5 Ways to Make Leadership a Reality: A Recap of the Beyond Conference 2016

5 Ways to Make Leadership a Reality: A Recap of the Beyond Conference 2016

When is the last time you felt so inspired that you wanted to stop right in the middle of something to chase a dream? Beyond: Lead Through Action was a conference put on by YWiB that at numerous times made you want to run out to try a new strategy with your team, apply for the ‘unattainable’ job or pursue your passion. A room full of ambitious, curious and fun women (and some men!) spent November 19th engaging with well-known leaders in the community and learning applicable skills, all while making valuable connections with people from different fields. With an incredible line up with speakers, panelists and workshops, there were a lot of takeaways. Here are some of the ways the attendees learned to uncover leadership skills.

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To applicant's of 2014's BP Team: Some useful advice from 2012's Chairs

Last year’s Beyond Pink brought together an amazing 150 delegates, 40 tradeshow exhibitors, 35 mentors, and 20 high profile speakers and business leaders for a phenomenal weekend. We were honoured to be part of the organizing process and took away many invaluable lessons. The importance of working with a fantastic team was definitely one of our leading achievements and a source of constant support. These were some of our other highlights: Vision.

One of the greatest benefits of co-chairing a conference is the chance to create the vision, from scratch to finish. You steer the direction, content and structure of a conference that you would want to attend, with speakers you’d want to hear from.

Your scribbled notebook ideas become a reality for 150 people. How amazing is that!


Not only do you get to work with some of the top business leaders in Vancouver, you also get to hand-pick your executive team. What skills are most important for your team? What personalities do you want in the room? How do you cover the gaps? You recruit, evaluate and bring everyone together!

Team dynamics.

After you handpick your awesome team of young professionals, you become responsible for leading everyone towards your united conference vision. You will learn how to work with different personalities and communication styles, how to provide clear directions on next steps while encouraging a level of creativity and independence, how to celebrate big victories and encourage the team after set-backs, and finally, how to guide the mood in the room.

You’ll learn how critical it is to maintain the right balance between excitement, ambition, anxiety and stress. And you’ll recognize that throughout all the shifting and changing details of the event, your team will be your steady backbone.

Negotiation (and creative spending).

Young Women in Business is a non-profit organization with a vision to make leadership opportunities available for all young women. This means working on a budget. A tight budget. You get to be creative to get what you want - anything from hotels, to sponsors, to food.

There’s no better opportunity to hone the skill of negotiation!

Mental toughness.

A conference of this scale might seem intimidating. It might seem too big, too complicated, or too time-consuming. But one of the biggest lessons we learned was our personal capacity to adapt and get the most out of our time. Even with full-time day jobs and other personal commitments, we always managed to find a couple of extra hours for the conference and our team. Through dedication and excitement, we even found Beyond Pink to be a source of energy - more fuel - to do just a bit more every day. And when set-backs happen, you develop a mental toughness, an unrivaled optimism, that will see you through to success.

Amazing women.

This isn’t a job. Neither you nor your team get paid yet you all invest your valuable time and skills to make something amazing happen. Who wouldn’t want to work with such talent and altruism?

You experiment, you learn, and you grow from start to finish.

Janelle+Iva BP 2012 co-chairs

Beyond Pink 2012: It's back!

“As a women, it’s high time to {re}think our approach, {re}define our roles, and {re}start our careers” – Beyond Pink Team 2012 Beyond Pink is BACK and promises to be BIGGER and BETTER than ever! The last Beyond Pink conference was in 2010 and perhaps the saying is true, distance (in this case, time) does make the heart grow fonder. It must be true because this year’s Beyond Pink team couldn’t be more enthusiastic, inspired and ready for action as they put together the plans for this year’s conference.

For those who need a reminder and those who missed out on previous conferences (such as myself), Beyond Pink is a 2-day business leadership conference for young women in Vancouver. It’s aimed at providing them with professional and personal development. Why do we host Beyond Pink? Because we believe women have the potential to change the future of business and even though there aren’t enough opportunities to make this happen, Beyond Pink exists to fill the gap between potential and achievement!

Beyond Pink wants to showcase the possibility and inspire career fearlessness by bringing together different sectors of business. Set to happen in early November in downtown Vancouver, I for one am VERY excited!

Have we peaked your interest?

Stay tuned for more teasers and tidbits of information over the following months on an event that is not to be missed!  :)

YWiB SFU is "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures"

Written by Michaela Klassen, Marketing & Communications, International Women's Day Conference Last year, YWiB’s SFU chapter had the pleasure of hosting their first annual International Women’s Day conference.  The sold-out event was a truly inspirational day, featuring amazing speakers, a great panel session and plenty of new connections and friendships.  YWiB SFU will once again be hosting their signature event, but this year everything is bigger and better!

Following this year’s theme, “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”, the event will be focused on making connections between people and experiences.  While most of us are, in fact, “Young Women in Business,” the event is relevant to girls from any industry and faculty.  Our keynote speakers will discuss challenges that all women face, such as over-coming adversity and achieving your dreams.  The panel will  discuss a variety of questions regarding the unique challenges women face in today’s world and ways to overcome them.  This year’s event will also feature entertainment and an expo showcasing entrepreneurs, start-ups, and non-profit organizations dedicated to women’s rights and advancement.

One of the panelists, Detective Lisa Kofod of the VPD, expressed how excited she is to be involved with this event as she feels it’s important to fill in the information gaps for women working in a male dominated industry.  How do we encourage women to find careers in roles that are often interpreted as unconventional?  According to Lisa, it‘s all about knowledge.  From her experiences, Lisa has observed that most often, women become interested in working for the VPD through their partners or spouses.  “Women often accompany their partner to the application process or information sessions and find that the VPD has more to offer than what society assumes.  By providing information sessions and getting involved with events like YWiB SFU's International Women's Day, we can provide women with the knowledge that is often missing regarding career possibilities in such a male-dominated industry as policing.”

For one of our keynote speakers, Anna Rice, the battle for women’s equality continues to be a top priority. As a member of the Canadian National Badminton Team, Anna has been an advocate for women's equality in badminton for all of her career.  One of the main highlights comes from her fight for equal salaries amongst female and male badminton players; it isn't easy to represent yourself in a world of athleticism dominated by the male superiority.  From the number of male athletes compared to females, to the average salaries between both genders, there are many inequalities that remain in the athletic world today.  It used to be that the females would play shorter games than the male players, and that was the justification for the unequal salaries.  However, when the rules changed and games became equal lengths, Anna took it upon herself to fight for equal wages.

Ultimately, this event will give students and professionals alike the opportunity to connect with other like-minded, motivated individuals who are interested in bettering the situation for women everywhere.

For more information about the International Women’s Day conference, check out www.ywib.ca/sfu/iwd/.  Tickets are on sale now!!  Be sure to follow @YWiBSFU and check out #IWDsfu on Twitter to join the conversation and for more conference updates!