YWiB opened up my eyes to the world. Provided the opportunity to meet inspiring female leaders in the community. Introduced the concept of organic mentorships. Welcomed new perspectives and fresh ideas. Showed the power of investing in women. Embraced the ambitious, independent, globally and socially conscious woman. Made networking fun and exciting. Taught the business skills essential in developing new initiatives. After transferring from the University of Western Ontario in my third year following a small set-back in my life, YWiB was just in its beginning stages with the planning of the first-ever Beyond Pink conference. Fast-track one year and a coffee chat later and I was sitting with a group of six talented ladies at a YWiB@UBC meeting heading up logistics to plan the upcoming YWiB non-profit organization panel discussion. At this point, I only knew vaguely what YWiB was about especially from a background in science. Now, almost 9 months later, I have learned that YWiB is what you make it to be; how a few like-minded, ambitious women can inspire and empower women and how beneficial a network like this is especially for women just entering the first few years of their career.
On a personal level, YWiB caught me in a moment when I wanted to change the way I lived my life. I wanted to become more engaged in my community, wanted a supportive group that would give me the confidence to pursue the things I was passionate about, I wanted to learn more about business, and wanted to be able to contribute to something I genuinely believed in. YWiB helped me achieve all of that. The non-profit organization panel discussion in January introduced me to interesting women who came from similar backgrounds as me. At the Invest In Women event I learned the importance of connecting women in the fight to end global poverty through discussions with Jacki Zehner, Christine Grumm, and Jensine Larsen. These two events led me to found and direct an international health conference at UBC where students learned about the major challenges and opportunities in international health, from the role of maternal and infant health in alleviating poverty to ethical implications of international service.
YWiB is organically teaching women to become leaders in society. She is pairing women with diverse interests and a high level of ambition and providing new avenues for innovation. She is showing how important it is to have a committed group of individual – specialists in different fields – to tackle the bigger things in life like poverty, health, and education.
I have been away for most of the summer working and traveling in SE Asia, but am amazed at how much time and effort the team has put forth to have the organization at where it is today. We are in the works of organizing unique events like Beyond Pink, a business series for non-business students, and an “unconference” conference. We are providing opportunities for women to get involved in the community under our philanthropic wing. We are creating new ways for women to network. We are being bold when people thought we were crazy.
YWiB has come a long way and I feel so honoured to be a part of it. I hope your time with us will inspire you to begin building your own story...