Beyond Pink's Speakers: Sneak a peek!

  Faye Wightman, President and CEO, Vancouver Foundation

Faye is one of Canada’s philanthropic leaders as the President and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation. She brings to the Foundation a strong conviction that philanthropy can and should play a powerful role in shaping society. Since her arrival in 2005, she has led Canada’s largest community foundation through a number of important changes designed to increase its impact in BC communities.

Prior to joining Vancouver Foundation, Faye was President of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for 14 years and then spent two years as Vice President of External Relations at the University of Victoria. She has served as an Executive Director for Sunny Hill Foundation for Children, as well as Campaign Director for the United Way of the Lower Mainland.

She is on several boards, most notably: Imagine Canada, Emily Carr University and BC Housing. Her influence has been recognized by Vancouver Magazine, where she has made their Power 50 list twice. As well, in 2004 she was one of five women honoured with the “Influential Women in Business Award,” an annual award presented by Business in Vancouver magazine.


Katie Ainsworth, Creative Director, Ainsworth Communications

Katie has created many award-winning and memorable campaigns across every medium imaginable in her twenty years in advertising. Starting her career in Toronto, she also worked in San Francisco during the dot-com boom then fled to Vancouver during the dot-com bust.

Her resume includes stints at Cossette, Y&R, BBDO, TBWA and Rethink––where she was both a Creative Director and a Partner. In 2010, Katie became a freelance writer and now enjoys the luxury of only working with companies and people she truly believes in. (Yes, she used a preposition at the end of a sentence and is totally okay with that decision.)

Katie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in European History and Germanic Studies from the University of Victoria. It has not been terribly useful, to be perfectly honest. She also mentors young writers through the not-for-profit group AdGirls.


Sandy Thompson, Global Planning Director, Y&R

Sandy Thompson is the Global Planning Director at Y&R and has been working in the advertising world for over 20 years, she is regarded as one of the industry’s most innovative and productive strategists, always working with her clients to find the truth behind what people do, not what they say.

How does she do it? She accepts every opportunity to give her clients a new and fresh perspective. She takes the time to dig in to how people feel about brands, listens to what they are saying and digs into consumer’s lives by taking the time to feel what is important to them.

Sandy believes that opportunities surround us – you just have to put yourself out there to not only find them, but to do something with them.

Check out the rest of the speakers AND mentors on Beyond Pink's website

Easy as 1-2-3? Sheryl Sandberg thinks so.

Sheryl Sandberg is Mark Zuckerberg’s second-in-command.  Yes, that Mark Zuckerberg.  Sheryl is Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, and since joining the social network giant in 2008, has forged a strong partnership with its elusive founder and made a name for herself both online and off amongst techies and businesspeople alike.  Sheryl is also a strong advocate for women empowerment, particularly in the workplace.  Her talk at TED in 2010 about why we have too few women leaders comes up as one of the first three results on Google when you search for her. The clip is about 15 minutes long, and in it you’ll see a polished, well-spoken, commanding woman who is obviously the envy of the crowd she’s addressing.  When Sheryl Sandberg talks, people listen.  At TED, Sheryl discusses a problem – women are not at the top of any career sector, from technology to non-profit, and haven’t been for a while.  How do we change this?  She breaks it down to three pieces of advice:

1)     Sit at the table.  Women systematically underestimate themselves and their abilities, and tend to attribute success to external factors for which they are not responsible.  This translates to women standing off to the side and purposely not joining the guys at the table, even though they probably belong there, discussing deals, proposing ideas and taking credit for results.  “No one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side,” Sheryl says.  So, own your success – sit at the table!

2)     Make your partner your real partner.  In couples where both partners have full-time jobs, women tend to perform a disproportionate amount of housework and child care.  Basically, we’re trying to equalize things in the workplace, but we haven’t yet equalized things at home.  Home life duties need to fall to both partners, and it has to be valued – no matter who is doing the work.

3)     Don’t leave before you leave.  Women who are thinking about the next big thing in their lives get trapped in a mindset that makes them forget about the present.  Sheryl advises to keep your foot on the gas pedal all the time.  Keep engaging, keep learning, and keep challenging yourself – up until you move on to the next chapter.

What I loved about Sheryl’s talk at TED is that she addresses a very real, very big issue – but offers us small, doable chunks of guidance that, when done one at a time, or in baby steps, can have significant, sizeable impact.  Not enough women in leadership positions?  How can I – one woman – affect any kind of change to shift this statistic?  Well, I personally can start by saying a simple “thank you” at my department meetings when I’m complimented on the success of a major project.  I always say “it was a team effort and I just worked with some great people.”  I can also quit beginning some of my sentences with “This may have been done before, and it might sound kind of dumb, but here’s my idea.”

Do you, dear YWiB-ers, agree with Sheryl’s tips and tricks?  Is it that easy?  Can we change the way things are by employing her three tactics outlined at TED?  What’s something you can do to help move women onward and upward?

And for your viewing pleasure...

Leadership Lessons Transcend the Workplace

Submitted by Christina Low, YWiB Marketing Team - photo c/o In November 2011, 12 lucky girls had the opportunity to attend the 3rd annual Leadership Lessons from Influential Women in Business, presented by Business in Vancouver and the Professional Women’s Network with support from YWiB.  Sponsored by Fasken Martineau and  Vancity, and taking place at the Marriott Pinnacle in downtown Vancouver, this half day forum consisted of interactive panel discussions with some of BC's most influential business women; networking time and lunch.  This year’s overarching theme was Leadership - understanding the opportunity and the challenge, with discussions digging deeper into topics such as how to develop your personal leadership strategy, how gender affects business relationships and developing your leadership plan to strategically achieve your leadership goals.

YWiB was well-represented and of course, took away some great learnings from the afternoon.  Myriam Choma of UBC was grateful for the chance to attend and glean some inside info on the workings of the male/female work dynamic and how to succeed in both the workplace and life.  There were some surprises, too - “As a student who has not yet had to break out into the "big bad" working world, I was both shocked and outraged to hear of the harassment some of the delegates had experienced from male coworkers or superiors,” she reflected post-event.  “However, I was extremely grateful that they could use these experiences to produce thought-provoking discussions that had both the panel and delegates bringing some important lessons to light. From these discussions, I realized just how important it is to be passionate about your work, and that it is this passion which will provide you with both the will and motivation to overcome difficult situations like these. The wonderful panel also helped us understand that leadership is not always about being the first person out, making the decision. Stepping back, listening to others and contemplating decisions from the outside can be just as effective a method. These are lessons which I know will serve to be useful not just in my future workplace, but also in life in general.”

YWiB member Kiran Nagra agreed.  "I am so glad that YWiB provided me with the opportunity to attend BiV’s Leadership Lessons!” she said.  “Getting the chance to connect with successful professional women from all backgrounds and participating in the panel discussions left me feeling inspired, equipped with invaluable advice and information, and ready to take on the world!"

YWiB is proud to work in partnership with other womens' business groups such as Business in Vancouver and the Professional Women’s Network to offer opportunities like Leadership Lessons to our members and other young women in the community.  We are excited to do so again in the near future, so keep watching this space for more upcoming events!