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Men of Influence: Why we’re inviting the opposite gender to the stage

By Stephania Varalli, Co-CEO, Women of Influence

For over two decades, we’ve offered a platform for remarkable women to share their stories of success. From corporate leaders to top entrepreneurs, they’ve inspired and guided our community by speaking candidly about their challenges, and offering their best advice for career advancement.

So why, now, are we inviting men to the stage?

Because it’s 2016, and one of the most powerful ways to provide more career opportunities to women is to involve both genders in the fight for equality.

As Peggy Klaus pointed out in the New York Times, sisterhood is not enough. It’s not enough that more and more men are attending our events. We need to give a voice to the male leaders who are taking action.

Our Gender Diversity Summit will feature two inspiring men on the panel. Philip Grosch from PricewaterhouseCoopers is a 2016 Catalyst Canada Honours Champion, an award that annually recognizes leaders that are setting the standard for inclusion in corporate Canada. Mike Henry from Scotiabank has been invited because of his commitment to the bank’s #HeForShe program—a program that he helped found. Anna Tudela from Goldcorp, another 2016 Catalyst Canada Honours Champion, will add a female perspective.

These are the people in power right now who have the desire and capacity to change the landscape. They understand the effects of privilege and unconscious bias. They are using their influence to create inclusive organizations that offer equal opportunities to all individuals. We can’t wait to give them the platform to inspire more men and women to do the same.