Key Takeaways from Smashing Barriers: Dare to Rise

On March 8th, we partnered with TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, Women in Communications and Technology London Chapter (WCT), All Women L.E.A.D., and South Western Ontario Angel Group (SWO Angels) to deliver Smashing Barriers: Dare to Rise. The experience, in celebration of International Women's Day, brought together 331 attendees to hear keynote Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer of Cyber Experience at TD Canada, and panelists Dr. Lisa Smith, Deputy Head of School of Criminology at University of Leicester and Director at Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies; Dollar Luo, entrepreneur and student of Computer Science and Business at Western University; and Nicole Brewster-Mercury, (Interim) Senior Producer of Talk for CBC TV: The National, speak about their experiences when daring to rise. We have summarized some key takeaways from the inspiring keynote and panel discussions:

The Power of Storytelling:
Claudette McGowan, our Smashing Barriers keynote, alongside each of our inspiring panelists had their own story to share with the audience. Universal themes emerged through stories of exclusion, bias, supremacy, inequity, and protection of the status quo, which fueled triumphant resilience, fortitude, and strength even in the discomfort of speaking up. The stories encourage us to challenge the very systems that seek to uphold inequity, and hinder women’s ability to rise.

The Power at the Intersection:
Our panelist conversation acknowledged the diverse identities that we all hold, and encouraged attendees to celebrate their intersectionality. We are living in a world undergoing transformation from exclusion and oppression to acceptance, understanding and collective reclamation of our authentic selves. Together we can push forward and we can dare to rise.

“The time to act is now. The time to uplift women is now.” - Claudette McGowan

The Task Force on Women in the Economy was announced on March 8th, 2021, and is intended to address issues of gender inequity in the wake of the pandemic and advise next steps for a #FeministRecovery. Claudette McGowan is among the diverse group of experts on the task force. You can learn more about the Task Force on Women in the Economy here.

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