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Women of Influence Luncheon Series – Untapped Resources

On April 26th, 2017, we hosted the Women of Influence Luncheon Series in downtown Toronto, featuring an expert HR panel including: Cheryl Fullerton, Lisa Knight, and Michael Bach.

What we learned:

  • Lisa Knight on recruiting firms as a barrier to the advancement of women in leadership roles: “It is dependent on who the search consultant is and the approach they take: they can become an ally and mandated to bring forth a diverse slate.”
  • Cheryl Fullerton on attracting more female candidates in technology:Attracting more women is a pipeline issue: 25% of women are in the technology field and there is a significant gap in numbers for that particular area for women graduating in those fields, it will require a long term fix that needs to be paid attention to.
  • Michael Bach on Gender balance: We are still using the social justice language which makes people think it should be equal which is not going to happen: 90% of nursing graduates are women. Trucking however, has a significantly lower female representation, we have to be realistic and talk about it from an innovative and creative perspective. Not just the best people at the table but a variety choosing from a wide pool like gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and lived experience.
  • Lisa Knight on driving change with no support from upper management: Lisa agrees with Michael that it won’t happen without backing from the CEO, and that if change isn’t happening perhaps you are not working in the right organization. Maybe the answer isn’t what you can do to change it, but instead leaving to go somewhere else where you can be a part of an organization that shares your values and is committed to the advancement of women and diversity in the workplace. 
  • Michael Bach on finding a more diverse staff: “If you only go to the place you’ve always gone you will only get the same candidates over and over. You have to do a lot of outreach and be deliberate in your search.”


Congratulations to the winner of our VIP Membership Experience Giveaway, Elisa Marino from Cairns O’Neil! Thanks to the generous contributions from our sponsors, she has access to a spot at the short-format executive education program offered by the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, from Scotiabank she receives a copy of the Scotiabank Photography Award publication honoring 2015 winner, Angela Grauerholz. Kids and Company offers a package of up to 15 back-up child care days at any of their 60+ child care centers across Canada or in the U.S. Lastly, Captivate gave away personal training sessions with Ritz Carlton-Innovative Fitness.


Photography by Morgan Hotston