The workshops and plenary presentations will build on the conversations, panels and keynotes offered by the visionaries and will provide inspiration, strategies and skills to increase your leadership skills. Check out the workshops for a diverse range of topics important to leaders today!

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1. Cliffs, Walls and Ceilings: Insights on the Challenges to Women’s Advancement in Corporate Canada

Are women achieving more high profile leadership positions, are ‘mothers’ falling behind their male colleagues?

Join UPEI Executive MBA graduates Karen MacDonald, Karen Chin and Marla Haines for a discussion about women in corporate Canada. You’ll hear presentations about three pieces of research focusing on the likelihood of women achieving more high profile leadership positions, of finding themselves in positions that are risky or precarious; the presumption that mothers fall behind their male colleagues by choice and the maternal wall bias being fought in Canadian courts; and the gender signals found from a review of books listed in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

New pic.Cliffs, walls, ceilings-Karen MacDonaldKaren MacDonald
Karen MacDonald holds an Executive MBA from UPEI as well as a BA in Criminology and a BA with Honours in Law, both from Carleton University. She worked in senior roles with Community and Correctional Services with the Province of Prince Edward Island for 23 years and recently took on a new position as Director of Human Resources with Health PEI in 2012.
New pic.Cliffs, walls, ceilings-Marla HainesMarla Haines
Marla holds an Executive MBA from UPEI, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University. She has a passion for theatre and women’s issues. Since 2003, she has been directing young people in theatre to inspire the next generation of women to speak up with confidence. To avoid being a starving artist, she works for the Department of Community Services and Seniors as their Liaison Officer with the Department of Environment, Justice & Labour.
New pic.Cliffs, walls, ceilings-Karen ChinKaren Chin
Karen holds an Executive MBA from UPEI as well as a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. She has been in management roles with Invesco Enterprise Services, since 1999, and is currently the Assistant Vice President for the North American Transfer Agency Training and Knowledge Management team.

2. Women Leaders, Taking Care of Ourselves

For many women leaders, balancing the demands of work, family and friends is a challenge – meaning we leave self-care behind.

This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to explore strategies to add more balance to their lives. Join facilitator & Pamela Johnson for a reflective look at self-care activities and practices to improve and protect health, and the reasons women may avoid them.

Pamela Johnson
Pamela Johnson, MBA-CED, is the Program Officer with the International Centre for Women’s Leadership and Facilitator at Coady International Institute. Pamela brings 20 years’ experience working and volunteering in the non-profit sector, with a focus on working with people living with disabilities and their families. Her work and volunteer experience covers areas of inclusion and citizenship, adult education, human resources, community economic development, social enterprise, board governance, and evaluation. Pamela’s work has also included the collective development of gender analysis tools, participatory action research and helping to coordinate a local contemporary arts festival. Pamela is passionate about mentoring and supporting women in their leadership development while maintaining a healthy balance in their lives to support long and rewarding careers.

3. Effective Communication – An Essential Leadership Skill

Whether it’s to exchange information, strengthen relationships or promote ideas; for leaders the ability to effectively communicate with others is a key to success.

In this workshop, facilitator, Donna Clark, from the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology will provide an introduction to gender factors affecting communication, awareness of different communication styles and assessment of your own style. This workshop will increase your understanding of different communication styles and your own style to help advance career success, particularly in leadership roles.

Donna ClarkDonna Clark
Donna Clark, CMC, ACC, Leadership Partner, Courage Group International, is committed to developing the capacity of individuals to lead with courage and compassion and create life nurturing, high performing organizations. Donna brings a combination of executive experience and 18 years of private practice in coaching, leadership and organizational development, and conflict transformation. She has degrees in science, education and business and is certified from the Newfield Network Coach Training Program, WEL-Systems® Institute, and is a Registered Practitioner in Alternative Dispute Resolution.Donna is the Maritimes Facilitator for the Women in Leadership Program of the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT Centre).


1. Social Media: Bringing Your Leadership Online

bold_socialmedia_workshopBlogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – social media offers a new and unique way for women to be leaders today.

In today’s connected world there are more opportunities than ever for online conversations, knowledge gathering and sharing and ultimately relationship building through social media.

For leaders that embrace it, social media can be a toolbox for improving the practice of leadership and sharing your message. Bring your questions for an interactive workshop as Bold Visionaries Jessie Housty, Natalie Panek and Becka Viau share their practical social media strategies and how they have leveraged their favourite social media platforms for success.

2. Building Strong Relationships

women-shaking-handsHow do you provide positive leadership and move your goals forward when not everyone is on the same page?

Taking the time to build relationships and trust in teams improves results and helps resolve conflicts, empower others, and improve business relationships. In this workshop Visionary Maria Mourani will share the key communication and negotiation strategies that have helped her build strong relationships and make a vision reality.

3. Diversity through Inclusive Practice: A workshop about inclusion

“Everyone belongs”.  When you make an event, space or process inclusive, you make it possible for everyone to participate with ease in any part of your work. 

The Inclusive Practices Toolkit * was created through a partnership between the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women to assist organizations and individuals in planning and implementing diversity in all the work they do.

We know that diverse teams improve effectiveness and drive innovation because team members have different ways of approaching challenges and finding solutions. We know that meetings and events where everyone feels welcome, has personal needs met and can comfortably participate ensures better outcomes.

Join Bold Visionary Bonnie Brayton of DAWN-RAFH Canada (The DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada) and Professor Deborah Stienstra, Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount St-Vincent University, for this workshop which will provide you with concrete tips, tools and steps to creating inclusive processes, spaces and events.

*A print version of the The Inclusive Practices Toolkit will be available for purchase at The Bold Vision Conference.

stienstra photoDeborah Stienstra
Deborah Stienstra holds the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University from 2013-2015 and is Professor in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. In 2012, she published About Canada: Disability Rights (Fernwood Publishing) which explores the landscape of disability rights in Canada through stories and voices of people with disabilities and an examination of education, employment, transportation, telecommunications and health. She held the Royal Bank Research Chair in Disability Studies between 2000 and 2003. She was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at University of Manitoba. Her areas of research are in disability policy, gender and intersectionality, disability and global development.

4. How (& Why) You Should Join a Board

Being a member of a Board of Directors can boost your public profile, provide valuable experience, increase networking opportunities, and give you a chance to bring your voice to decision-making about something important to you or your community.

For many leaders, participating as an appointed director in public or private boards has been an important part of their learning and success as leaders. In this workshop, hear from Visionary Irene d’Entremont about the role being on boards has played in her path to leadership.  Coleen MacKinnon of Catalyst will share the latest research on women on boards in Canada, along with practical strategies for finding and being appointed to serve on a board of directors that meshes with your personal vision.

Coleen MacKinnon
Colleen MacKinnon sizedColeen MacKinnon is Director, Quebec and Eastern Region, Catalyst Canada. As such, she is responsible for supporting members and building strategic, cross-sector partnerships to encourage the advancement of women and workplaces.
Coleen’s passion lies in accelerating progressive social change through a collaborative, multi-sector approach. While living in Australia (2005-2010), she led a successful community-wide campaign to end a discriminatory education policy affecting New South Wales elementary school children. Upon her return to Quebec, she facilitated a broad community consultation to encourage a provincial strategy to combat human trafficking in Quebec. The collective effort led to the unanimous adoption of a supportive motion in Quebec’s National Assembly (2013).
In addition to her consulting and advocacy roles, Coleen held a number of senior management positions with McGill University and the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. She began her career with the former Corporate Communications Limited, a Halifax-based PR and advertising firm.Dr. EvansDr. Evans has held such positions in the past as Vice President International, Division Head, Principal and Partner from various firms, and his most recent assignment prior to becoming a professor at UPEI was as CEO with KPMG Consulting for Central Eastern Europe. In this role he managed 15 counties. In his leadership role with KPMG Dr. Evans worked with the boards of major corporations across Europe and was the global lead partner for some of the largest clients of the firm. As an associate professor for the UPEI School of Business he teaches courses in strategy, operations and corporate governance. Publications include articles on culture, corporate governance and research methodology. Dr. Evans has been the keynote speaker and guest speaker at a number of conferences across Europe on Corporate Governance. During his planned sabbatical in 2015/16 Dr. Evans will be researching with European boards the issue of gender board diversity and new measurements for board effectiveness and cultural awareness.


The Art of Networking

As leaders, we often find ourselves in environments where essential networking skills are beneficial. For most of us however, networking can seem forced and uncomfortable. Regardless if you’re looking to connect with the media, partners, sponsors, or government officials, the ability to effectively communicate and build relationships through networking is invaluable for all leaders.

Join Kerry Anne MacDougall and Dawn Binns of Insight Marketing as they share real and practical approaches to networking that are relaxed, authentic and possibly even enjoyable. This session will prepare you for the various personalities you might encounter and provide tips and tricks to help you look like a seasoned networker.

This session will be followed by an opportunity to put your new networking skills to work.

Insight Marketing Bio PhotoKerry Anne MacDougall & Dawn Binns
As a brand and marketing specialist with over 10 years experience working with companies and organizations across the Atlantic region, Kerry Anne offers her passion and innate ability to bring strategic and impactful promotional strategies to life for her clients. Tourism operations, retailers, theatres, restaurants, hotels and non-profit organizations have all been inspired by her marketing savvy and no-nonsense approach in helping them develop and elevate their brands, reaching their objectives.Prior to joining Insight Marketing, Dawn worked passionately for the Canadian Cancer Society PEI Division, for eight years, seven as Executive Director. Through this experience, Dawn has gained the innate ability to work with a wide variety of groups and personalities, gathering the information required to develop the best plan of action.Together, they make up Insight Marketing, a full service branding and marketing agency that digs beneath the surface to understand your brand because they believe wholeheartedly that your success relies on the ability to convey your brand, your values, to the market authentically and consistently.

The Drive to Excel

Mary-Jean Irving learned at a young age that exceeding expectations is primary to success as a business leader, and has used that foundational principle to create two highly successful ventures in Prince Edward Island. In this plenary address, Mary-Jean will share what it takes to turn vision into an action plan.

Mary-Jean IrvingMary-Jean Irving
Mary-Jean Irving is President and CEO of Master Packaging, Inc., a world leading manufacturer of folding carton and corrugated boxes, and President, CEO of Indian River Farms Ltd., a diversified agricultural business. Raised in the city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Mary-Jean is the daughter of James and Jean Irving, and granddaughter of the industrialist K.C. Irving. In 1982 she graduated from York University in Toronto, and in 1989 moved to PEI. In 2007, Mary-Jean was inducted into the Prince Edward Island Business Hall of Fame, and is currently a member of the Board of Governors for Junior Achievement. She is also a past member of the Board of Governors for the University of Prince Edward Island.
Strategies for Change

Women’s advancement has come a long way since Confederation but the slow progress through the business ranks suggests we still have a long way to go in corporate Canada to fully harness the depth and breadth of our female talent. Alex Johnston will bust myths and raise awareness about obstacles and opportunities for women’s advancement. She will provide practical advice on steps we can take, as leaders, to initiate change in our own organizations and push others to do the same.

Alex_Johnston_1_09_2013Alex Johnston
Alex Johnston leads the Catalyst Canada office and is responsible for shaping a strategy for Catalyst’s continued growth and member engagement in Canada. 

Ms. Johnston comes to Catalyst with more than a decade of leadership experience in the public and private sectors.She practiced law, with a general corporate and commercial law practice in mergers and acquisitions, private placements and corporate re-organizations, at Goodmans LLP before joining the office of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in 2003, where she served as Executive Director of Policy. In this role, she worked closely with policy, community and business leaders and with senior members of government to develop, implement and communicate the Government’s agenda.Ms. Johnston is fluently bilingual and holds a BA, LLB, and BCL from McGill University.