Women in Leadership Laurier hosts conference

/

Photo by Luke Sarazin

Women in Leadership Laurier (WILL) hosted their annual leadership conference this past Sunday on March 25.

WILL held the  conference at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics  building located at Wilfrid Laurier University. The conference was an all day event running from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

The conference this year was called ‘WILL to Succeed,’ and included a TEDx speaker, a Unilever workshop, and speed networking component. This event was meant to give students valuable skills which will contribute to future employment.

“[Here at] WILL, we promote having women in the workforce and promote events such as this one today,” Co-president of WILL, Olivia Lewis said.

“We bring in a variety of women and men to share their experiences on how they were able to get where they are today.”

Co-presidents Olivia Lewis and Victoria Mastroianni explained that the conference was used to empower members and give out information to contribute to professional advancement.

“We try to bring in a wide variety of corperate people to give our members a very wide range of opinions and expertise,” Lewis said,

“[Our keynote speaker today] was not [focusing on] typical bank[ing] or accounting, she was able to help our members with [life-skills].”

This year, WILL partnered with Donahue Learning and Unilever to create case studies and speaker presentations.

In addition to running info sessions, the group also organized mentorship lunches: “[an] opportunity for students to get paired up with an industry professional and their choice of interest and have the ability to use that connection in the future. Whether it’s for personal or professional career advice.”

“We just had a keynote speech by Dr. Mary Donohue, who is the CEO of Donohue Learning. She is a TEDx talk speaker, a writer, she kind of does it all. The main goal of her business is she helps teach people how to digitally communicate,” Lewis said.

“This was an approach that was different from the [rest] of our events.”

In addition to the WILL to Succeed conference, WILL hosts many other events which contribute to the professional, career and personal development of their members.

“Our breakout workshop is going to be facilitated by Unilever on key things that hold women back from succeeding,” WILL explained in a post on their Facebook page.

“[We do these workshops because it] also allow[s] our members to [find confidence] through networking or through these women’s [speeches] to go out to these job interviews and be able to sell themselves in the best way.

We are trying to help with soft skills that [aren’t always] taught in the classroom,” Mastroianni explained.

This conference was one of many events held throughout the year, Mastroianni said.

The executive team of WILL has also been proud to host a number of informative workshops for students to attend.

In addition to running info sessions, the group also organized mentorship lunches: “[an] opportunity for students to get paired up with an industry professional and their choice of interest and have the ability to use that connection in the future. Whether it’s for personal or professional career advice.”

Mastroianni explained that the events WILL hosts are meant to  help students gain confidence and develop skills needed in the workforce.

“Along with the networking, it’s about having students come and succeed in the workplace. [A lot of] these students are applying for summer jobs, co-op, or full-time. We are looking … for what tools we need,”Mastroianni said.

“The hard and soft tools … and this event really targets that, looks at [it], and finds ways [to] have women be more confident and do these things. That’s why we host events like [WILL to Suceed Conference] in the first place,” Mastroianni said.


Leave a Reply

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.