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.