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UofGH holds Women in Leadership Expo

The University of Guelph-Humber recently held the Women in Leadership Expo, with industry professionals coming to UofGH campus just before International Women’s Day to share their experiences and discuss the unique challenges and opportunities that they’ve encountered in their careers.

Through a series of Power Chat sessions, influential women from a variety of industries presented inspirational 20-minute sessions detailing their career paths and documenting lessons learned along the way, before answering questions from UofGH students in the audience.

Attendees chat at the fair

At the same time, a Networking Fair held in the University of Guelph-Humber atrium also in celebration of International Women’s Day gave students the opportunity to network with a number of notable businesses and community partners, including Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserves, Armour Insurance Brokers Ltd., Canada Border Services Agency, Enterprise Holdings, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival and the Organization of Women in International Trade.

“The Women in Leaderships Expo is Career & Placement Services' celebration of International Women's Day,” said Melissa Patrizi, Career Services Coordinator for UofGH’s Business and Media Studies programs. “For the second year, university partners were on campus to showcase their diversity recruitment strategies focused on female professionals, as well as highlight their events and services for women. New this year, students can attend a Power Chat session and experience conversations with female leaders in their respective industries.

“The Women in Leadership Expo is a day of empowerment and professional development for all students.”

Sharing their journeys

Jaime Vieira

The four Power Chat sessions featured insightful talks from some very accomplished women, including: Alexandra Henderson, Global News’ VP News, Local Stations, who has 25 years of experience in the news industries and oversees all 15 local Global newscasts and associated stations; Dr. Afsheen Anwar, a registered clinical and counselling psychologist from Peel Psychology with 20 years of clinical experience; and Christina Christopher, the staff wellness program coordinator at the Hospital for Sick Children.

The final Power Chat was conducted by Jaime Vieira, who brought a unique perspective as a University of Guelph-Humber alumna. Vieira, who graduated from UofGH’s Kinesiology program in 2016, is now a program specialist with the Toronto Blue Jays’ charitable arm, the Jays Care Foundation. 

In her presentation, she shared a story from her past in which a hiring manager made a dismissive comment about her gender, and explained how she overcame the experience to thrive in the sports industry.

“I remember getting in my car and calling my dad, and he told me something that I still think about today: ‘If you want to make it in the sports industry, it’s tough. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, and it’s going to take even more work as a female,’” recalled Vieira, whose organization seeks to help lift barriers for youth to play team sports. “That was my first hard lesson I had to learn.”

A student and employer chat

Students who attended said the sessions were uplifting and motivating.

Meanwhile, other partners that attended the Fair included Peel Crime Stoppers, Penske Truck Leasing, Sun Life Financial, Sherwin-Williams Canada, Peel Regional Police, Tutor Doctor, York Regional Police and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Along with the Expo, International Women’s Day was also marked by an event hosted by UofGH’s Women in Business Society, whose members participated in the Women in Leadership Expo.

“We’re working towards empowering women,” said Mamoona Yousaf, a third-year Justice Studies student and member of the Women in Business Society. “We want women to be comfortable in whatever field they want to work in.”