International Women’s Day 2018 with Startup Canada’s #StartupWomen Talks

International Women’s Day 2018 with Startup Canada’s #StartupWomen Talks

This blog post was written by Skyfall Blue marketing intern, Tanvi Sharma.

 

I spent the first day of my internship at Rogers TV, my second day interviewing the Conductor of the NAC, and last Thursday night I celebrated International Women’s Day with my team at Startup Canada’s #StartupWomen Talks. At Skyfall Blue, no two days are the same.

 

International Women’s Day with Startup Canada

Startup Canada, a national community of 150,000 dedicated to the support of Canadian entrepreneurial efforts, has always rallied for the business community to embrace diversity and gender inclusivity. In partnership with BDC, Canada’s exclusive bank for entrepreneurs, Startup Canada hosted their #StartupWomen Talks event to #PressforProgress, in order to accelerate the economic potential of working women and female entrepreneurs. The evening was hosted by Kivuto Solutions, a Startup Canada community partner and Ottawa-based academic software organization.

 

Presented in partnership with co-sponsors Mastercard, recently named a Great Workplace for Women by Great Place to Work®, Microsoft Canada, and Intuit Canada, proceeds from from the event were donated to the United Way Spark Program, a local initiative dedicated to empowering women in Ottawa to become the faces of change in their communities.

 

The Intern Experience

As a young woman of colour with a keen interest in social entrepreneurship, I am always fascinated by female trailblazers and their journeys to success. While International Women’s Day is marked by a single date on the calendar, I truly believe that women who are able to combine innovation with the creation of opportunities for the underrepresented should be celebrated everyday.  They are the leaders of today, fostering the leaders of tomorrow – and there is so much to learn from them.

 

At Thursday night’s #StartupWomen talks, I was fortunate to hear from two such women – Eva Lau, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Two Small Fish Ventures, and Jennifer Flanagan, President and CEO of Actua.

 

What I learnt from Eva Lau and Jennifer Flanagan:

 

Use your identity as a woman to your advantage

As a female in the business world, you have the advantage of an alternate perspective. Male-dominated boardrooms often lack the insight you can bring, and this is a strength you should always leverage.

 

Encourage others:

Diversity, in all thoughts and forms, stems from the power of encouragement. Encourage women around you to speak up, ask questions, and make decisions. Encourage others to listen to women. To quote Eva Lau, “If everyone is encouraging each other to participate and encouraging diversity, Canada will be able to build the best products and future for the next generation. We are a country of diversity”.

 

Identify gaps and fill them:

Jennifer Flanagan works tirelessly in the pursuit of equality for First Nations youth and girls who lack the confidence and circumstances to pursue leadership, STEM, and digital literacy opportunities. Minorities are statistically underrepresented in these identified areas, and the business community as a whole must come together to provide solutions. If everyone is provided the same resources and opportunity, the sheer impact of a newly inclusive workforce would be unmatched – diversity isn’t just a nice thing to do, it makes economic sense.

 

Moving Forward

While I am often overwhelmed at the alarming amount of inequality in the world, attending events such as Startup Canada’s #StartupWomen Talks re-energizes my hope for a better tomorrow – one that I strive to contribute to with the utilization of my skills as a marketer. It’s been refreshing to intern at Skyfall Blue, an agency that has helped me seek out opportunities alongside the local business community in order to help foster my growth and development as a female professional.

 

Tanvi (right) with Stacey Rothbard of Skyfall Blue (left) and Marilou Moles of Twenty York Street (centre).

 

To follow Tanvi on her internship journey, you can find her on Twitter at @tvnvi.

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