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May 10, 2017

The Truth About the Gap: Encouraging Leadership Diversity with the Pinnacle Series

Passionate about growing leaders of tomorrow and encouraging women in our community to prosper, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Crowe MacKay for a 2nd year bringing you The Pinnacle Series on May 17th from 7:30 am - 9:00 am. Guest speaker Cybele Negris, CEO and Co-Founder of Webnames.ca will share with the audience her biggest takeaway points and lessons learned after co-founding her own business and taking on diverse leadership roles throughout her career.

“We hope to engage the whole community,” says Martine Hickman, Co-Chair of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Network. “The topic of women’s leadership and gender parity needs to be discussed with both men and women. The barriers are something that affect each of us at the end of the day and we need to be able to have these conversations openly.” 

To stress the importance of gender parity, our team has collected an assortment of facts on the topic. Research collected by WE FOR SHE Vancouver shows that:

1. Based on the pace of change from the past 20 years, it will take over 200 years to achieve gender parity. 

2. It can be seen that on average women make 72 cents to every dollar earned by a man. That can result in a pay difference of over $8,100 per year! 

3. They also found that disparities exist not only in a substantial pay gap, but in the number of leadership positions held, and in the amount of venture capital funding received. While women own over one-third of small businesses in BC, they receive less than 4% of venture capital financing available.

4. The stats surrounding women in leadership positions are just as astonishing. While women make up 47.3% of the workforce, they only make up 5.3% of CEOs, and in America there are more male CEOs named ‘John’ than there are female CEOs in total. 

There is a strong case for women in business. Research by McKinsey states that by narrowing the gender gap there could actually be a $28 trillion dollar economic opportunity world-wide by 2025. 

Catalyst found that companies with an equal number of women on their boards have higher ROI. 

 “We need to face gender parity and focus on inclusion practices and finding ways to accelerate diversity among our workplaces. The evidence speaks for itself,” says Hickman. 

“We want to encourage everyone to champion females in their networks. Help them get to where they strive to be. Events like this are a perfect resource for learning and an excellent opportunity for leadership development to share with your colleagues, staff and mentors/mentees. We hope to see you out for what promises to be a great event!” 

The Pinnacle Series is a speaker series hosted twice per year aimed at women interested in leading. With the support of Crowe MacKay, we bring in national level speakers to share their stories and top tips for tackling stumbling blocks along the path to leadership. 

Tickets to our next upcoming event on May 17th are $20 with all proceeds from the event going back into the community to further the growth and development of female leaders. To purchase your ticket or for more information, please click here or visit kelownachamber.org/events.