‘You HAVE to believe in yourself’, Carly Jokic told the group of 130 women who attended our event last week when we partnered with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Carly, the Director of Communications at the Whitecaps, was speaking of her experience from breaking out of the Tech industry and overcoming the challenges of everyone telling her she’d never break into sports. She knew it was what she wanted and was selected out of hundreds of applicants to lead the communications at VANOC.

Katie Tarrant, a professional soccer play who started with the Whitecaps Women’s program, brought a fresh perspective to the panel as a woman playing professional sports. She spoke about being grateful for the opportunities that Vancouver provides for women in sport. “There is an equality here that doesn’t exist everywhere.” Her example was from her time spent playing for Chelsea FC in the U.K. where she was told that ‘women don’t play soccer.’

Rachel Lewis, COO of the ‘Caps, spoke to the importance of leading with a vision. Rachel has been a part of the team since 2002 and was instrumental in leading the team to their MLS debut last season. They lead by their three pillars – and refer to them to make decisions. She also spoke of the importance of teamwork, and cultivating it by getting to know the individuals on your team. Rachel makes an effort each week to check in with everyone on her team, and in the office.

Nicole Braam, President of YWiB SFU, was the moderator for the evening and really brought out the best of our panelists. Her thought provoking questions gave attendees an intimate look into the experiences of the panelists, and the Whitecaps organization.

It was an incredible night to celebrate women. As the panel wrapped up and we went to find our seats, the stadium erupted in cheers as Team Canada’s bronze medal women’s soccer team took the field!

We had a great night! A big thank you to our partners at the Whitecaps!