Recap: BWT Sponsor Summit July 20th
On Thursday, July 20th, 2017, women from our sponsor companies came together for the first Bringing Women Together Sponsor Summit at the TELUS Garden Office in Vancouver.
The Sponsor Summit provided an opportunity to bring sponsor company stakeholders and key BWT members together to network and participate in the Diversity best practices discussion to deepen their involvement with BWT.
Victoria Richards from BC Hydro, the BWT Sponsorship co-lead, kicked off the summit, followed by Carmela Thomson, founder of BWT and a member of the TELUS team. Carmela provided a history of how the network has evolved since 2010, emphasizing how BWT has brought Diversity-focused companies together to provide out-of-role opportunities for members.
After a warm welcome, Camelia Cirjoi gave an overview of the governance team and supporting teams. Some of the key successes included the annual Marquee event led by Paulina Lis and Margaret Demelo as well as a surprise mini reveal of the new BWT website. The web site has been developed over the past 6 months by Katrina Heschel and Cindy Chen, both from Vancity. BWT is looking forward to leveraging the site as our external online presence that will showcase sponsors, events, blogs and volunteer opportunities. We are excited to use the new site to more closely link our companies, profile our volunteers and connect our members for networking and professional opportunities!
Next, we heard about diversity journeys from each sponsor company through their Diversity representatives: Iwona Szpak and Sarah Bednar from B.C. Hydro, Susanna Tam from McCarthy Tetrault, Steph Redivo from SAP, Chelsea Bruce from Sodexo, Amanda Wong from TELUS, and Seema Dhanoa from Vancity. The presentations focussed on what each organization’s approach was to diversity, how employees were encouraged to be part of BWT and what they gained from their participation.
Next, we moved onto facilitated table discussions, after which each table gave a brief presentation to share what their group discussion concluded with. We heard about stories of success in addressing Diversity in our sponsor organizations and what challenges still exist in making Diversity an addressed priority.
The summit concluded with calls to action to take BWT sponsorship to the next level, to continue to evolve and sustain BWT, and to increase awareness of Diversity in the work place.
The event has already been described as inspirational and productive. Initial feedback from key stakeholders confirmed that this is exactly the type of forum they have been seeking for quite some time. The event re-affirmed that BWT is uniquely positioned to provide avenues for our organizations to progress the Diversity conversation, make a difference in the workplace and provide meaningful opportunities for our employees.
While LifeLabs was not able to participate in the BWT Sponsor Summit this year, they have been very supportive and engaged in BWT. Jennifer Cudlipp from Lifelabs had this to say about her and LifeLab’s experience with BWT so far:
“I’d like to recognize how far BWT has come over the past couple of years, the increased maturity in the organization is noticeable. A big thank you to each and every person who has been part of that journey, and that these relationships are so valuable to me, and to LifeLabs.”
As a thank you for making this a highly successful event, here’s A BIG SHOUT OUT everyone that supported executing on this event:
- All our BWT Sponsor companies (BC Hydro, LifeLabs, McCarthy Tetrault, SAP, Sodexo, TELUS and Vancity)
- TELUS for providing the event space and event set up services
- Sodexo for catering the event
- The BWT Sponsor Summit event volunteers:
- Behnaz Edalat (SAP): Event Manager
- Victoria Richards (BC Hydro): MC,moderator and Sponsorship Co-lead
- Aoife Dowling (Vancity): BWT Sponsorship co-lead
- Eunice Cao (SAP): Marketing specialist
- Tulika Thakur (SAP): Event Task Manager
- Irina Petrov (SAP): Event Volunteer and In-Year Events co-Prime
- Arlene Janousek (SAP): Photographer
- May Dun (BC Hydro): Event Volunteer
- Katrina Marquardt (BC Hydro): Event Volunteer and Membership Management Prime
- Aurora Qiu (SAP): Event Volunteer
On behalf of Carmela, Camelia and the BWT Governance team, our sincere thanks to our Sponsors, the event team and to you, our volunteers and our greatest asset.