Arnold Flowers from Oracle Talks Sponsorship, S.T.E.M. and Advice for Young Professionals

Oracle Canada is our sponsor for the Photoshop 101 workshop, and we could not run it without them! We interviewed Arnold Flowers, Director, Account Manager and a representative from Oracle who supports YWiB to find out more about Canada's biggest cloud services provider.

Tell us a bit about Oracle Canada and your role there. How many business lines are you involved with?

My role within Oracle is in its Marketing Cloud division (better known as #TEAMOMC). I lead a Results-Oriented Sales Team of Exemplary "Guidevocates" whose primary purpose is to 'Earn Lifelong Customers By Orchestrating their Marketing Transformation'. Additionally, I am the Community Leader for the Canadian Chapter of the Oracle African-American Business Leaders for Excellence (ABLE) Diversity Group.

Why do you think learning how to use computer programs like Photoshop is important?

It is imperative that we ensure that there is inclusionary access to the S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines for everyone. This is the only way we will ensure that we are not only attracting the best and the brightest talent, but also creating an environment where they can thrive.

We’re very thankful to have you as a sponsor, especially being such a big name in the tech world! How did you come to hear about Young Women in Business and what made you decide to sponsor us?

Chelsea Harding, who is not only a member of your Toronto Chapter, but is also an Account Manager on my Sales Team initially approached me about the sponsorship. This was an excellent opportunity for us to do our part in enacting Oracle’s Global S.T.E.M. initiative on a local level.

If you could give any piece of advice to a younger you starting out in the business world, what would it be?

Develop your narrative. Ensure that your goals (short term and long term) feed into that narrative. Use your success milestones to continuously evolve that narrative.

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YWiB's Director of Marketing Talks First Photoshop 101 Workshop

On Monday, June 20, join us for our first workshop of the year -- Photoshop 101! Leading the event is our very own Director of Marketing, Victoria Stacey. We asked her a few questions about her exciting role and what the workshop will offer young women.  

What do you do as the Marketing Director at YWiB Toronto? When we first started YWiB, I was doing a little bit of everything. There were only three of us at the time, Miranda, Olivia and myself, (Laura, Director of Fundraising, later joined the team), so I was responsible for everything from creative design to event planning to selecting materials we'd need for our events. Now, along with my Director of Promotions, we strategize and coordinate Content Marketing, PR, Social Media, and Graphic Design. I also help facilitate strategic partnerships and sponsorship.

Why do you think young women should know how to use Adobe Photoshop? What if you're in a field where you aren’t working with images or digital design at all? I think understanding how to use Photoshop is a great asset for anyone in the professional world and can often come in handy. Sure, you might not be designing layouts or logos regularly, but what happens if an opportunity arises for you to showcase skills outside of the ones you use day-to-day? Being able to speak up and say, "Hey, I can do that!" could save your organization money (no need to outsource for simple projects!), and shows you're willing to go above and beyond your job description.

How did you learn Photoshop? Tell us about your experience using the software. I've been using Photoshop for over 10 years and began to teach myself the software when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I started experimenting on an old program called Paint Shop Pro, which was very similar to Photoshop. Eventually, I was spending more time on the family computer than outside during the summer, much to my parents' and brothers' dismay. But, I learned a lot. I soon started building simple 'Piczo' websites and then moved onto working with HTML/CSS.

You were the editor-in-chief of Passion8 Magazine. How did your knowledge of creative design and design software help you to start your own publication and take on an editorial role? Passion8 started because I had a penchant for design, and wasn't able to express it creatively in the workplace. Having this knowledge of design, and the software to give it life, really drove the project forward. It allowed me to aid and mentor those who were just starting out with design software by giving them the opportunity to try their hand at designing, often for the first time. The editorial component was a natural progression. When you're a 'start-up' publication, with a team of volunteers, you're forced to do a lot of the work yourself. So, I began to immerse myself in the editorial side as well. Like I said, I've had websites and blogs my entire life, so writing and editing ended up feeling like natural next steps.

What do you enjoy the most about mentoring young women? Watching young women take the skills I've helped them develop, and apply them in the workforce or in their personal lives, is one of the most rewarding experiences. I've had the opportunity to work with and train students in my co-op programs, and seeing where they ended up is really amazing. The same goes for Passion8—so many of these young professionals include their Passion8 experience on their resumes, or use their pieces in their portfolios. Knowing that I was able to help them along in their careers is what means the most to me. I hope that we can do the same with YWiB.

Why partner with Oracle? Our partners at Oracle are really passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When one of our team members reached out to an Oracle representative to chat about the opportunity to host the workshop, her manager was overjoyed to help us out. Recently, Oracle announced that they will be partnering with the White House in a Global Campaign to Empower Girls and Women, so it was a great, timely fit.

If you could teach any workshop at all, what would it be? I took a course in university on Maker Culture where we explored the relationship between tech and hands-on making. I love crafts, I love design and I love tech. I'd love to learn more about the way these work together and share that with other young professionals.

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YWiB Toronto Launches Shatter 2016

TORONTO, ONMarch 6 2016 Young Women in Business is launching in Toronto with Shatter: Breaking the Glass Ceiling Conference

Vancouver based non-profit Young Women in Business (YWiB), is launching its first eastern Canadian chapter in Toronto with Shatter: Breaking the Glass Ceiling on March 26th. YWiB was founded in 2008 with a mandate to support the personal and professional advancement of young women and has since grown to include 7 chapters across 3 provinces.

In March 2015, a group of Toronto women noticed the lack of support and networks for young professional women starting their career. These women partnered with YWiB to extend the vision of the organization to Toronto. YWiB Toronto’s inaugural event Shatter is a conference for young women interested in exploring careers in traditional business and entrepreneurship through keynote speakers and panel discussion with industry leaders. This event is an opportunity to discuss the barriers that women face in successful launching their careers and businesses.

The date of the conference was chosen to coincide with International Women's Month, a time to celebrate the progress that women have made globally and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

The Toronto Chapter’s founding team consists of four recent graduates working in a variety of industries including X, Y,Z who have experienced first hand the importance of networking, mentorship and professional development to supporting the leadership development of young women.

The team invites you to kick off the launch of YWiB Toronto with speakers from Tangerine, Fidget Toys, the Ontario Ministry for Health and Long Term Care and many more. Join these speakers and over 70 other professionals as they discuss the current status of women in the workforce and how young women can make the most of their careers.

About Young Women in Business: Young Women in Business (YWiB) is a non-profit organization launched in 2008 in Vancouver with a mission to support the personal and professional development of young women. The network acts as the central forum to connect ambitious young women from a variety of careers, industries, and backgrounds. Since launching in 2008 in Vancouver, YWiB has expanded to 7 chapters across 3 provinces, with chapters in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and now Toronto.

The organization hosts numerous events and programs that provide members with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge, network with other like-minded individuals, and gain mentorship from industry leaders.

For more information contact:

Miranda McKie President Young Women in Business, Toronto

Qudsia Ahmed Chair, Board of Directors Young Women in Business Canada