Meet Sara Cabrera – Aragon and Idalina Leandro: Co-founders of Her Film Company

Sara Cabrera – Aragon (right) and Idalina Leandro (left) are the co-founders of a majority-women film production company, Her Film Company, based in Toronto, Ontario. Their objective is to empower female filmmakers and to create a company were women take priority in key creative roles. Their films are made for everyone, with a focus on female social and political issues worldwide. We caught up with Idalina and Sara to discuss their professional journey’s and to hear more about their current project, An Open Conversation, a documentary exploring the emotional reality that women face when they miscarry. 

 


 

 

My first job was…

SaraMy first job in film was as a PA.

Idalina – My first job in film was acting in a docu-drama filmed in France called ‘Tenerife’.

My proudest accomplishment is…

SHaving edited a documentary that helps give a platform to voices of change.

I – My daughter.

My boldest move to date was…

SLeaving a stable job where I was unhappy for contract work that I believed in.

I – Making a documentary about pregnancy and infant loss.

I got into the film production industry because…

SI want to help create a space for women’s stories.

II wanted to be an actress since I was about 11 years old

The most exciting project I am working on at the moment is…

SA documentary about women’s health, a subject that often does not get a lot of attention. I am getting to meet some amazing women both in front of and behind the lens.

I – A documentary about miscarriage called ‘An Open Conversation’ and meeting incredibly brave and strong women who have the courage to talk about it and to change the stigma that surrounds that subject.

My greatest advice from a mentor was…

STo go after things even if you are scared (especially if you are scared).

I – I never had a mentor.

 

“We still have a long way to go, but it does feel like people are starting to look around and see that there needs to be changed in the balance of representation, not just in media but in society as well.”

 

My biggest setback was…

SNot believing in myself.

I – Negative self-talk

I overcame it by…

SIt is still a struggle, but something I work on every day.

ITrying to do things that scare me and put me out of my comfort zone.

If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be…

SFinding other like-minded people in the industry and forming valuable friendships.

ITrying to be a role model for my daughter.

I surprise people when I tell them…

SI’m Mexican. I’m not sure why.

IHow much I have travelled and where I have travelled.

I stay inspired by…

SLooking at the kick-ass women around me, doing amazing things every day.

ISurrounding myself with positive people and amazing inspiring women!

The future excites me because…

SThings are changing, slowly but they are changing. You are starting to see more stories that reflect real women on screen and a lot of that is because there are more women getting opportunities to create those stories. We still have a long way to go, but it does feel like people are starting to look around and see that there needs to be changed in the balance of representation, not just in media but in society as well.

I – Because the future is female and women are finally able to rise up and have their voices heard!

My next step is…

S – Idalina and I are still working on producing a documentary with women in key creative roles and hopefully from there we will gain enough momentum to create more projects.

I – To finish production on ‘An Open Conversation’ and to make films that have more women in key creative roles.

 

Tina : A life in Glossy

Tina Brown is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and event producer. She turned around Tatler, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker as Editor-in-Chief. She wrote a bestselling biography of Princess Diana. She launched The Daily Beast news site and Women in the World summits. And she’s our Women of Influence Luncheon speaker.

 

 

By Stephania Varalli

 

 


 

“I’ve always had a bit of a tension in me — am I an executive, am I a writer, am I an editor, or am I somebody who just wants to do her own books?”

As I’m speaking with Tina Brown, I can understand her challenge in applying a label. She has had success in all these endeavors. Discovered for her writing talent, she was tapped to take on an ailing Tatler magazine at the age of 25, turned it into a success, and then did the same thing on a much grander scale at Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She’s written four books, most famously a bestselling bio of Diana, Princess of Wales (or Di, as Tina calls her, having known her for years). She co-founded online news magazine The Daily Beast, which quietly launched just before the 2008 US Presidential election, and was “seeing traffic over a million within a week or two.” During her tenure there she founded Women in the World as a passion project; ten years later, the summits have grown in size and expanded to cities around the world.

 

“I’ve always had a bit of a tension in me — am I an executive, am I a writer, am I an editor, or am I somebody who just wants to do her own books?”

 

Is it any wonder she’s musing about who she is?

As our talk continues, though, I notice there’s a pattern in the way she speaks about her many endeavors. A self-professed “magazine junky,” as a child she says she was always etching layouts and creating stories. In her career she spent over thirty years with an editor-in-chief title. When discussing The Daily Beast, she notes, “I loved the idea of creating a digital property that would have some of the visual appeal of a glossy magazine.” And she likens the Women in the World Summits to ”putting out a fabulous global magazine.” She programs them, she says, very much like she would an issue of Vanity Fair — a combination of hot topic panels, relatively unknown women with amazing stories to tell, and the required celebrity.

“You have to have a cover star,” she says, “And then inside you have a really good journalistic investigation, and you’re going to have a fascinating, unexpected, narrative about somebody. And the pagination, the pacing of it, goes on like that throughout the day.”

She sees the world through the lens of a magazine editor. Her content mix in my head, I wonder: what would Tina Brown’s life look like in a glossy?

 

Cover Star: The Fixer

When Tina was called in to take over Vanity Fair in 1983, ads were dwindling, losses were mounting, and readership was low. The magazine, which had spent over twenty years in circulation before the Great Depression, had just been revived by Condé Nast a year prior, and it was already on its second editor. As Tina says, “when that went hopelessly wrong, they thought about me.”

It’s no surprise she came to mind; she had just turned around Tatler in the UK, bringing it to a level of success that led Condé Nast to purchase it. Tina’s vision for Vanity Fair included a new mix of content, with celebrity profiles sitting alongside journalistic reporting, presented to the reader with “a visual panache” — that might mean a naked and pregnant Demi Moore on the cover, with a profile of Saddam Hussein inside.

Regardless of the subject, writing standards were high. One of Tina’s great skills is finding and fostering talent, and in the same way she seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what stories need to be told, she can also pinpoint who should be penning them.

“I know how to talk to writers because I am a writer,” she says. “And I have a very good sense of what a writer should be doing. And that’s part of the fun for me, being able to do that casting of writer with story.”

The mix worked. Sales of Vanity Fair rose from 200,000 to 1.2 million, advertisers flocked, and awards came in. Tina had masterfully elevated the reputation of the magazine (and hers along with it) to its own sort of celebrity status. Vanity Fair was a success, and after 9 years, she was ready for her next challenge.

Her move to The New Yorker in many ways mimicked her career thus far: it was an ailing magazine with a solid pedigree in need of a fresh vision. Despite her past successes, her appointment as editor-in-chief was controversial.

 

“I have a very good sense of what a writer should be doing. And that’s part of the fun for me, being able to do that casting of writer with story.”

 

“I understood why there was anxiety about me coming in,” says Tina. “At Vanity Fair I had just done Demi Moore stark naked on the cover. There were a lot of Old Guard people at The New Yorker thinking, who is this person that’s going to come into this literary jewel and make it into something incredibly disrespectful of its tradition? But that’s really because they didn’t know my own pedigree, which is as a much more literary writer and editor than I was showing.”

There might have been some cause for the Old Guard to be alarmed. She replaced over 40 writers, hired the publication’s first staff photographer, and went about creating a magazine that both honoured its literary traditions and that people actually wanted to read.

Circulation grew, advertisers flocked, and awards came in, once again. Tina began to have bigger ideas — she saw the value in expanding the brand beyond the magazine, and approached publisher Si Newhouse about doing live events, a radio show, a book imprint, TV, and movie production.

“Frankly, everything I wanted to do is exactly what people are doing now, 25 years later,” says Tina. “Sam Newhouse just didn’t get it. He would say, ‘go back downstairs and manage a magazine, you’re not supposed to be talking about brand extensions.’”

 

Hot Topic: The Scandal of a Woman’s Success

It was 1998, and Tina Brown was still editing The New Yorker with big ideas of brand expansion brewing in her head. “Miramax then came at me to do exactly that with them, and of course, enter Harvey Weinstein, which wasn’t exactly the best career move I ever made.”

Tina still considers Talk magazine — the result of her departure from The New Yorker and subsequent partnership with Miramax — to be some of her best work. After a splashy launch, Tina says it simply couldn’t survive the destabilizing force of Weinstein. “He never sexually harassed me,” she explains, “but he was volcanic, he was abusive, he was just a terrible, terrible person to work with.”

Add to that the tragedy of 9-11, and the advertising drought that followed. “He had no idea how to keep it going as it got through that period,” says Tina. “It was just a very devastating experience.”

Despite having reached a circulation of 670,000, the publication was abruptly shut down in January of 2002. It was Tina’s first high-profile failure, after three unquestionable successes.

The scandal is not that she failed, or even that she did so in partnership with a man that would become the poster boy of the #MeToo movement. What you’ll find in the endless commentary on Tina’s nearly fifty-year career is that her wins are criticized just as heavily as her failure, if not more. And there’s a common thread in all that noise: unable to deny her accomplishments, she was successful in the wrong way. Too much celebration of celebrity, too much focus on building buzz, too direct in her requests, too decisive. If you listen to her critics, the scandal is that she was able to succeed.

 

“I still don’t think we’re even halfway up the mountain with it. This is going to go on, and it’s going to gather more and more steam, and it has got real energy now, and I think it’s exciting.”

 

It begs the question: would a man in her position be viewed in the same way, or lauded for his leadership?

Tina is open in saying that “gender played a role with not being taken seriously in the ways that I should have.” From her early days, when the managing director of Condé Nast in London attributed her success at Tatler to “your looks and your lifestyle,” to the pushback she received when coming on board at The New Yorker.

It goes without saying that she hasn’t let it stop her. And with Women in the World, Tina is contributing to the solution. She was inspired to launch the program after meeting a group of extraordinary women through her work on the board of Vital Voices, an NGO that mentors women in emerging countries.

“I just thought they really ought to be telling their stories in a wider setting. Broadcast journalism doesn’t seem to be interested in them ever.”

Now entering its tenth year, Women in the World has broached topics from rape as a weapon of war to sexual harassment, has introduced the fascinating narratives of individual women from around the globe, and featured every A-lister you can think of, from politics, entertainment, and business. Tina says she’s seen a change in receptivity since #MeToo, but the journey towards action has only begun.

“I still don’t think we’re even halfway up the mountain with it,” she says, referring to the impact #MeToo is having. “This is going to go on, and it’s going to gather more and more steam, and it has got real energy now, and I think it’s exciting.”

 

A Fascinating Personal Narrative: Blonde Ambition

As a teenager, Tina Brown was kicked out of three private high schools. The reasons are less a demonstration of delinquency and more a tribute to her creativity, humour, and bravery in the face of authority. At one school, she led a protest against a rule that girls couldn’t change their underwear more than three times per week; at another, she referred to the headmistress’ bosoms and “unidentified flying objects” in a personal diary (which the headmistress really had no right to be reading, anyway).

The traits served her well in her chosen career, she says. “I’m impatient and always very skeptical about rules and authority. It’s one of those things that’s made me an inquiring journalist, I think. My ears prick and I think to myself, oh, that didn’t sound right.”

Despite the rocky times in high school she managed to get into Oxford at 16, where she worked on the student magazine. After graduation, she contribute to Punch, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph before being tapped at the age of 25 to take on the role of editor-in-chief of Tatler magazine.

“I had a strong sense of what I wanted to do with Tatler,” says Tina. “I was very excited by its pedigree. It was a 270-year-old magazine, and it had been around in the days of Jonathan Swift and Gulliver’s Travels. At the same time, it then morphed into a magazine which I could describe as a weekly must-read of the Downton Abbey set. I really wanted to combine those two genres in a magazine. I wanted it to be as literary as the first magazine, but at the same time fun, irreverent, and social.”

In addition to guiding the content and voice, Tina wrote content for every issue — including semi-satirical profiles of upper society’s eligible bachelors, under the pen-name Rosie Boot.

 

“I’m impatient and always very skeptical about rules and authority. It’s one of those things that’s made me an inquiring journalist, I think.”

 

“The social magazine of the 50s that Tatler was took society as society wanted to be seen. What I brought to it was a modern twist,” she says. “We had fun headlines and captions. Today we would call that attitude.”

The “attitude” quadrupled circulation numbers, and caught the eye of Condé Nast. Si Newhouse purchased it in 1983, and shortly after, Tina quit. “I was very flattered when Condé Nast bought it, but then I quickly found it stifling. Condé Nast had its ways of doing things and I was much scrappier than that.”

The pull of Vanity Fair, New York City — and the pure ambition that’s evident in everything she does — was ultimately enough to bring her back into the Condé Nast fold. And from the outside, she was every bit the glamorous celebrity editor. Ask Tina, and she’ll say the parties were a journalistic venture; a way to be in the action and get leads. In the The Vanity Fair Diaries, she refers to this time as living as “a spectator and a foreigner.”

I ask her if she now feels she’s living a life that’s authentically her. It’s the only time in our interview that she takes a long pause.

“The great joy of becoming older is that you become less and less concerned about what other people think of you,” she says. “I just launched the podcast, which has been enormously fun.
It’s just me and a pair of headphones talking to somebody interesting, and that I’m enjoying a lot. I can really do what I want to do, which is somewhat go back to my literary roots.”

Does that mean that Tina Brown is ready to settle in? Unlikely.

“I am a reckless spirit. What I love to do is have a mission, a turnaround, a crusade — to go at something with tremendous passion. I’m not as interested in being a steward as being an innovator.”

 

Join us on May 21st, 2019, to be inspired by one of the most iconic media moguls of all time and discover what it takes to build a legacy career. Tickets are available here.

How a physics professor is helping to get more women’s voices into Canadian media

Having spent 16 years as a physics professor at Simon Fraser University, Dugan O’Neil was well aware of the underrepresentation of women in academia — and was working to change it. His recent involvement with Informed Opinions, an organization committed to amplifying women’s voices in the media, is helping to end underrepresentation on an even broader scale.

 

 

By Hailey Eisen

 


Women currently make up just 29% of all voices quoted in the media. These numbers reflect a mere 7% shift in the past two decades, and we still have a long way to go. Informed Opinions, a Canadian non-profit organization founded by Shari Graydon, is committed to amplifying the voices of women in the media — and they’re committed to achieving gender balance by 2025.

It’s a lofty goal, and one that has already taken the combined efforts of many. Including a physics professor from Simon Fraser University (SFU), Dugan O’Neil.

His involvement began in 2017, shortly after leaving his post as Chief Science Officer with Compute Canada, an organization that accelerates research and innovation by providing advanced research computing (ARC) services and infrastructure for Canadian researchers and their collaborators. He had been named Associate Vice-President, Research at SFU, overseeing academic leadership in, and administration of, research and other scholarly activities for the university.

“I had worked closely with Kelly Nolan at Compute Canada; she was now working with Informed Opinions, and she told me about their desire to track women’s voices in the media, in real-time,” he recalls. The project seemed doable from a high-performance computing perspective and peaked Dugan’s interest. “I’ve always lived my life with a firm belief of equality, and this would be an opportunity to actively support those beliefs.”

He took the proposal back to SFU in search of a researcher who would champion the project and push it forward. “Maite Taboada, a professor in the Department of Linguistics and the Director of the Discourse Processing Lab, stepped forward with an interest in taking this on,” Dugan recalls.

The project began in earnest in early 2018 and was officially launched in February 2019 at an Ottawa event featuring The Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and Dr. Joy Johnson, Vice President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University, and sponsored by 30% Club Canada and 30% Club members, Osler and Teck. The resulting tool, The Informed Opinions’ Gender Gap Tracker, was developed by the university’s big data technical team, the Discourse Processing Lab, and is hosted by SFU’s Research Computing Group. It measures the ratio of female to male sources quoted in online news coverage across some of Canada’s most influential national news outlets, and provides the real-time results which are showcased on the website.

“I set things in motion and then stepped back — but in the meantime, I was asked to join the Informed Opinions board and I became the Gender Gap Tracker guy.” It’s an unofficial title Dugan wears with pride. “The tracker’s primary purpose is to measure what gender representation looks like in the media,” Dugan explains. “If you don’t know how you’re doing, you’ll never know if you’re improving.”  

Along with tracking data, Informed Opinions works to motivate and train women experts to make their ideas more accessible to a broader audience, offering dynamic and interactive workshops, presentations, and professional editing support. They’ve also developed a database of expert women who are available for inquiries from journalists, producers, conference planners, recruiters and research collaborators.

 

“We are working to move the needle even further — our equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts are tackling everything from the pipeline to pay equity, and are guided by open dialogue.”

 

The database currently features a range of expertise covering almost every industry and profession with more than 900 women represented. Going forward the organization is working to grow this database, encouraging women who have the capacity to add value through written commentary and media interviews to add their name. They’re also looking for nominations of women who would make great contributors, and encouraging others to leverage the database to find expert speakers for events, research and communications. For journalists, the hashtag #HerInformedOps can also be used to get leads for expert sources.

“This is the most coherent and complete approach I’ve seen so far to tackling this issue,” says Dugan.

From an academic perspective, he can see why the work of Informed Opinions is so important — and it’s aligned with the university’s own mission of knowledge mobilization. “SFU employs experts, many of whom will be engaging with media to mobilize the knowledge they produce,” he says. “We are also an organization that trains the next generation of experts, who need these positive role models.”

Having spent most of his career in the world of computing and physics, he’s no stranger to the underrepresentation of women. SFU is committed to attracting more young women to the department — beginning with elementary and high school outreach programs. “We all want to see change, but have a limited pool of applicants to choose from,” he says. “That’s why our approach is to reach out to girls before they get to us and give them an opportunity to explore physics.”

Dugan is also aware of the need for increased gender parity in research and academics overall. “At SFU, 28% of full time Professors are female, 37% of Associate Professors are female, and 48% of Assistant Professors are female,” he says, noting the trend is moving in the right direction. “We are working to move the needle even further — our equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts are tackling everything from the pipeline to pay equity, and are guided by open dialogue.”

Dugan’s own portfolio includes creating and implementing an EDI action plan for externally funded research chairs and awards, including the Canada Research Chairs. “A big part of this plan is centred on data and information sharing, transparency in how positions are allocated, hiring processes, and the like. It represents a big change in the way we work.”

And his work is continuing with Informed Opinions — which is beginning to have an impact. In the two months since the launch of the Gender Gap Tracker, the ratio of women’s voices in Canadian media has reflected brief spikes of improvement. Several of the news media being monitored have invited Shari into their newsrooms, and committed to tracking their own performance. Some are also are actively seeking to diversify their sources by calling on experts featured in the project’s database.

But public engagement is critical. News media play an important role in setting agendas, shaping public conversations and the policies they influence. So Informed Opinions, as well as Dugan and the team of SFU researchers who created and continue to refine the digital tool, are working to draw attention to the data and its implications through public presentations and media engagement. The goal is to encourage news consumers who believe in the importance of gender equity to visit the Gender Gap Tracker, notice the persistent gap, and contact the news outlets they rely on to track the gender of their sources in pursuit of more democratic public conversations.

 

We need more women’s voices in Canadian media — why not yours? It’s simple to add your name to the database, or nominate an expert. And as a consumer, you can make a difference by sending a message to media outlets, challenging them to do better. Organizations like Informed Opinions as well as 30% Club Canada — who supported this story as part of the men champions of change series — know that change is possible, if we all do our part.

 

Women of Influence Partners with Celebrity Stylist

Women of Influence logo

 

 

Celebrity stylist Kim Appelt will join Women of Influence as Style Expert and Fashion Editor

 

TORONTO, FEBRUARY 2017 – Women of Influence is excited to welcome celebrity stylist Kim Appelt as their first ever Style Expert and Fashion Editor. In her new role, Kim will be sharing her knowledge on work-meets-fashion topics — from what is trendy yet appropriate, to how to express your personal style at the office and define your personal brand.

With a mandate of providing the expert insights and inspiration needed to support women’s professional advancement, Women of Influence is looking forward to sharing Kim’s fashion advice with their large community of women.

“At Women of Influence we strive to touch on all aspects of a woman’s professional life, and to offer actionable insights from qualified experts,” says Stephania Varalli, Co-CEO of Women of Influence. “Partnering with Kim — who is not only a style expert, but also an entrepreneurial success — enables us to offer sought-after advice on workplace attire, from a highly qualified and inspirational role model.”

Kim Appelt is a personal and celebrity stylist and a respected fashion influencer. As a mother of three who manages a coast-to-coast roster of clientele, plus a thriving social media community at StylebyKimXo and over 1,000,000 views on her YouTube channel, Secrets of a Stylist, Kim is a perfect example of the modern entrepreneurial woman, having found a way to channel her personal passion into a creatively fulfilling and successful career.

“When I started in the fashion industry as a stylist, I had a goal of helping women,” explains Kim. “A desire to lift them up, and make their life a little easier by taking the guesswork out of fashion. I’m honored to be asked by Women of Influence to be the new style expert and fashion editor. I look forward to helping all women put their best ‘shoe’ forward!”

In her role as Style Expert, Kim will become the Fashion Editor for Women of Influence magazine. The upcoming Spring 2017 issue will be distributed at all Women of Influence events and through selected partners, available for sale starting March 1 on womenofinfluence.com.

 

About Kim Appelt
Kim Appelt is one of Canada’s top stylists and a well respected influencer in the fashion scene. Along with dressing hip personal clients, both men and women, she also dresses local television personalities, musicians and A-list celebrities for the red carpet. Kim’s passion to help clients find their own style, and her keen eye for what works have led the way to a successful styling career. Kim sits on the nominating committee for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards and is committed to helping new artists. Kim and her work have been seen on the Red Carpet, everywhere from the CAFA awards to The Daytime Emmy’s. To see more of Kim and her work, follow her on social media @StylebyKimXo or subscribe to her YouTube channel, Secrets of a Stylist.

 

About Women of Influence
Women of Influence, now in its 23rd year, is one of North America’s leading organizations offering solutions to further women’s professional advancement. With global event series, courses in executive leadership, and print and digital content, Women of Influence annually reaches over 200,000 professional women and men across Canada and internationally. Signature events include the Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
For more information, please visit www.womenofinfluence.ca.

For interview requests or further information please contact:

Teresa Harris, Women of Influence, 416-803-7811
tharris@womenofinfluence.ca

Jake Gold, The Management Trust, 416-979-7070
jakegold@mgmtrust.ca

 

 

Announcing the 2015 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award Finalists

Women of Influence today announced the finalists of the 2015 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards program. A record breaking 5,000 women entrepreneurs from coast to coast were nominated for this year’s award, and 18 finalists have now been selected. These exceptional women were chosen for their accomplishments in industries as diverse as finance, technology, and staffing.

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Press Release – 2014 Top 25 Women of Influence Revealed

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Women of Influence Inc. is thrilled to announce its 2014 Top 25 Women of Influence™. This prestigious ranking showcases and celebrates the achievements of senior executives who have made a significant difference in their field and who are true leaders in business, health, non-governmental organizations (NGO), professional services and public sectors.

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Renaissance Gal: Carolyn Lawrence

LUXXE has shared a Quick Fire Q+A of our President and CEO, Carolyn Lawrence! What’s the best advice Carolyn has ever given? What’s one item she can’t live without? Find out here.

 

Women of Influence’s Carolyn Lawrence To Introduce Featured Speaker Martha Stewart to Toronto

MEDIA ADVISORY

Women of Influence’s Carolyn Lawrence To Introduce Featured Speaker Martha Stewart to Toronto

TORONTO, May 26 , 2014— Women of Influence is a proud sponsor and partner of The Art of Leadership for Women, a conference that features some of North America’s most notable and inspiring women leaders. Each speaker will cover critical leadership topics to an audience of over 1,500 influential Canadian women.

Carolyn Lawrence, Women of Influence President and CEO, will officially introduce the conference’s keynote speaker, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and New York Times bestselling author, Martha Stewart.

Conference speakers include:

– Recent Deloitte Women of Influence Luncheon speaker and New York Times bestselling author, Liane Davey

– Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser

– Lead anchor, BBC World News America and bestselling co-author of The Confidence Code & Womenomics, Katty Kay

– New York Times bestselling author of Winning From Within and Harvard Law School Negotiation lecturer, Erica Ariel Fox

 Media is invited to attend on a complimentary basis.

What: The Art of Leadership for Women, a one day conference featuring some of North America’s most notable women leaders. Speakers will share their views on today’s critical leadership issues, inspiring an audience of over 1,500 influential Canadian women.

When: Thursday May 29, 2014, 8:45AM – 5:00PM

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building – Hall G, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, ON M5V 2T6

ABOUT WOMEN OF INFLUENCE:

Women of Influence Inc. is North America’s leading organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women. Celebrating its flagship 20th year in 2014, Women of Influence continues to offer a menu of solutions through corporate consulting on Gender Intelligence, professional coaching, events, and content — both online and through a quarterly magazine. Renowned events include the Deloitte Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. Women of Influence has a community and reach of over 120,000 in nine cities across North America including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal, New York City and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit womenofinfluence.ca.

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For more information or Media inquiries on Women of Influence or Carolyn Lawrence please contact:

Elizabeth Heggie, Women of Influence

Mobile: 416-803-7811

media@womenofinfluence.ca

MEDIA ADVISORY: Women of Influence Advancement Centre provides powerful curriculum in response to research results highlighting gaps in Women’s Advancement

Women of Influence Advancement Centre provides powerful curriculum in response to research results highlighting gaps in Women’s Advancement

Eight courses help high potential women gain the intangible skills to advance to senior leadership roles more powerfully 

TORONTO – MAY 12, 2014 – Women of Influence launches eight courses in response to the 7 Pitfalls for Women in Business outlined by the recent white paper on the Solutions to Women’s Advancement. In collaboration with Thomson Reuters, the white paper surveyed 326 executive women from across North America to examine how top female executives define their leadership style, strengths, and challenges. The common themes of the paper established a course of action for women and corporations looking to close the gender gap at the executive level.

The call to provide women with intangible skills relevant to leadership and career development has been taken up by the Women of Influence Advancement Centre in the launch of eight highly targeted one-day courses. These courses ensure that women gain the necessary skills, mindsets, and habits showcased by highly successful executive level women. The centre’s unique approach of leveraging the expertise of highly sought after executive coaches, intimate group sizes, and creating an experiential learning environment ensures maximum value to each participant.

“We really wanted to throw out the traditional model of training in which facilitators present hours of slide deck material and the participants act as passive learners who leave with a workbook that eventually collects dust in their office.  Instead, we’ve leveraged experts and coaches who are highly skilled at creating customized experiences. This ensures that each participant leaves with new insight they can apply personally, along with strategies and action items to advance in their own position,” says Christine Laperriere, Executive Director & Lead Coach of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre.

Of the five themes examined, Big Picture, Leadership Responsibility, Leadership Maturity, Self-Initiation and Career Advancement, women executives scored their ability to advance their careers the lowest. In addition, many of the pitfalls for women in business are due to a lack of intangible skills such as the ability to make bold requests, self-promote, lead with confidence, strategically network, and stay the course through stressful times.

The Advancement Centre course offerings span a broad range of subjects that highlight the common strengths exhibited by high-powered executives.  In this specialized curriculum, we help women learn to personally thrive by ensuring they identify their passion and remain empowered when stress levels are high.  We also help women grow their influence by teaching how to be bold without being perceived as abrasive and refine their leadership presence.  We provide participants the critical skills to ensure they grow a successful career by helping them leverage their personal brand, network strategically, and get on boards to create an even larger positive influence in the world.

Women of Influence is North America’s leading organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women. Celebrating its flagship 20th year in 2014, Women of Influence continues to offer a menu of solutions through corporate consulting on Gender Intelligence, professional coaching, events, and content — both online and through a quarterly magazine. Renowned events include the Deloitte Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. Women of Influence has a community and reach of over 120,000 in nine cities across North America including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal, New York City and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit womenofinfluence.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Elizabeth Heggie

Women of Influence

416-923-1688

media@womenofinfluence.ca