraw competition as a collective effort and be human. That is to say fallible; vulnerable and available to others.
 
Why do you think this is an important topic for business women and men in Whistler to hear?
I am concerned for people that are working extremely hard under challenging circumstances. We can lose ourselves in the race to succeed. Becoming someone else is a real and present danger. I think having this discussion about the value of being authentic reminds us to really live.

Make sure you grab your tickets before they sell out! Register here.

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Women of Whistler Presents Accelerate Your Growth with Mentorship

Whistler, April 27,2016 – Taking the time to develop an effective mentor relationship will have an immense impact on success. Moderator Jill Earthy, Vice Chair of the Women’s Enterprise centre and an accomplished entrepreneur, will be joined by a panel of local women with diverse perspectives on the power of mentorship. Together the panel will share inspiration and lessons on how an effective relationship can create a powerful shift in one’s life. Early bird tickets are available on womenofwhistler.com for $40 (Chamber Members) and $50 (General Admission) until May 16, when the pricing goes up to $45/55 respectively. Read More

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Where Did The Robin Go?

RobinSpring has definitely sprung in Whistler, with the birds chirping on the still crisp mornings. But where has our infamous round robin gone? Once a standard practice at Women of Whistler events, the round robin was a great way to learn who was in the room so that you could connect with them in the event that they might be able to fill a need that you or your business may have. It was exciting for some, and terrifying for others. Although it lasted less than a minute, for most, the thought of public speaking may have kept them away from our events. When your attendance numbers have increased from an average of 60 amazing women (and occasionally a few good men) to closer to 90, the round robin grew into an unmanageable part of the events. With technology and social media changing the networking landscape, we decided to let the robin fly away to another nest, and instead leverage the power of networking at the event. Each year we try to include a topic that will inspire you to be a better networker; more of a connecter. Currently, if you wish to share your contact information with those attending WOW events, you can select to do so when you register for the event. We provide an information sheet with attendee contact details on the back of your seat at the event, and we also send the list out to everyone prior to the event in our final reminder email. We are always looking for ways to support you better, and encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas with us in each post event survey, or by contacting us. You can also find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram (new – stay tuned!). We encourage you to join the conversations and share on social. While the robin may have left our nest, we hope you enjoy the networking we provide at our WOW events. Join us on May 17th at Nita Lake Lodge to give WOW networking a try! At the bottom of this page is our newsletter sign up if you want to be notified about our events via email.
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How to Get What You Want out of Life!

The Art of Negotiation

The title of this Women of Whistler event immediately grabbed my attention and I am fairly certain I am not alone.  While we are lucky enough to live in beautiful Whistler and enjoy this amazing lifestyle (let’s face it, life is pretty good here), there are still things to be accomplished, dreams to fulfill, checks to be made on bucket lists. And just how do we get what we want out of life?  Perhaps an opportunity to learn more is presenting itself.

Negotiation always seemed to me like a term for corporate executives in large firms.  According to the event speaker, Cindy Roney, the art of negotiation is applicable to more than just the big boys in suits, it’s a skill we all should have in our toolbox.  And a skill we can fine tune.

Cynthia’s bio lists an impressive number of accomplishments.  She has extensive experience in executive business and leadership coaching and is CEO of her own coaching firm.  Her clients include Royal Bank and Telus, as well as new start-ups. I will be paying close attention when she talks about why women often feel uncomfortable negotiating, why we don’t ask for what we want, and the how consequences of not negotiating show up in our personal and professional lives. Sign me up.

The key takeaways listed on www.womenofwhistler.com

  • The top 10 traits of great negotiators & top 10 negotiating no-no’s
  • A simple 5 step negotiation process to get what you want
  • Self-assessment tool shows how you measure up as an effective negotiator

Tickets for the December 10th event are available at the Whistler Chamber of Commerce for what promises to be a very interactive and informative evening at Nita Lake Lodge.

Lynn Gadsby

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(Net)working It: Confessions of a Super-Connector

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Networking is one of those business methods that is hard to define. What is successful networking? Does it have to end with a business proposition or can it be simply getting the word out?

Networking has always been interesting for me, I loved speaking to people and discussing business ideas. I never thought of myself as actively networking, just sharing ideas that would complement our businesses.

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The Power of Events

Personally, I really love the Women of Whistler events. They are a great opportunity to touch base with the event sponsors and discuss the opportunities that exist to work together. At this event, the buzz was about the powerful speakers who were on the panel and the delicious food that was available. The Collective Kitchen served some fantastic food!

Living in Whistler, where all levels of events can be experienced from the small community fundraiser to the international festival, I was especially looking forward to hearing three different perspectives on events, how they are formed, the execution and the power they embrace.

It was interesting hearing John break down the value of participating in community events and how all these areas are vital to the operations of the event and that every little piece of the puzzle is necessary to create a successful event.

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