Branch Out at YWiB Vancouver’s Spring Vino Chat

Ahh, Springtime has arrived! Bits of sunshine, warmer temperatures, and the longer days are giving us energy to take life on headfirst.

Spring is synonymous with “new growth”, so challenge yourself to carry that theme into your professional life. Come crawl out of your Wintery daze, dust off the ol’ networking skills and come see what other young professionals in this city are up to. It's so easy to feel content with our usual circles and routines, but it's important to have a social-aspect to your career...this is exactly where those unexpected opportunities and offers often come from.

With that, YWiB Vancouver’s Spring Vino Chat is a perfect place to branch out and connect with some new people. Drop by for a quick hello, or stay to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail ($1 off with your registration) and grab a bite while you’re there. Either way, we’d love to see you, and you’ll likely leave with a new friend or two.

Meet us at…

The Butcher & Bullock Thursday, March 27th 6:30pm (but don’t forget to register!)

We recommend bringing personal or business cards for easy info swapping ;)

‘Til then!

YWiB Van

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

Join us at Downward Dog, Upward Thinking!

Happy Friday! join us for our upcoming workshop: Downward Dog, Upward Thinking: A Mind, Body + Career session with Matt Corker

a joint event between the YWiB UBC and YWiB Vancouver, YWiB invites you to join a master of motivation and inspiration, Matt Corker, International Operations Specialist at lululemon. Matt will not only help you tap into your strengths, you'll leave his workshop with the tools to carry yourself along the track to success. join us for a 45 minute yoga session followed by an intention- and goal-setting workshop on Tuesday, October 29th!

not big on yoga? don't let that stop you, this sessions is for any yoga-level (including us beginners) and will offer an opportunity to relax your mind and focus your sights on what you want most in your life!

limited space is available so please, register today!

when | tuesday, oct 29th 7:30-9:30pm where | yaletown roundhouse, room B (181 roundhouse mews) cost | $10 for YWiB Vancouver members + non-members* dress | yoga attire or relaxed casual bring | paper + pen, your yoga mat, a water bottle, your aspirations + a girlfriend *YWiB UBC members, please bring your membership card for free entry

Make University Count. Grow Your Network at YWiB!

YWiB’s university chapters have experienced tremendous growth over the last couple years. YWiB SFU has doubled in size, and with our two new chapters, the expansion is living proof that the connections, workshops, and opportunities that members get at YWiB have been truly valuable, on top of being tons of fun! If you're in university and are interested in making long-term connections, inspiring and being inspired by like-minded, passionate and driven women, join YWiB! As we all know (repeat after me!), "it's not what you know, it's who you know" -- well, YWiB wants to know you!

As of September 2013, we have six Chapters within BC: Vancouver, UBC, UVic, SFU, KPU, and UBCO.

Time to meet your new leaders at KPU and UBCO:

YWiB KPU (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) 

Navi Dhillon, President of YWiB KPU, is 21 and a student in BBA Accounting. Navi is a girl who knows what she wants: to become a partner at an accounting firm. She is recruiting the remaining few positions on the exec team, so if you think you're what Navi wants in a team member (a.k.a. you have vision, passion, and a big smile!), get in touch with her at


Our UBCO Chapter is being led by two co-Presidents: Priya Dhindsa, 21 and an Accounting major, and Jessyca Nielson. Like many of us Vancouverites, Priya is also an active yogi (and secretly wishes Hogwarts were real!). Jessyca is also in the Management program and loves Vancouver's beautiful summers outside!

The YWiB UBCO Membership Coordinator position is still available! If you believe that people achieve more when working together than apart and want to spread this philosophy and get others involved, please email either or

Note: To comply with UBCO’s rules, this chapter is operating under the Management faculty. Unfortunately for now, this means membership and team positions are limited to students within the Management program; however, as with all YWiB chapters, anyone and everyone is welcome to attend events as a non-member!

Register to become a YWiB UBCO member here, and don't forget to spread the word about events and #ywiblove to your friends in other faculties!

We hope you're all easily settling into first semester :) Have a fantastic weekend!

Changing Times...YWiB Vancouver Gets a New President, Nicole Braam!

YWiB SFU girls will know, but for those of you haven’t met her, Nicole Braam is everything you would want in a president. She’s ambitious, an action-maker, genuine, and so encouraging of her peers. She first heard of YWiB in 2011, and in typical Nicole fashion, she jumped in as the SFU Events Coordinator. This is one of Nicole's distinguishing features: her desire not only to participate, but to contribute in a leadership role. After a year of organizing SFU's events, she took command as SFU's President.

Now, Nicole has found herself stepping up once more to lead YWiB Vancouver...

What has the biggest difference been between the university and Vancouver chapters been?

SFU was a very structured environment which formed a really solid foundation, and members knew what to expect. YWiB Vancouver is not constrained under another authority (university), which allows for more flexibility. You can really make anything happen. It’s just a matter of voicing your idea and putting it into action.

Have you ever had a "whoopsy" moment at YWiB?

Throughout the entire first few months as SFU's President, I was calling our Member Relation's girl Kath-reen. Finally, she approached me and said: "Nicole, I should probably let you know by now that my name is not Kath-reen, it's pronounced Kathe-rine." The whole team burst out laughing, because they all knew, yet no one knew how to tell me!

What made you decide to take over as President for YWiB?

It was during my presidency at the SFU Chapter when Paulina asked me to step up into the YWiB President position. I was quite surprised, because I had my eye on  Chair for the Beyond Pink conference. I was quickly convinced that this position would be a better opportunity and fit for me. That was last fall, and we have since been working closely together on ensuring a smooth transition.

What do you want to accomplish or change?

I’d really like to bring some of what I learned with the SFU Chapter to YWiB Vancouver through a 1-2 year plan that outlines the events, programs, marketing, and the membership goals. My hope is that some structure will allow us create a more consistent presence, although it’s important to me though that we leave room for flexibility and the organic nature that built YWiB.

Another thing I want to focus on is YWiB’s growth as an organization. We’ve been eyeing Toronto for our first Eastern Canadian chapter.

What kind of jobs have you had in the past?

I’ve worked as a recruitment assistant for a local IT recruitment agency, a project coordinator for a business consultant, and done a few gigs working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. I’m now continuing my passion for food and customer service as the Sales and Events Specialist for Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering.

Is there anyone in particular that you look up to or who inspires you?

Um, I’d have to think about that! There are certainly a few individuals that have made a great impact on my life. Maureen McKinnon, one of my co-op employers has been a great mentor to me; I learned way more outside of my job responsibilities from her than most other positions I’ve held. Mostly, I think I tend to be inspired by actions. Like if I see someone giving their all to achieve a goal, or doing something selfless, etc, that inspires me.

Okay, here’s a deep question for you…What is the meaning or the purpose of life?

It’s about providing as many positive experiences as possible and experiencing as much of life as possible. Do what you need to put yourself ahead, but do it without causing harm to others, and where there is grief, do what you can to lessen it. You should leave things in a better state than you found them in.

This is why I love YWiB. We don’t just focus on getting that promotion, we focus on community and helping people become better, stronger versions of themselves. It’s a life philosophy about being positive, helpful, and a more engaged citizen.

What song is playing most on your iPod right now?

Inner Ninja by Classified. It’s such an upbeat, feel good song!

Do you have a favourite quote?

“It’s not what you’re country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

...Based on her last few answers, you can tell Nicole truly believes in the power of every individual. If there’s one quality you know will make someone a good leader, it’s that she'll empower her group.

Come meet Nic tomorrow at Lost + Found Café tomorrow at the #ywibday!

Don't Forget Your Tickets for FFB2013!

From the Field to the Boardroom 2013 is less than 3 weeks away!!! Get your tickets here using promo code "ffb2013" to get the event discount! For those that were there last year, you'll notice you have the opportunity to select your seats! Thank you to the Whitecaps who were awesome and set up a special ticket link for us to do this.

Here are some handy FYI's: Group Blue are center field seats ($44.00) Group Yellow are corner field seats ($30.00) Group Teal/Group White are end field seats ($25.00)

Food and drink will be available to order during the networking and panel session for 20% off. After our fantastic panel (these women's stories will inspire you to go after your goals with gusto), we'll all make our way to BC Place in time to find our seats and cheer on the Whitecaps vs. Philadelphia Union!

Get more deets from the original event announcement here.

See all of you soon!

The lady who started it all...Why Paulina, YWiB's founding president, rocks!

Saturday, June 22nd, I hung out with Paulina, YWiB's co-founder and original president. She's an incredibly eloquent, wise, and super fun girl with a passion for cooking, farmer's markets and hiking, oh, and she owns a tandem bike..... named Sally! With YWiB's birthday around the corner (Wednesday, July 10th!), I asked her about starting YWiB and listened as she walked down memory lane. How did YWiB come to be?

In 2007, NJ Thompson and Claire Frazer had the idea to organize an entire conference of female speakers, after being annoyed at seeing only token women at business conferences while at Sauder. Our team of 25+ girls came together very quickly and the very first Beyond Pink was March 28th-29th, 2008. After that, we realized we wanted something that extended throughout the year. There were so many people that wanted to help because of the conference’s success, and the organization sort of grew organically.

What's the funniest story from that first Beyond Pink?

We orchestrated the whole thing in 3 months! I approached Fiona Walsh, a fairly reserved business coach at Ghost CEO, to be our opening keynote. Aside from our welcome speech, she was the first person on stage to address the 300 attendees. The first thing she said when she got up on stage was, "So, I met with Paulina only two months ago. I was super intrigued with this concept and I have to say, I’m slightly shocked that I’m standing on this stage today, because when she came to me two months ago telling me all their ideas for this conference, I thought she was f*cking crazy." NJ, Claire and I just gawked at each other!!! Beyond Pink was meant to be edgy and innovative, but I didn’t exactly expect our keynote to drop the F-bomb right at the start, haha! But she was wicked.

YWiB is five now! What's one of your favourite things about the organization?

There’s something so magical about the volunteers that come through YWiB and the way they’re able to engage. The team functions similarly to a mentoring and leadership development program. Every girl says they learn so much and the friends everyone makes last a beautiful lifetime. You're able to explore new areas or new’s pretty incredible.

What has YWiB yet to accomplish?

We have yet to be on Oprah, haha! At the YWiB team retreat we do a vision board, and every year, Oprah and Ellen make it on there.

Also, expansion. We’ve already incorporated in Toronto. We’d love to get out there.

When did you make the decision to step down as president?

At the start of 2012 I knew it was my time to move on. There was just no one who I could identify at the time that I could see filling the role. Then Nic and I started connecting a bit more at last year’s retreat, and I thought – ok, she’s good. I’m so excited it’s finalized. She's going to make a fantastic president.

Okay, now some questions about Paulina. Where do you work?

I'm the Business Development Manager at the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, a national, non-profit that funds young entrepreneurs and catalyzes their success. I love meeting so many inspired entrepreneurs that want to build their dreams and I get to say, "that's awesome! Here's money, here’s resources! Go make it happen!"

What's one of your favourite things to do outside in Vancouver?

Gravity is my worst enemy, so needless to say... I'm a crappy biker. My fiancé, Dave, and I bought a tandem bike off Cragislist last year, and we have been riding it almost every weekend! We named her Sally. When it’s nice out, we’ll be hiking and picnicking around the mountains or farming in the valley.

Do you have a motto that you live by?

"Redefine your success" are words I've been sticking to really strongly over the last year. I find that a lot of us follow these predetermined paths for success, but it's really about how you define success for your life. It can mean waking up everyday feeling like you're contributing to your community or providing for your family. I think if we were to first define success personally rather than automatically accepting how society defines it, we’d change how we go about getting it and be a lot happier in the process.

...A powerful last piece of advice to YWiB-ers as Paulina continues down her own path to success.