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In the evolving business landscape, women face a multitude of challenges and obstacles both personally and professionally. The Women in Business Summit is carefully designed to empower and activate the community of female leaders across industries and collectively inspire them to aim higher to position themselves for success.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

Day 1 Agenda

8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:50 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Conference Welcome Remarks

Mollie Khine, Certified Coach and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie, Management & Leadership Consultant, Seasoned Facilitator, and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA, President & CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote Session

Women Who Are Solving the Biggest Challenges of our Times While Working on the World’s To-Do List

Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO

Five years ago, a new model for bringing women together to support, finance, and celebrate female entrepreneurs launched in Canada: SheEO.World. Vicki Saunders will be joining us to share the innovative ventures that have been catalyzed from this initiative. Get to know:

  • How Canadian women launched a global movement
  • The data supporting this unique model, plus why it’s so necessary given the dismal statistics of getting funded as a female entrepreneur
  • The incredible women from all over the world that are redesigning, reimagining, and rethinking the systems we live in to solve the biggest challenges of our times

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Networking Coffee Break

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Workshop: Deep Dive on Self-Discovery

Beth Wilson, Best-selling Author, Speaker and Intuitive Life Coach

When it comes to leadership in business, do women actually bring something unique to the table? The answer is a resounding YES! Yet, surprisingly, women often don’t know how to articulate their strengths, talents, communication styles, and competencies. The result? They are often misunderstood, have their ideas stolen, or their creativity is shut down. Join best-selling author Beth Wilson as she explores relevant case studies presented in her book, The Recovering Feminist: Empowering All People to Create a Whole World, in this 2-hour workshop on self-discovery. You will learn:

  • Communication styles based on brain science
  • How "common sense," "empathy," and "feminine intuition" help us meet today’s challenges and create innovative paths forward
  • How to leverage these skills more effectively, within a larger framework of understanding
  • The power of transformational leadership styles
  • Ways to work with others to directly apply the concepts presented and better equip yourself to create meaningful change.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Crushing Imposter Syndrome in Its Tracks

Denise K. Roy, Vice President of Human Resources, Cardinal Couriers

Most of us have experienced Imposter Syndrome at some point — you know, the feeling that, no matter how qualified you are, you’re not good enough to be doing what you’re doing. Anyone can suffer from this syndrome, but it is often women who spend inordinate amounts of time attributing our successes to luck. In this session, Denise Roy will teach you how to crush Imposter Syndrome… before it crushes your confidence! You will learn:

  • The psychology behind the syndrome
  • Why more women experience this phenomenon than men
  • Seven key steps to stop Imposter Syndrome in its tracks

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Networking Coffee Break

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote Session

Overcoming Unconscious Bias and Succeeding as a Female in Business

Fotini Iconomopoulos, Negotiation and Communication Expert, Keynote Speaker, Professor, Trainer & Advisor

Fotini was nicknamed “the negotiator” as a child. Why? Because she was never afraid to go after what she wanted — extending bedtime, and later curfew, was her specialty — or to channel her passion into helping others. Today, professionals and executives regularly consult her to achieve their business goals and sharpen their negotiation game.

But things weren’t always easy for Fotini. She endured many struggles and challenges along her path to success. Her experiences in an industry primarily dominated by men inspired her to start coaching and mentoring women — and she’s taking the stage to share her story and the lessons she learned along the way. Walk away with a better understanding of:

  • How to develop the confidence to take on whatever challenges may come your way
  • Behaviours and actions that reinforce biases and stereotypes towards women
  • Effective communication and negotiation skills to help you get what you want

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Day 1 Wrap-up Remarks & Open Forum Discussion

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Cocktail Reception including Meet & Greet and Book Signing with Beth Wilson

If you enjoyed Beth Wilson’s workshop on the unique skillet and communication styles women bring to the table, this is your opportunity to meet her in person, ask your burning questions, and buy a signed copy of her book -- while sipping a cocktail and enjoying some light snacks.

The Recovering Feminist weaves memoir, prescient social critique, and stimulating interviews with today’s change agents to cast a compelling vision for reclaiming our true locus of power: love in action.

Beth’s books have sold over 1.4 million copies and have been translated into 12 languages.

4:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Facilitated Networking Cocktail Reception

Using Humour to Build Soft Skills: How Improvisation Can Take your Storytelling, Listening, and Networking Skills to the Next Level

Karen Parker & Ashley Comeau, Second City Alums & Corporate Facilitators

Second City alumni, Karen Parker and Ashley Comeau, will share improvisation techniques that enable self-discovery, help overcome imposter syndrome, build resilience in the face of adversity and chaos, and navigate change.

Blended with our networking event, this fun and interactive session will help you "level up" your improv & agility skills in a relaxed and collaborative environment.

You will learn:

  • How to acknowledge, validate, and build on other people’s contributions while simultaneously building rapport, momentum, and creativity
  • When to give and take control within a conversation
  • How the right word choice and definitive, declarative statements can bring clarity and confidence

Day 2 Agenda

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Day 2 Conference Welcome Remarks

Mollie Khine, Certified Coach and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie, Management & Leadership Consultant, Seasoned Facilitator, and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Opening Keynote Session

Building Resilience in The Face of Adversity, Stress and Chaos

Amanda Lindhout, New York Times Bestselling Author| Expert on Resilience, Survival, and Optimal Mindset

In 2008, journalist Amanda Lindhout travelled to Somalia to report from “the most dangerous place on earth.” Instead, she spent 460 days as a hostage, surviving on strategy, fortitude, and hope.

Her story of survival reveals life-changing insights into mind conditioning. Amanda’s physical and mental pain led to a pivotal moment of understanding: Despite everything, she still had choice and control over the mindset with which she faced each day. Using conviction, affirmation, gratitude, and positive thinking, Amanda survived the unimaginable. A captivating and unforgettable speaker, Amanda facilitates a shift in consciousness, empowering the audience to transform stories of pain into stories of power.

Walk away with:

  • Coping strategies that strengthen resilience
  • An understanding of which qualities enable not only survival, but the capacity to thrive in the face of adversity
  • Takeaways to develop new thought habits
  • A newfound motivation to take on challenges with a new perspective

9:35 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

How Maximizing Generational Differences Is The Key To Thriving Companies

Dr. Karyn Gordon, Leadership & Relationship Experts; Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker on Emotional Intelligence and Multi-Generational Workforce

Many Gen X, Boomer, and traditionalist managers admit that effectively leading their Gen Y employees is a challenge. From quitting without warning, to making unrealistic demands on the job, to needing constant feedback, this generation can come across as inflexible, entitled, and even needy.

The great news is that Gen Ys are not only open to learning and evolving — after all, they are the most educated generation in history — but they are also hungry to advance professionally. In addition, this generation of workers has many outstanding (and often overlooked) skills that organizations don’t fully utilize. In this session, Dr. Karyn Gordon will reveal the key to motivating this unique generation, and explore how managers should be exercising their power of influence, not their power of authority.

You will learn:

  • How to understand the “cultural DNA” of all 5 generations (including Gen Z)
  • How Gen Y is different from previous generations – and why this is critical to leading them effectively
  • How to uncover and maximize the powerful strengths of Gen Y
  • 3 practical strategies to effectively understand, lead, and motivate Gen Y

10:20 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Networking Coffee Break

10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

Select One

Business Leadership Stream

The Predictive Power of AI

Kenton White, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Advanced Symbolics Inc.

True or false: AI and machine learning are the same thing.

In this presentation, Kenton White, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist of Advanced Symbolics Inc. (ASI), will help separate the myths from reality. Using real-world case studies, his hands-on presentation will demonstrate how organizations can use AI to increase sales, find efficiencies, detect financial fraud, and optimize performance in any organization.

Walk away with a better understanding of:

  • What AI truly is
  • AI’s predictive powers
  • How AI can help improve all aspects of an organization, from operations to sales, marketing, HR, and cybersecurity

People Leadership Stream

How to Ask Better Questions

Mollie Khine, Certified Coach and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie, Management & Leadership Consultant, Seasoned Facilitator & Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Thoughtful questions change the quality of our interactions at work — and in our day-to-day lives.

Co-creators of Convers(ate), Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie and Mollie Khine, will share simple yet powerful anecdotes and specific techniques to teach you how to ask better questions and elevate your conversation.

This session will help you re-program your communication style to better enable you to tap into the most powerful communication tool you have: the question mark.

You will learn:

  • Techniques for quickly directing your professional conversations to topics that are most interesting and valuable to your clients
  • How to ask questions that invite others to share “next level” information that you need to succeed
  • How to ask follow-up questions that are relevant, genuine, and help effectively build relationships

Personal Leadership Stream

Fireside Chat: Secrets to Achieving Work-Life Balance for Parents

Larissa K. Holmes, VP of Talent, Borrowell

Jennifer Linthwaite, Director, Member Events, CPA Ontario

Lorena Scott, Head of People Operations, Ritual.co

The juggle is real. Women are working more than ever before, and yet they still take on more of the household chores and child-rearing than their males counterparts.

It’s called emotional labour, and it’s just one of many reasons why it’s so critical that women prioritize work-life balance, or what our speakers call work-life integration when heading back to work after baby.

This session will teach you:

  • Tips for juggling a dual-career family
  • Ways to tell if a company will support you as an employee AND as a parent
  • How to have tough conversations about your personal life at work

11:50 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Mollie Khine, Certified Coach and Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie, Management & Leadership Consultant, Seasoned Facilitator & Co-Creator, Convers(ate)

Join us for a unique dining experience where we’ll skip the small talk and participate in a whole table conversation that is sure to get you talking, thinking, and — of course — eating! Each table will have a facilitator to keep the conversation going and the fun flowing. Relax, enjoy a delicious meal, create connections that will last well beyond the conference and earn CPD hours while at it.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Select One

Business Leadership Stream

Practical Guide to Navigating Change Management: Mindset for the Future

Candice Faktor, Managing Partner, Faktory Ventures

Ready to learn how to develop a resilient, courageous mindset and prepare for an uncertain, chaotic future?

Candice Faktor, Managing Partner of Faktory Ventures, will draw on her experience as a tech leader, investor, and entrepreneur to talk about the kind of mindset shift that is necessary to embrace new models of business and adapt to the changing paradigm of uncertainty.

In this session, she will cover 3 key concepts: taking space (literally and figuratively), embracing chaos, and owning our impact. You will learn:

  • Techniques to create clear, unemotional thinking
  • Ways to find signal in the noise and lean into the unknown with curiosity, courage, and resilience
  • How to take responsibility for our impact in a world where complex systems often create unintended consequences

People Leadership Stream

Panel: The Importance of Female Mentorship for Professional and Personal Growth

Katya Shtrachman, Employer Relations Manager, CPA Ontario

David Lao, CPA, Financial Analyst, Department of National Defence; Board Committee at CPA Canada; 2017 CFE National Honour Roll; CPA Mentor

Christina Dookhoo, CPA, CGA, Controllership Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services; CPA Mentor

Roshni Maharaj, Financial Advisor, The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, CPA Student & Mentee

Janelle Maregmen, CPA, CA, Director of Solutions Advisory Services, AuditBoard; CPA Mentor

If you ask an accomplished professional how they got to where they are today, chances are that they will give some credit to a more experienced individual in their field, someone who was willing to guide them through the steps to success.

This session is hosted by CPA Ontario, draws from experiences from mentors and mentees in both work and life experiences, including experiences from the CPA Mentorship Program. Our panelists will share how these relationships have transformed both their professional and personal lives, and how you can take advantage of this powerful tool too.

You will learn:

  • The impact of mentorship, and why you should consider becoming a mentor or a mentee at some point in your life
  • Where to start and what to consider
  • The dynamics of mentorship relationships
  • Why being a good mentor makes you a successful leader
  • The role of mentorship in developing skills and confidence

Personal Leadership Stream

Personal Finance Tips for Women

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA, TEP, Partner, CEO, and Senior Financial Planner, Spring Financial Planning

Is financial planning really different for women?

The short answer is: YES. Find out why, and learn how you can take advantage of those differences with Julia Chung, co-author of Women & Money.

This session will cover:

  • Ways to increase your earnings
  • Tips for tackling debt
  • How to confidently manage personal cash flow
  • Where to start saving first, how to think about all the different types of investment accounts, and understanding your own comfort with risk

3:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Short Refreshment Break/Switch Rooms

3:10 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Closing Keynote Session

Leadership Lessons from Madame Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada

Michaelle Jean, Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Twenty-seventh Governor General of Canada; Unesco Special Envoy for Haiti; Third Secretary General of La Francophonie

What constitutes a leader? In this captivating talk, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean offers accounts of selfless acts of leadership by everyday Canadians — at home and abroad. As the first Black woman to occupy Canada’s highest office, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, she candidly reflects on the experiences and lessons that shaped her views on teamwork and leadership. It’s an unforgettable keynote delivered by one of our country’s most inspiring role models.

You will learn:

  • How she redefined the role by actively engaging in social issues, defending marginalized people, and fiercely upholding the rules of democracy, justice, and universal rights and freedoms for all
  • How she learned to face and overcome adversities, plus her personal strategies for adapting to change
  • Stories from her decades-long career in diplomacy and her extensive travels across the globe

4:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Conference Wrap-up Remarks & Open Forum Q&A